Thursday, January 17, 2008

Testosterone man speaks (well, grunts)

So, as you guys have figured out, that was an old rant of mine. I wanted to shock people a little, at least those who didn't recognize it right away. In 1993, Boston developed an attitude and tried to be like NYNY. We had a strong team, and had beaten NY by 7 at Regionals to take the top seed at Nationals. But then we met them in the semis and lost. That game had a "bench-clearing brawl" and a headbutt, and lots of jawing and posturing and all that. I remember the feeling very well still, although the specifics of the game are almost completely gone now.

I wrote it after reading complaints from a bunch of people who weren't there and who had no idea what it was like to be in our shoes. It drew quite a response. I can still quote some of the replies. "Mr. Parinella's horrible posting pisses me off." "@%&$ you and the horse you rode in on." "There is no place in the game for people like Jim Parinella." But there were also replies from people who knew me that defended, somewhat, me or my point of view.

So, this was my response.

Wow. I guess this means I'm not invited to play with Rec.Sport.Disc at Fools
next year.

I'd like to explain a little about why I wrote. I fully expected to get flamed
terribly. Tross (law...@brandeis.something) posted an opposing viewpoint that
was very mild, and got nailed for it, so I knew it was coming. I can take it,
I'm pretty thick-skinned. I'm enjoying this whole discussion, even though
anyone that dares to say anything along my lines provokes outcries of "Savage"
and "Kill that aggressive guy". I would like to thank the people that wrote in
with support. They really made my day.

I'd like to clarify some things that people may have gotten out of my post:

1. I am not an asshole. The sig was a reference to a previous post equating
wanting to win with being a "testosterone filled asshole". How many of you
know me? I think that I have (at least until this week) a pretty good reputation
(as a person) among this crowd. I think most people consider me a quiet, mild-
mannered guy who plays hard but fair. I'm sure many of those people are now
saying, "I never knew he was suck a jerk", but I was also hoping other people
would read the post and think, "Hmm, Jim's always been pretty reasonable. Maybe
he's got a point." I put my name at incredible risk because I read statements
that I considered to be just plain wrong, and I could not sit and let it go by
any longer. I've been on teams that didn't make it out of Sectionals, I still
captain a summer league team, I still play in pickup tournaments. I like the
game. But it's a sport, and sports have winners and losers.

2. I do not think that fights in the game are a good thing. But nor do I think
they're the end of the world. If there were an ejection rule, that would help.

3. Man is an aggressive animal. Screaming for joy is an act of aggression.
Wanting to win is a form of aggression. "(W)hen the disc is crisp, when the flow
is kind, I get this pulsating ball of energy brewing at the base of my skull."
Do you get this same feeling when you're on defense and the flow is kind? Isn't
this the same as saying, "I enjoy it when I humilate my defender"? It's not the
same as hitting someone, but isn't that aggression all the same?

4. It really is a different game at the top. This was really the main point of
my post, and it's the point that people seemed most unwilling to accept. Do
any of your teammates puke regularly after track workouts? Do you study game
films of your opponents to know their tendencies better? Do you have half a
dozen different defenses to throw at an opponent? Does everyone on your team
break the mark? I was on Earth Atomizer when we made it to the semifinals at
Worlds in 1991, but I think that this team is really at another level. I've
learned so much more in the last two years with BB than I did in my first nine
of playing.

5. Along those lines, individuals play for different reasons. If you're
playing because you like sports but don't like all the yelling, that's fine.
I don't want you to stop playing. Just accept that not everyone feels the
same way.

I will admit that I focused too much on aggression in my first post, hence the
overwhelming response. For what it's worth, I was calm when I wrote it, and
even revised it to remove the personal attacks (unlike others--you know who
you are). It just irritated me that seemingly most posts had no basis in fact
and relied purely on emotions and feelings (but isn't that always the case).

Flame away.

Jim Parinella
Big Brother
"If you can't open your mind, are you sure you still have one?'


luke said...

jim, among the qualities i admire? no too strong. what i like best about you and alex is your livers. but that said, there is a theory out there that 15 years is a magic number in training.

for 15 years you will get better... almost irrespective (is that right) or regardless of your starting age.

for me it hit home this past 2 years since i stopped 'clubbing'. i found less and less joy in playing 'league'. it was motions only, some enjoyment of the excercise, but seldom JOY. i played solstice with a masters team, but in the elite. my conditioning, and that of the team, wasn't acceptable, and the fact that we had 12 players didn't help.

but for the first time in 3 years, i feld JOY!!!

it's what i imagine some heroin junky must feel as their tolerance builds. for the first time in years, i felt the 'ball at the back of the head' as once again i instinctively leapt at just within reach passes. selling out felt worthwhile again. every moment of cutting was electric, every throw felt important, and it felt again like i was a 1st year player jacked on ephidrine. every failed defensive play felt specifically that with one more tournament i had it dialed, as my understanding of what was going on was dialed, even if my body was not trained for what i knew was coming... but the feeling of every point mattering, after 3 years... wow.

ironically, now that i'm coaching, i feel that again. but i have NO desire to go play pickup on some small crooked field. locally, i think i'm perceived as a snob. maybe that's the word. the reallity is, unfortunately, more narcissistic. i just don't get the JACK anymore playing in inconsequential games. my local playing friends are totally good athletes. some more than me. that's not the point. like you say, playing at the highest level is the game.

if i were younger, or if i had been healthy enough to make it to regionals, i have no doubt that i could have felt that jack again...

but, such is life.

my point? i suspect leaguers, or co-ed national players, or new players feel it. but, once you've been locked in at the very limit of your abillity (and maybe my abillity was less than some), it's hard to accept anything less...

when any given turnover has less than 100% significance, it becomes harder to give a damn.

hence, the 15 year thing. that is why i applaud you, and alex, and zaz... i envy your open success, for i believe truly i did almost everything i could do to achieve it (barring commuting to and from seattle from bend for that ONE MORE CRITICAL YEAR)..

but beyond that, i acknowledge the work y'all did for the masters thing.

good on you.

that said, i hope that for the next 13 years, my skiing benefits from the 15 year rule. and i hope i can find 'one more shot at glory' and find one or two games (note, it's hard to find a tournament to care about) in some shitty co-ed tourney, or maybe if i'm lucky and brook puts the band together next year, one or TWO whole tourneys where i care passionately...

Erik said...

Hey I read some where about an offense from the 80s call the trident stack, and couldnt find anything on the net about it. What is it and where did it originate?

Thanks alot

parinella said...

Sorry, never heard of the trident. The only thing I can think of is "trips", calling two separate lines of 3 along with the seventh as a bail.