Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This is a test of your RSS feed.

Had this been a real emergency, I sure wouldn't be posting it on blogspot.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Madison Sub Zero?

I always start to contradict people who claim that SubZero is little more than a Hodag club team. Every time I go back and add up college alma maters, they prove I'm wrong as always:
Wisconsin: 12
Carleton: 4
U of MN: 4
Luther: 4
Harvard: 1
Winona State: 1
St. Olaf: 1
St. Cloud State: 1
(This includes Dan Miller as a Hodag and Jack Marsh from Harvard)

I've only been on the team for six years, but I still carry the impression that SZ is still primarily CUT based.

Compare the above with the 2001 Sub Zero roster:
Carleton: 9
St. Cloud State: 3
Winona State: 3
U of MN: 3
Colorado College: 1
Macalester: 1
Marquette: 1
St. Johns: 1
Michigan: 1

Our roster being as young as it is, it's an interesting comparison that highlights how for the life of us we can't get post college players not from this area to move here. Damn you Minnesota.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Adding a third gold star to that sleeve

(These thoughts have been burning a hole in my drafts folder so it's time to purge)

A belated congrats to the Brodags of Wisconsin (although I've congratulated most of you in person). Taking the 2008 College championship title makes them back-to-back winners, with three titles over the past six championships (and a close loss to Florida away from four in six).

Give credit to CUT as well for making their way into the semis and taking their part in bringing the double strength bid back to the the Central Region. As if there wasn't enough historical evidence of the late season win when it counts during the Series trend, the (comparably) short guys pulled together another great run when most don't give them much attention.

Sub Zero's vacation period is coming to a close soon. I can only do some many early morning hill/plyo/sprint workouts before needing to play some real ultimate again. My nights have become so busy with taking care of my daughter so that we can avoid daycare costs, that most mornings I'm done running by 7 AM. It's a sickness.

SZ's tryouts ended well with (in my opinion) the toughest and most talented additions in all the years that I've been playing here including Hector (brings in welcome elite club experience), Chris Rupp (previous SZ experience and starting O line handler), and Grant Lindsley (elite college talent with elite club time as well), just to name a handful. The current roster contains only two players at 30 or older. I have a feeling that the possession game won't be our style.

There's also been much discussion lately as to Match's writings and the coverage of ultimate in general on the tails of the CBS coverage of college nationals. Compared to the current main stream popular sports environment, ultimate is intriguingly attacking from the complete opposite angle. As an off and on Deadspin reader, I read frequently about bloggers and the non-traditional media outlets gaining ground on sports coverage and the increasing resistance by print and television media due to a perceived lack of journalistic credibility.
Uniquely, ultimate receives little to no traditional attention, and therefore, because ultimate players love reading about and watching themselves, we fill our own need. This puts us right in the middle of "lacking legitimacy" camp. This doesn't mean that we can't or shouldn't gain attention this way, but we do need to have realistic expectations about our resources. Two great examples of which are Match, very entertaining and charismatic but needs to iron out the logical flow of an argument, and Kyle Weisbrod, very positive influence on the evolution of the game but brutal doing color commentary. Both seek to improve and expand the game we love, but journalists, we ain't. I cringe at a lot of the things that are written or portrayed about ultimate (this blog included), but as long as we continue to maintain grassroots culture and organic growth via electronic media. These things aren't necessarily good or bad. That's ultimate.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Not ultimate related but still targeting the nerd demographic

If you've played the game Half Life,

you need to visit YTMND.com and watch this clip of a conspiracy radio host taking hook, line, and sinker (your sound must be on).

If you've never played the game before, the above clip falls firmly in "I guess you had to be there" territory.

[EDIT: P.S. Because I've been asked, my household still remains at 2 people and 1 dog]

Friday, January 18, 2008

Perfect season gone!

Although it's a week late, news of Pinkies Up defeat at the hands of Wanna Buy a Duck in the Minneapolis Winter Indoor League has already permeated the ultimate community. It wasn't close, really (i.e. 6 points or so not close). Our decisions were decidedly sketchy, even for winter league standards(and by "our decisions", I mean "my decisions").

I've always enjoyed the timing and general attitude around playing winter league. I treat it as a fun/social way to get back into the mix after getting burnt out on a long club season. However, there still are definite competitive undertones and playing a good game against teams filled with Zero/Bait players makes it even better. Also at some point soon, we'll all have to band together and hire part-time child care staff for all the babies hanging out on the sidelines!

We get the late slot tonight (11 PM) against the revamped Rocket, who continue to go the way of brother pairs and husband/wife combos (the Mooers, Fenskes, Schmits, and formerly Severts). If Tony Severt shows, I really hope he breaks out his .purple and yellow Converse sneaks a la Magic Johnson. Those things are amazing.

In non-ultimate related news, Eli hates the cold...bring on the flurries!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Club Championship that wasn't (for me)

The 2007 club season has since drawn to a close, and very unremarkably at that for me, personally. A family emergency kept me from attending this year. It was a decision that I didn't (and still don't) resent. My teammates were all very supportive, which I very greatly appreciated, as I still felt like I was leaving them in the lurch. I obviously would not have lead Zero to the finals had I been there, but that tournament is what we all train for all year long. We often would mince words about not looking past Regionals, taking one tournament at a time, etc etc, but in reality, the entire season is a lead-in to making power pools and further.

In those few days while I was working from home, I mashed the F5 button more than I care to admit. The other benefit of working from home was being able to yell at my computer as I watched Zero lose to Chain, almost lose to Furious and trail Jam most of the way. At some point we need to figure out how to holdour initial second slot in the first day pools (and how to beat Chain at Nationals while we're at it).

While Quarters is all well and good, I still remain very optimistic about Zero's future, as this year definitely felt like a roll of the dice, both regarding the new personnel and a much more aggressive approach to offense. I'd like to think of us as a poor man's Bravo of a few years back, as in a young team putting in solid performances year-round and looking to put it together to push into Semis (if not further).

It certainly seems like there's a great deal more parity in the 4-10 range now that Furious is showing their age, Boston hasn't fully put forward one focused strategy and mindset yet, Chain gaining more talent, and Goat and Condors always lurking.

I guess now's the time to start recruiting more mercenaries to Minnesota.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's always windy in Sarasota

...and rainy in Tulsa, apparently.

Obviously Tulsa was a difficult location for Central Regionals, blah blah blah, it's all been said before. Plane tickets are a regularity for other regions (SW, NW) so that's the name of the game sometimes. Once the location was set, the coordinators were in a lose-lose situation. Nothing they could do would make up for the fact that everyone had to travel and were determined to bitch about it (including me). The heavy driving rain and lightning delay on Sunday were just the cherries on top.

The 14.3 format yielded two pools of seven with games to 11. Other than Illinois, who caught us napping at the beginning of the game, no one scored more than 7. We came out with a break in every game we started on D line (4 of 6 games), and dictated the tempo in each game. As the weekend wore on, the D line gained more momentum and was able to break multiple points in a row in each game. The highlight of this was the VBB game where our D-line went 9 for 10 on breaks (although VBB was struggling mightily on Saturday only to rebound with style on Sunday).

On Sunday, we rolled through Hustle first round, then played BAT in the semis (after they were upset by Madcow in pool play). We had played a pretty close game with them at CHC. Maybe I was imagining it, but I that Madcow loss probably took a toll on their confidence and frustrations. Their young players are coming along, but as a team, they still seem to be struggling to pull it all together again like they could a few years ago. Our D line rolls off more multiple breaks in a row to win 15-5. Machine takes Madcow in a chippy game in the other semi, bringing about our fourth game against Chicago this season. And the rain came down. We did our plyos and drills in water-logged shoes while Machine was waiting out the rain under a tent, not needing a warmup after their most recently completed game (and avoiding the downpour). We break to start, multiple turns ensue from both sides, and they break back mostly due to a 50 yd flick upwind into the rain. Brief lightning delays our game (but not the coed backdoor final) for a good 20 minutes. As play resumes, the rain slackened, and our D line started to click again. We take the finals 15-7, and the Central Region title for the third consecutive year.

I stayed around to watch the Madcow-VBB game-to-go, and I really have to thank Andy Dikeman for providing Ben Hahn with a chew for the game...it might as well have been LSD mixed with ecstasy. Ben's mixed alcohol and tobacco buzz was off-the-charts good times. Both sides were playing very physically and intensely (as a game-to-go should dictate). Honestly, observers probably should have been in place from the start. Madcow is an over-the-top emotional team (to the point of being detrimental), and VBB have a couple personalities that are more than happy to fan that flame. As those faithful RSD readers know, VBB prevailed and there was much crying on both sides (for obviously different reasons). Having friends on VBB, I was very glad to see them come through (especially after that terrible Saturday). I look forward to your beer points against Jam in Florida. I'm really hoping that someone gets a picture of Karsten or Berkseth skying Steets with a beer in hand. I was also able to catch some Rackages points as well, and I'm pleased to see they're in a similar situation with big success with a new roster.

Couldn't forget ICE and Poodle Club. Apparently practice and formal practices are detrimental in the coed division, as the Iowa and Carleton kids ride on to besmirch the image of mixed division yet again (I'm looking at you Rupp, Leon and Hahn).

Aside from the obvious personnel differences, this truly is a new generation of Zero. Even when I made the team in 2003, BAT and Machine were not guaranteed wins, and Madison was always a threat (especially at Sectionals). Barely anyone bought plane tickets ahead of time. This year some had them booked in August. We had no doubt in our minds what the results of Regionals would be. With all the Brodag talent, Sub Zero is hitting a high cycle and have drawn a fifth seed at Nationals. This team still has a lot to prove on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Sarasota. but of all the Zero teams that I've played on, this is by far the most dangerously talented.

Leave your sundresses at home, because it's going to be cold in Sarasota, bitches.