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Ramunto’s and White Mountain

August 5, 2013

I start talking about Ramunto’s Pizzeria during Destructor’s first tryout in late April. Before every tournament, I ask, “Is this tournament Ramunto’s?” This weekend was Ramunto’s. Can’t get a better slice in New England.

Here’s the timeline of my weekend with Destructors at White Mountain. A tournament held somewhere near Ramunto’s.

Thursday, I had my summer league game with Patrick Swayze’s Velvet Blue Eyes. Barth Vader showed up with 7 players (one woman), so we cordially agreed to go 6-1, although we had almost our entire roster. That was a humble brag about our team’s spirit.

The weather went through phases of horribleness. First it was rainy, then windy, and ended chilly. We went zone, and put Barth Vader down easily. Hard to compete in summer league without subs. They could win the final tournament with their roster. Any team can this year.

After league games, I went to downtown Albany and hung around with some area players.

Friday day, Taylor (a female handler on Destructors that pulls full field), Chelsea (a female Destructor that had a devastating injury that put her out for the rest of the season) and I went to Washington Park to play Boggle. After some outside Boggle’n, we headed to Bombers to enjoy the taco buffet and play a little more Boggle. Jerk pork tacos and Boggle!

Friday evening, Ian (Destructor rookie from SUNY Buffalo) and I made our way to Ellen’s (Destructor with a magnetic smile) so we could carpool to New Hampcha’.  Stayfo (Destructor practice player and former SCAM teammate of mine) swan dived into the carpool, and we started our journey through the land forgotten by time (Vermont) to our hotel, the Days Inn.

Ellen! Goal score’n stud.

Unloaded at the hotel, and then headed to a local brewery where everyone else got beer, and I got a slice of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. I know what fuels champions. There was a band at the brewery playing called, ‘Road Trash’. Delectable cheesecake and Road Trash. What a night.

Saturday morning we greeted the day with warm up jogs, stretching and drills; my favorite parts of ultimate. Setting a new record, Matty “Rushing Back from Injury” Boobs injures himself before the first ‘start your game’ airhorn was ignored by every ultimate team ever.

Wilhelm Friedrich VonSloane huddled us together and challenged us to blitz everyone at the tournament with energy. To play our style of intense and gritty ultimate, and not to let off the gas.  Intensity on the field, intensity off the field, and intensity between games eating hummus.

Our first pool play game was against Sucker Punch. Score reporter says these guys are from Rochester, NH. Overlapping city names is something we don’t stand for on Destructors. We blow them out the first half, and then dawdle to victory in the second. VonSloane was not happy with that second half dawdle display.

Second game of the day was against Iron Sighed. A team of Darthmouth sophomores. The storyline of our first game repeated for this one. Dawdling in the second half, letting them score points. After this game, VonSloane addressed the team; not saying anything, just eating a piece of coal like an apple. Message received. All the playbook pages that said ‘DAWDLE’ were ripped from their margins, and digested by Wilhelm.

Bunnicula. This team had a bunny on their jersey. We blew them out in the first half, and also the second. VonSloane approves!  For our efforts, he releases one family member-hostage from each Destructor. Our benevolent leader; thank you for the sun, stars, and Chaco Tacos.

Last game of pool play is against the number one seed in our pool. Enough Monkeys. This team is famous for their variations of zone. Monkeys rely on strategy over athleticism to win games. Our antithesis. We play a grittier version of ultimate, which relies on all of our teammates to challenge opposing individuals. The wind picked up for this game, and it made them all the more effective. Our handlers were ready for the challenge, and we beat them 15-9. We had a bit of a losing streak against these guys, and it felt nice to… get those monkeys off our back.

We win our pool with a +34 goal differential over four games. The tournament includes pizzas from; you guessed it, Ramunto’s. The specialty slices that you get in the pizzeria are where it’s at, but the whole pies are pretty damn good.

We retire to the Days Inn. We brought a short roster, and everyone is wiped. We watch American Ninja Warrior, drink s’mores milkshakes and pass out watching Heath Ledeger portray the Joker.

Winning the pool, gives us a first round bye. First game’s not till 10:15AM. I am an early riser and get up around 6AM;  tip toe out of bed, and tap Soccer Tom (cartwheeling, bathsalt taking d-line cutter) so he can take my spot on the bed next to Stayfo (Andy deal with it, I slept next to Stayfo and watched over her with a slightly higher than normal saliva producing rate). Just joshing, I slept on top of the covers, and she slept under the mattress.

I bopped on down to the lobby for some coffee, and reading. One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. I realized while eating a Danish and drinking Days Inn’s excuse for coffee that I am nervous. It’s not often you get to win something in any athletic competition, and we are primed for it. Bida (lady defensive stud, former Cornell party captain, and SUNY Buffalo professor) comes down around 6:30AM to exchange emails with her students. We talk about how smart phones are ruining social skills, and I pile a few more continental breakfast-danishes/gallons off coffee down my gullet.

First game of the day is against the well disciplined likes of Darkwing. We’ve been running even with these guys for the past few years. We beat them 15-6 having a great conversion rate on defense, and not dawdling. At one point I fouled the hell out of one of their handlers trying to get open. We talked about it, and avoided what could have turned into a chippy game. Hat’s off to that guy, and their team.

Next are semifinals. What run through a championship bracket would be complete without running into Canadians that capitalize every letter in their uncreative team name.  SPAWN. They got in a deep game battle with us. They didn’t know Rocky (sleeps in a black t shirt, and jeans; a street fighting man) was insane. Also, Ian, and Candace (lady d line handler and boss of the skies) don’t play that shit, and never have played that shit. Our game; 15-9.These Canadians were spirited and the game was good. Given my overall experience with our neighbors from the North, I still say we’re blocking off the wrong border.

Rematch. Enough Monkeys surged through their bracket, after their loss to us on Saturday to meet us in the finals. We questioned whether on Saturday we were playing very well, or they were playing poorly, because we usually play each other tight. I think we have the answer to that question. First point of the game, I launch a hopeful inside out forehand as Rocky streaks deep. Rocky pulls out a huge Willy Mays style over the shoulder lay out catch and we all go nuts. The energy is great from this point out. We ride this wave to a bigger victory over the Monkeys than Saturday’s 15-9 game and win the tourney, with a final score of 15-6.

Then to Ramunto’s. I get two slices of white pizza, a slice of buffalo chicken, a slice of sausage, peppers, onion, and pepperoni, a bite of cannoli, and some meatlovers calzone.

Ian & I victory basking at Ramunto’s

On the ride home, I leave my wallet on top of the car, and realize this about 20 minutes out from Ramunto’s. We head back, and thanks to Stayfo’s intuition, she knows the exact location that it fell off. She thought she saw a bunch of leaves fall off the car. There it is. The stress of cancelling credit cards and getting another driver’s license dissipates, and I am left with the feeling of being a champ, that is gorged on pizza.

A good weekend.

Friday Blurb

August 2, 2013

Hi, yesterday the wind blew, the turf sucked, and the rain spritzed.

I have a tournament this weekend with Destructors. I’ll update ecw on Sunday evening or Monday. Have a nice weekend ya’ li’l red pistachios.

Tuesday Screech Owl

July 30, 2013

WHO does not approve of my hand treatment. World Health Organization + Owl Pun.

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I missed a solid stack of games. Doobs recapped with aplomb. What a novel idea; writing about the details of ultimate on an ultimate blog.  There will be more of him as the season winds down. Now I pound my swollen hand into a keyboard. Blogging through pain; #ectonation.

During Destructor’s second game of Ow My Knee I cut up line, caught the disc and a help defender came over and just flailed at me. He didn’t come close to the disc but he did wallop my throwing hand. I thought it was a bad fucking jam, like my Grandma’s preserves that are growing hair in the fridge. Sorry Gram, hope you never become internet competent enough to read this! The swelling went down, but the pain stayed. X-ray says: fractured fifth metacarpal.

I talked to the PA; mostly explaining ultimate, but a little bit about the fracture, and even less about why traffic circles are exploding in popularity off Northway exits. Two options. Splint it up now, making my hand immobile for six weeks; throwing my club season away. Or, I could see how I played on Monday, and if the pain is manageable, then fix it at some later and lesser inconvenient date.

I played Monday. Worked in all of my throws, had turnovers, but I’d chalk that up to not throwing a disc in three-ish weeks and not the injury. It can get uncomfortable, but I’ve been RICE’n like a Chinese yeoman, and seem to have a handle on it.

We won! The game was pretty sloppy. We both went zone. So the turns were a plenty.

Valentina is a zone destroyer, but we could only find her a handful of times in the middle of the field. When we did, we profited.  As Chris said,  “Get it to Valentina, so she can throw it up their guts.” Valentina rooted around in their guts. All our ladies were up in their guts.

At the end of the game, green gives these little Smirnoff bottles to MVP’s. This was really nice!

Pat served a one game suspension for yelling. The once maligned screamer did his time and was back on the field for our game. Pete is AUDA President, and played a hand in that suspension. I cited Strawberry several times for using a deafening tone that was shaking loose bedrock and creating sink holes all over the place. Based on that Pat precedent, Pete should be back in the league for the centennial.

That’s kind of controversial right? Send links around. I need to make up for some lost web traffic, when ecto was running at half speed due to my throbbing hand. That suspension was horse-hockey!

Will, our Destructor captain sent out a motivational email about our tourney this weekend. Gist is, it’s business time. Tourney this week. I’m ready. Money hand may look like its valuation is off the Greece economy, but you know what they say about the Greeks; hardworking people.

Lemon vs Swayze 07/22/13

July 22, 2013

My injured hand is keeping me off the field. Doobs brings you the following recap. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: I could be remembering things incorrectly, the game happened almost an hour ago.

6:15 rolls around, and Lemon Party has just 7 players.  Wild Bill, undoubtedly aware of that, pushes to start the game on time.  One of the few things I like more than winning is being punctual, so we started. 

Somehow, Lemon gets wind and the disc.  It wasn’t easy, but Lemon scored. By the time the point is over, David (of alien slaying fame) showed up. More Lemons would trickle in as the game went on, to the point where the number of subs on each team was about even.  

As a sign of things to come, Swayze quickly retaliated with a downwind huck to one of their many tall and fast players.  As someone who struggles in both categories, matching up on defense was a problem all game.

Lemon fired back with a hold on offense followed up by two consecutive breaks to put the score at 4-1 Lemon.  Blue Eyes called a timeout.

For the most part, the rest of the game was trading O-points, some with a lot of turnovers, some not.  Lemon would hold on O to go up by 3, Blue would hold on O to bring it to 2.  At around 10-7, Lemon broke to bring the lead to 4, but just a couple points later and Swayze held on O and broke back to bring it back to the 2-3 game. 

13-11 was a long, turnover filled point. Once we got about 30 yards outside of the endzone on out final possession, I tried very hard to turn the disc over, but Jim Jones refused to let me. Two consecutive touches resulted in me trying to hit difficult break throws, failing, and Jim making impressive layouts to save possession.  We got it to the goal line, and a Lemon threw a pass into traffic once again to Jim Jones, who not only lays out, but holds on despite Wild Bill living up to his name and truck sticking him. 

At 14-11, Blue scored somehow. However, it was all for naught.  Lemon got a downwinder at 14-12 and took advantage.  David hucked it early in the possession to Dylan, who was being covered by Sir Jacob Berger.  Berger, who played great defense on Dylan all game, came through once again by going up with authority and tipping the disc just before Dylan could come down with it.  Unfortunately for blue, Berger did not get enough of it. He mac’d it into the endzone, where Dylan made a great recovery after his jump and layed out to win the game, 15-12 Lemon.

Even though we had a good lead for most of the game, I felt that we were just one turnover away from losing.  We had a couple lucky bounces, and got some great throwing contributions from a few unlikely suspects.  

In the end, we gave the Arnold Palmer to Berger, who not only handled with confidence all game, but also did a great job running the gambit defensively, covering all positions from Dylan, a deep threat, to myself, not a deep threat.  Swayze gave the lemon to Jim Jones, whose three consecutive layouts really put the nail in the coffin.

POWER RANKINGS:
2) Pink

            They have a lot of players who are fast, a lot of players that can throw, and a lot of players that can play defense. They throw the most annoying straight up force ever and I don’t like playing against them.  They get the second spot.

3) Swayze

            Lemon squeezed out a 15-12 victory and they were missing two top handlers and a Bland. That is scary. They are 3rd in my power rankings.

4) Green

            Perhaps a bit weak at the top, green always finds a way to take advantage of one of their inevitable mismatches.  It is fitting that a team with so many well-rounded players sits in the middle of the rankings. 

5) Orange

            One day it seems like nothing you do it working, the next you aren’t quite sure why but you just won by 5.  Although they may seem to ride a few studs, the real key is how Steve Calabrese moves his chess pieces around during the game.  Down to 5th on record alone, they are not someone to write off come tournament time.

6) Red

            Too much turmoil in the roster is rough on the chemistry.  You just never know which professional player isn’t going to show up.  If they can get some consistent attendance, they will quickly rise up the standings.

I like to start off every game with an Ice Breaker, because if you don’t know someone’s name 13 games into the season it’s kind of embarrassing and this is a good way to avoid that.  Today’s icebreaker was simply a yes or no question: “Do you wear any clothing when you go to bed?”. 

Chime in with your answer in the comments!

Doobs Talks Shop

July 19, 2013
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Doobs and I chatted last week.

Below is a link to an unedited 21 minute video of our chat. There are full questions I left out in the edited version. Includes about 15 seconds when we were disconnected, and about 5 minutes of laughing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WyfcK69t1Y

Friday Racing Camels

July 19, 2013
tags:

Too hot to proofread, bear with me. Actually, it’s so hot, why don’t you bare with me.

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Which Anafi do you got your money on? I almost used the term”Camel Jockey” -literal; still racist.

PSVBE was damned to the uphill/downhill teeter-totter battle known as Dutch Field.

Our team is usually lively, but during the first half we kind of trudged along. Neery a jest was made. Most people on our team did not know Patrick Swayze passed a while ago. When I let it slip, they had to make up years of not mourning with  muted grief. My bad. Shaken to the core. First halves wait for no man. We found ourselves going through denial and acceptance instead of playing ultimate. Down 8-3 going into the break.

Katie ‘JMAC Tamer’ Kurtessis told of her struggles getting an A/C up four flights of stairs in her new apartment. An allegory that made us want to put the Fantanas in the cooler.

Second half, and we were back to the same fun bunch that makes PSVBE the best team to play on. Even if we lost, at least we did so in style. Liz, our nomination for Rookie of the Summer League bid through traffic when trying to force a turnover on Steve. A really fearless and inspirational play from someone that has been doing the ultimate thing for less than a year!

Vote Liz for rookie of the year. She was unable to make a pouty face for her AUDA nomination picture, but her other faces are pretty good. Vote for her.

The game also marked the return of a guy that looks like Buzzi from SUNYA SCAM.  I nicknamed him Buzzi, and I didn’t have to remember another name. Efficient and thoughtless. This is the first time he has showed up since the first game, because of a surprise, “I didn’t know I got in to grad school.”

The Doobs interview is almost done uploading. This post is about to get bumped minutes after it is up.

Tuesday Placeholder

July 16, 2013

I was not at the game yesterday. My hand was injured on the last point of Destructor’s second game during Ow My Knee.

Here’s what I’ve been told:

Marin threw a 50 yard backhand. Adam H threw to Siege often. We had trouble with zone o, and lost 15-13.

I’ll be there Thursday.

Going to update Ecto with all sorts of stuff tomorrow. I’ll put OMK to bed, put up the Doobs interview, do power rankings, and post our nominations for end of the season awards.

Mowed my Grandmother’s lawn under the harsh sun. I got paid in home cooking.