Monday, January 14, 2008

Testosterone Man

Ban whole teams for a year? Put a man in the penalty box for spiking? What a
bunch of thin-skinned self-righteous whiners!

I play for Big Brother, and it irritates me to know that I am now considered
evil. Where the hell do you people get off saying this? I thought Tross'
"Six levels of Ultimate" posting was an excellent behind-the-scenes look from
an "elite" team's perspective, and I had hoped people would realize and accept
that it's a different game at that level. Unfortunately, a lot of people
refuse to accept that socialism will never work.

I don't play the game because of SOTG. I don't bust my ass doing wind sprints
in the cold and rain because I want to be accepted in a friendly community.
I don't spend several thousand dollars a year and all my vacation time so that
some computer geek has a high opinion of me. Ultimate, beyond everything
else, is a sport, and sports are about competition. That's why I'm out there.
I want the game to become more competitive. I want Cuervo to sponsor us. I
want the game to be accepted in mainsteam America. I want it to evolve into
something more watchable.

You want to spike the disc? Spike it!! (Incidentally, George "Win one for
the Gipper" Gipp is often credited with the first "spike" in football). Most
spikes I've seen aren't personal--they're either celebratory ("Yes, we scored,
we're still in this game") or mildly retaliatory ("You fouled me all over the
field and I still scored! Ha ha!"). In fact, we even spike it during
practice. It's about intensity, emotion, competition, winning, and losing.
In the NFL, you know that if you get scored on, a spike is coming, and you
better accept it. I've never seen a football player return the spike, by the
way, like many good-spirited ultimate players do. Retaliation equates with
being a poor loser. It also takes your concentration away.

Retaliation led to the near-"fights" in the NY-Big Brother semifinal.
Unfortunate, but as Tross stated, it's surprising it hasn't happened sooner.
If you consider the typical ultimate player, though, it isn't surprising.
Most historically have never played another sport at a level higher than gym
class, and have no idea what it's like to do so. He thinks we should respect
each other because we are all equal, all of us just creatures of this world,
and he can't stand to see other people get ahead if they don't play by his
rules. Your typical non-ultimate athlete, on the other hand, believes that
the best man wins. The best way to stop someone from spiking at you is to
work harder and play better so he never has the opportunity. You say that we
have no respect for other players. I say we have a higher level of respect,
the respect of warriors, the respect that says you give everything you have on
the field of honor, and it's all decided on the field. Afterwards, it's over.
That's what sports is about.

I don't think most levels of the game have to be this intense. If you're just
playing for fun in a friendly, less-competitive atmosphere, then aggressive
behavior isn't good. Many NY/Big Brother players coach high school teams,
captain summer league teams, and play in pickup games and tournaments (many
"good-spirited" players mentioned in a recent posting about the Fairfield,
Ct., Turkey Bowl are NY/BB guys), and wouldn't dream of spiking it on some
rookie or screaming after a goal. But it's a different game at the top, as
different as your pickup touch football game is from the Super Bowl.

Learn to deal with it. If you can't, I suggest you take some mildly
hallucinogenic drugs and stick to summer league.

Jim Parinella
Big Brother
"Testoterone-filled asshole and proud of it"


Frank Huguenard said...


I'm working on my grand de-unification treatise which should be out in about a week or so.

As you will soon find out, the joke is on you, me and anyone else who has ever tried to take this game of Ultimate Frisbee (not a sport)seriously. It just was never meant to be. I have the documented and incontrovertible evidence to prove that anyone doing wind sprints in the cold and rain to prepare for Ultimate is a misguided fool.

And for you to compare the 'top' of Ultimate to the Super Bowl is incredibly delusional. You are a mediocre Frisbee player. I've seen you play.

Stay tuned....

Bill Mill said...

Oh snap, parinella's on the same side as crazy frank.

Kind of.

James said...

Did you write this entry 15 years ago?

Anonymous said...

good post, but a preface would have made this a better read. i have a pretty good idea what the context is, but i don't want to assume.

rob.barrett said...

Crazy Frank rarely encounters people even marginally in support of him. When it does happen, the fear of the unknown mounts till he has no choice but to try to alienate them, too.

Anonymous said...


In general i agree with you. Coming form competitive soccer the whimpy feeling of a non contact, non agressive winning attitude is very strange. You can be a great player and winner without having to spike, humiliate your opponent. An example is Michael Laudrup ffrom the Danish national team in soccer, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He was an amazing player and winner but I never saw him spike anyone. It can be done.

Carsten B

parinella said...

This was indeed written in 1993. It was a result of the rsd banter following our debacle against NY in the semis of Nationals, where every goal brought both teams onto the field in an alpha male contest. There was also a sidelines-clearing melee (no punches but a tackle and maybe a slap) and a provoked headbutt.

Here's the thread:

parinella said...

And nowhere did I compare the top of ultimate to the Super Bowl. I just said that there was no retaliation in the unspirited NFL.

Alex de Frondeville said...

Well, everyone is mediocre compared to Frank.

Jim, I'm disappointed. You're breaking out 14 year old rsd posts? Cat got your tongue?

Frank Huguenard said...

My apologies about misunderstanding the Super Bowl analogy. I've just heard it far too many times over the years about the comparison of Ultimate to the NBA or NFL or whatever so I jumped to conclusions. My bad.

What Jim has done here though (albeit 15 years ago) is to articulate exactly what my experience has been for the past 20 years ago.

As I mentioned, I've discovered smoking gun evidence that is jaw dropping proof that explains both Jim's post here as well as why Competitive Ultimate is, always was and always will be an oxy-moron.

The question is this, if you were presented with incontrovertible proof that the game you are playing was never have supposed to evolve out of the sandbox, would you be open minded enough to accept it?

Frank Huguenard said...

"Well, everyone is mediocre compared to Frank."

Alex, while I know you're being sarcastic here, yes, that was my point. It wasn't meant to be personal, it never is and my intention is never to alienate anyone, just illuminate them.

However, it is a wrong statement on your part. There are very many high quality Frisbee players out here in the Bay Area who are much better Dischoops players than I am.

They are however, very mediocre Ultimate players.

Again, I've got solid evidence to support why this has come about.

Stay tuned..,.

Marshall said...

The question is this, if you were presented with incontrovertible proof that the game you are playing was never have supposed to evolve out of the sandbox, would you be open minded enough to accept it?

I'm open-minded enough to read and consider the evidence. Are you open-minded enough to consider counter-arguments about its incontrovertability if there are some?

ellsworthless said...

"You can be a great player and winner without having to spike, humiliate your opponent. An example is Michael Laudrup ffrom the Danish national team in soccer, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He was an amazing player and winner but I never saw him spike anyone. It can be done."

As said, it isn't always about humiliation. You can spike without humiliating.

Also, can you spike a soccer ball? Has it ever been done? Actually curious about that. Did Mr. Laudrup, fly around like a plane after a goal? If not, shame on him, that is one of the best parts about soccer.

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference in my opinion about soccer goal scoting attitudes which are not directed towards a specific player but towards the spectators or team mates and spiking the disc next to your defeted defender. This is a one to one act and I am sure you will find a lot who will consider that humiliating.

Another example is basketball. Ater a dunk and extended rim catch you can many times see reactions and face ups based on the humiliation in the act.

This is just to show the type of reactions you can get. With regards to Michael Laudrup he was a world class player (no.10) and is now a coach in Getafe, Spain, but he was always known as Mr. Cool and Mr. correct and he would never face up (spike) anybody after a good dribble or goal.

In conclusion I have no problem with spiking, just make sure it is not humiliating.

Carsten B

dave said...

1- I feel like I can't get away from Frank. It is worse than Yungai.

2- I had never read that Tross post before. Pretty interesting.

3- It makes me sad that Ultimate hasn't really changed in 15 years. I remember whining about wanting Cuervo, etc. Seems like more should/could have been done.

Off my soapbox.


toad said...

2 things

1.....dont think that ny and big brother were the first ones to fight in ultimate. And dont think that people have to be at the top of the sport or competing for a national championship to mix it up. I've seen fights and near fights break out in pick up, summer league and funzie tournies.

2.....if you want people to buy into ultimate bein a sport then you are gonna have to shelf the whole sotg illusion crap.

Justin Richardson said...

The question is this, if you were presented with incontrovertible proof that the game you are playing was never have supposed to evolve out of the sandbox, would you be open minded enough to accept it?

FRANK: Proof that is incontrovertible does not generally depend on the willingness of others to accept it. Moreover, if you had such proof, I'm sure you would "prove it" instead of writing this kind of innuendo crap.

JIM: Isn't your suggestion that it is poor judgment to retaliate for a spike simply an alternative to SOTG? I wholeheartedly agree that what people call SOTG really has nothing to do with ultimate. In my experience, the people that invoke SOTG are generally the cheaters that don't like being caught. Since these egg-heads generally have no recourse to the actual rules, which would simply confirm that they were cheating, they seek refuge in their subjective and deeply held belief that whatever it is they did was right because it is "spirited" even if unlawful, because (to them) that was how the game was intended to be played regardless of what the books say.

The failure of SOTG is that, to the extent that the rules themselves to not incorporate its principles, all it gives you is an argument about who feels the most righteous. Assholes and bigots are generally first in line when it comes to that.

So yes, clearly it is a good idea to play by the rules. but any system of laws or rules that fails to create incentives for correct behaviour and penalties for non-compliance, is merely an open invitation for abuse. Ironically, invoking SOTG is used for that purpose.


james said...

Thanks for sharing your opinion with us, what has happened to you is bad. But backstabbing is there everywhere you have to get adapted to the circumstances and act accordingly. It’s better now to break free from all this go for a dream vacation.

Anonymous said...

I love toking up some dank mild hallucinogens, skying some chump in the endzone while he fouls the crap out of me, then sticking the disc in his face. Herb is sweet. So is winning. Keep ultimate high, and keep it competitive!

Jared said...

I have to say that I agree whole-heartedly with Parinella here. this is a sport. Sport inherently involves aggression and a competitive spirit. I see nothing wrong with spiking to celebrate a great play. If it's done as an in your face intimidation thing, that indeed is bad form, but done out of joy it is merely an outward expression of the joy and adrenaline rush one gets from a really great layout or run down of a long huck.
I want sponsors. I want observers. Heck I'll even take refs because people call fouls that they know were not fouls just to stop the play and the "Spirit of the Game" can't do a thing about that. The play has already been disrupted.
I want a sport that is about the sport, not dogs, mildly hallucinogenic drugs, and silly cheers after a game. I want a sport where we can all just go out and play hard and have a great time and not feel like there's an entire philosphy behind it. The evolution of ultimate is creeping along at a snails pace, and the old ideals never really worked anyway. The rules often feel like they're controlled by snobbish veterans trying to exercise control of the swingset because they got to the park first, constantly making new rules so that no one else gets to have a turn.
Great post Parinella. Sorry you got slammed by some people, but there are many many people who are not as vocal as you, who feel exactly the same way.