a newer one »Doyle, Ninja style

Boston Invite 2008, day 1


Today was strange. The tournament this year is the same as last year, in that it's a round-robin tournament where we play all the other teams. I note that I didn't write about it last year, despite Kris bringing me two cakes for my birthday. Oddly, I didn't have any tournament pictures either. Strange.

I didn't play much today, but that's not surprising. We have nine women, which is plenty. The team was very encouraging about my playing time, cheering me on when I did go in, which makes me smile every time. I nearly always hear Steffi and Will ("Go, Kitty!"), both of whose cheers make me want to play hard.

We ended up losing the first game to Hooray for Ultimate, Hooray in our first game, which was in the second round. Yes, it's easy to say, "Well, we had a first round bye, they didn't" and "we were still on West Coast time," and any number of other excuses you want to bring, but the reality is they played better than we did. Yes, we had some odd, uncharacteristic turnovers (the one I recall most vividly was Mark dropping a disc on an in cut, uncovered, while still looking forward (i.e. not looking to throw before catching the disc, which is the cause of many uncharacteristic turnovers)). Yes, our energy was low. We lost.

We heard later, after Hooray had lost every other game today, that they said they played out of their minds against us. I like stories like that, where the underdog plays with such intensity and drive that they beat the expected winners. That's why you play the games, because you can never be completely sure of the victor.

My only memorable point in this game was when I was cutting deep to set up an in-cut, and had turned for the cut slightly too soon. Someone had thrown to Lyndsay along the sideline, with the throw it was slightly too far to the outside when she went up for it. The disc bounced off her somehow, and macked up. I adjusted my cut and caught the disc low, with my signature thunk. I turned to see Mark cutting deep at an angle toward the cone on the sideline I was on, his defender right on his inside hip. I put up a loopy forehand that was high and around his defender, which Mark caught seemingly effortlessly. DanO later told me that he was thinking, "No! Conservation of greatness!" when I made the throw, but, eh, know your receiver: Mark's awesome, he'll catch it. Mark did, then threw for the score. Everyone erupted from the sidelines for me.

Doyle did say I ran for a few steps with my arm outstretched, his thinking "Don't run with your arm outstretched! Get there then reach out!" Emily Biss used to catch that way, running with her arms outstretched. It looked funny. I hope I don't get into that habit.

Our next game was against the British National Team, which is going to Worlds. We won the game 15-10, with my only memory of the game being of a very tall Englishman commenting that we were an arrogant bunch after the team rushed the field chanting "I see red!". I have to admit that I sometimes feel uncomfortable when the team does this, especially when the team doesn't really need it to psych itself up. However, I don't mind enough to actually care one way or the other.

Our next game was with Slow White, our cross-country rival since 2006. During the game, in which I played maybe three points (but was QUITE happy with those three points), I started talking with another spectator on the sideline. He commented to me, while pointing to the Mischief seven on the line, "that team isn't well know for its spirit."

I responded with, "You mean, around here, because they beat that team," while pointing to the Slow White seven on the line. I was particularly annoyed by that man's comments, sure he had some connection to Slow White, as I watched the Slow White players spike the disc time and time again after they score. Okay, so, we may cheer "I see RED!" but we don't spike the disc our way to a 15-11 victory.

I did have to wonder, though, if, because Mischief was a top team, that we were becoming Donner-like. Were we the Donner Party of this tournament? Of course, that brought up the speculation that perhaps Donner wasn't as awful as I thought they were, that maybe I was just annoyed/frustrated/spiteful because they were the better team.

Of course, the Donner thought is not new to me.

Our last game was against Puppet Regime, and was also quite unmemorable. We won 13-10.

Tomorrow we play another three games, against Bashing Pinatas, Team Fisher Price, and AMP.