Patrick Hard used to play for a top Open team, Ring of Fire, which played in the finals of the 2002 Club Championships. Watching the various videos of him and his team, many people would say something to the effect of Patrick's being one of the, if not the, top players on the team. I recall phrases like "carried the team to..." in reference to Patrick and the team. Not only is he that good of an ultimate player, but he's that good regardless. One of the good people I like in my life, if only at the edges.
Patrick plays Mixed ultimate these days. When asked why he switched, he said, "because I don't like the person I become when I play Open." I think he was 22 when I first heard him say that, and was impressed with the wisdom and maturity of the statement. Had I known Patrick, I wouldn't have been surprised (see above reference to "good people").
Today at Regionals, I had an incident where I can honestly say, I don't like the person I've become, at least not the person on the sidelines who can't play in the game. In my lowest moment of the weekend, I acted in a completely and totally inappropriate manner on the sidelines, and I'm embarrassed about it.
Worse, I don't know how to fix it.
The incident occurred during the Golden Spike game. It was our second game of the day, after a bye, having won our first game today against Mentaltoss Flycoons, 11-10 (ooooo, tight game!). Our game yesterday against Golden Spike wasn't exactly a clean game, which is to say it was really ugly, so Kris asked Joshua Greenough, Brass Monkey's captain, and Steve Finn, Shazam Returns' captain, both of who were playing in the finals, if we could have the observers for our game. Joshua said yes. Steve said yes. We had observers.
This was good.
Various points happened, the score wasn't close (we would end up winning 15-6, breaking their spirit in the process), when Wade and a Golden Spike guy are going hard to a disc that was hucked close to the sideline where I was standing, which was close to the endzone. The two were running full sprint, with Wade on the inside, his opponent downfield one step. Wade laid out just before the other guy did, and knocked the disc away. They both landed in a heap on the ground directly in front of me. I was no more than 15 feet from the whole event. The Golden Spike player called foul, which threw Wade into a fit. "WHAT? I got there first! I hit it away!" Wade contested the foul call and threw the disc back. Both players were incredibly fired up, with the Golden Spike guy cutting hard to get open, and Wade not giving him an inch.
Meanwhile, I was on the sidelines momentarily dumbstruck at the foul call on Wade's spectacular play. But only momentarily.
Heckling of the Golden Spike would not have been out of line at that moment. Neither would expressing my incredulity at the call. Maybe a boo here or there would have been okay.
What came out of my mouth, however, was not okay.
I started screaming from the sidelines incoherent, but clearly nasty words at the Golden Spike guy. I recall looking down at my coat, thankful that you couldn't tell what team I was on, as I continued with my rage. I vaguely recall Andy looking over at me, staring for a bit, then edging away at the crazed spectator that looked like his teammate, but wasn't acting like her.
I suspect (hope beyond hope?) very few people actually heard me, and if they did, they didn't associate me with my team. However, fundamentally, I'm completely and totally embarrassed of and mortified by my actions. Life really should come with a big UNDO button. Or at least an 8 second rewind, do over, contest.
When the game was over, I noticed a Golden Spike woman crying. They had just lost their second game to go to Nationals. I was reminded of Kris' and my Rippit season where we lost the game to go to Donner Party, then the next game to go to Red Fish Blue Fish, then the last game to go to BST, whom we had beaten the first game of the day. My first thought was, "Hey, they just pulled a Rippit!" Golden Spike was about to play Mentaltoss Flycoons for fourth place and final slot to go to Nationals. They had never beaten Flycoons, and, after their game with us, they weren't going to today.
My second thought as I walked over to the start of our next game against Brass Monkey was, "You didn't really think you were going to Nationals, did you?"
Kris' thought was, "Move over, let the adults play now."
We beat Brass Monkey 14-9, for the second seed at Nationals. Taking the easy road to get there.