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by Tully Beatty

ECC and Chesapeake are behind us, as is Sectionals. We've spent the past 8 weeks running 120s. We started Cones after Sectionals. In what will have been a mere stepping stone of a game for us, the trust building and empathy through conditioning mentioned above will raise its beautiful head at Regionals, as will the burden of self-officiating. 

2nd round and it's 5 all and on serve. hile there are no certainties, except that one that says we'll receive for the 2nd half, they will only score 3 more points to our 10; but at 5 all, nobody but nobody knows this. Our D doesn't have their legs under them yet. Our O is 5 for 5; while our D has had their hands on the disc 4 times and come up empty each time. The only untoward behavior so far has been from their hot shot college handler, let's call him Bunny, who has called not one, but three fouls on high stall counts where, with no one cutting break, he's pivoted into the marker and called foul; and one of our players, we'll call him Big Harold, called foul on what's usually a routine catch. The reception would have given us our first break, but instead his foul was contested and sent back and what followed was a miscue on the first pass. Now at 5 even, our D has the disc again. On a strong under cut, Taylor gets his hands under a dying disc just before it hits the ground. "DOWN!" cry everyone wearing black. "F-ing Up!" cry everyone wearing white. 

"It's not down cause you're wearing white and I'm wearing black," explains one of them. "It's down, because it's down." Next I'm waiting for them to say "We gave you the last one," which outside of the pre-game gift and Spirit speech (non-fiction: at Chicago Tune-up in 2002 the Warriors were given a gift and Spirit speech from Jack-Leg (because we've heard about you, they said), and suddenly we're down 5-9 before going 1-3-3 and prevailing 13-11), is one of the lamest and unspirited things you can say or do. 

"You have to tell him it's down," says Jr., the guy defending me. "There's no way you can call that up—you saw it—you tell him it's down." And it's that exact moment where the premise of the sport fails. Taylor standing there calling the disc up; who weeks ago running 120s was puking after 4 and could barely get through 10; and Big Harold there insisting that the disc is up and not backing down because his will to win is as great as their's, unable to get more than 20 second rest on his 120s, and cramping all the way. Yeah, like I'm going to turn on them. 

Make yourself comfortable being uncomfortable they say. Don't give as you got, they also say. But what happens when what you have been training and conditioning and practicing for suddenly becomes something else, something entirely different. Ideally, we'd like to think our preparation will allow us to develop enough self-control to perform reasonably under a variety of stress producing situations; but more often than not controlling one's self becomes impossible and the burden on the player is possibly too great. 

Never mind the comparison to basketball, soccer, and football. Excluding the 3 pillars of baseball, Ultimate is most like and is meant to be most like what takes place within cycling's peloton: rivals working together to maintain a code of etiquette and level of integrity. And as everyone knows, we get "platoon" from "peloton". Here's Bunny standing alongside captain Barnes. "We gave you the last one," says Bunny. And on this side, shoulder to shoulder with Big Harold and Taylor, we've got Elias, captain of the white squad. "Stick with your call, kid," says Elias. Something has to give. 

And so the disc goes back to the thrower. 

"Fugazi," says Barnes. 

huddle Issue 24 Spirit Of The Game

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
by Tully Beatty

The Real Issues With Spirit
by Lou Burruss

Even If No One Is Watching
by Lindsey Hack

A Tennis Analogy
by Brett Matzuka

Our Rules
by Ryan Morgan

Codifying Spirit
by Ted Munter

Spirit Of The Games
by Taylor Pope

Character When It Matters Most
by Chelsea Putnam

The Blender
by Charlie Reznikoff

Two Principal Components
by Adam Sigelman

What Goes Through Your Head
by Ben van Heuvelen

What We Do
by Ben Wiggins

My Turn As That Guy
by Anonymous Elite Open Player





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