Beware-O 11


I went out to the 11th annual Beware-o the Sombrero tournament this morning. The tournament registration started at 7:45 am, in the far East Bay, about a 45 minute drive away, prompting me to ask Kris, "WHY? WHY, OH, why do we get up earlier for ultimate than we do in real life? Why?"

He just laughed.

So, I sent the tournament director an email requesting late registration. Whoo-hoo! I started at 9:00 am instead of 8:00 am like everyone else, though I actually arrived at 9:15. Boo. I did manage a couple points in the first game, which we won.

We also won the second game. And the third. The third game was the most interesting, as one of the opponents was a Jam guy, and another one was a Slow White woman. I was surprised at how many people said, "Wow! She's good!" about the Slow White woman, as all I could see her do is huck the disc away. Sure, she could throw the disc far, but throwing a disc far is worthless if no one actually catches her throws. shrug

My teammates were a lot of fun. There was a Pleasure Town player, a few UCLA players, some local players that recognized me, Ellie (Adam Fagin's friend who sprained her ankle at the Sunnyvale Savage Seven tournament), and Immay! (that would be Jimmy Wang).

I ended up leaving after the third game. It was cold. It was wet. We had four other women. I hadn't dropped or thrown away the disc, so hey, leave on an up note. Jimmy sent me an update about the rest of the day:

Hi Kitt,

We won all of our pool play games and lost in the finals.

We had a tough game in round 5 against a team who was also undefeated.
We were trading points most of the game and was up by a break at the
half. We squeezed by 11 to 9 at the soft cap.

Game 6 was initially close, but we pulled away after the half. The
game ended on a sad note when one of their women was clobbered in the
back of the head by a poach D when she made the catch on a floaty
hospital pass.

The final was 11/7 or 11/6. We had taken half at 6/4, but then an
apparent score by us was called back by a pick that was seemingly not
involved in the play. We lost momentum and they went on a scoring
streak to win the game.

Glad you could come out,

The last Beware-o


Kris and I went up to San Carlos today to play in the tenth annual Beware-o the Sombrero tournament. We've been playing in the tournament since 1998, missing maybe two since then. The tournament was originally a high school only tournament, run by the group of high school kids on Christmas vacation, and morphed into a "you're home over Christmas break from college and have nothing better to do so comem play" one day tournament in subsequent years as the high schoolers moved on to college. They've since graduated and moved on to work or post graduate school or, as I found out today, the Peace Corps and missions and such. As a result of the inevitable march of time, this is the final year it'll be held, at least by under this name, with the ex-high school kids as organizers.

Good ideas last, so I expect another group to continue the tradition of the one day tournament the last week of December next year.

My team was led by Eric the Red. Eric managed all of three words before the experienced players (read: over 30) started talking over him. It was a little frustrating to see the toe stepping and hear the cacophony of the elders all wanting to be heard.

We played well as a team, familiarity and skill helping us along. I knew four people on the team (Dave, Sarah, Venga, Phelps), having played with them at various times before. We didn't have any beginners per se on the team, so people who had problems throwing in the wind were our weakest links; which is to say, we didn't really have any weak links.

We won our first three games handily, though not necessarily easily. The third game was against another 2-0 team in our pool. Oddly enough, we went up 9-0 on them before they scored their first point. They had four or five players on their team who played together at a local college, according to Emily who was on the team. Their coach was playing on my team. I suspect they intimidated themselves into playing poorly. The experience is going into my UCPC talk at the end of the month: "don't lose before you start playing."

Lunch of delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was after our first three games. We started late, and came out flat. One of our players, Phelps from San Diego, left after lunch, and his loss was quickly felt. The game capped when we were on our comeback, but not back, so we lost 6-7.

I played well. I had two throwaways, but neither mattered, as they were in games we won. My ankle held up very well, for which I am quite pleased. At one point, Dave McClure (who is no longer at SimplyHired, and is currently waiting the birth of his second child) commented to me, "There's no shame in wearing ankle braces for the rest of your life, if it means you can play."

I thought about it, and, have to agree. I can play with the brace on, and that's what counts.

I can play ultimate.



Or, how I had fun losing every game at Beware-o the Sombrero.

Off to a late start, I dashed up to San Mateo this morning to play in the 9th annual Beware-o the Sombrero tournament. Now, the "9th" part bothers me a bit, because I thought Kris and I attended the first one, which Dave, Joshua, Dan and Mike organized when they were still in high school. The tournament has since grown huge, is still well organized, and, well, the four of them are all out of college now. Time flies.

The problem I have with that ninth, is that I've been in the Bay Area only eight years, and with Kris only seven, so I couldn't have attended the first one if it was nine years (or rather eight years plus a few days) ago. So, either my counting or their counting is off, or we didn't go to the first one.

Kris and I arrived late to the first one, and so were baggaged together on Dave's team. We lost every game, and Dave introduced us to the term 'Sucky suck', as we were indeed on the sucky-suck team. We still use that term. Clearly.

I arrived late, having called Joshua earlier to tell him that Kris wasn't coming, and I would be late, in hopes we would be drafted (or not) appropriately. As I was figuring out which team I was on, a woman injured her ankle on the field I was crossing. Joshua placed me on that team to replace the injured woman. We eventually played the team I would have been on. The team I was on went 0-4 to reign sucky-suck. The team I would have been on went 4-0 and made it to at least the playoffs (I couldn't figure out if the first round of playoffs was quarters or semis). Ah, well, fire missiles!

The biggest "Huh?!?" moment happened between the first game, which we had just lost by two points, and the second game, which we would also lose by two points. There were two of us on the team that were older, where older is hereby defined as "out of college." The rest of the team was, indeed, all college and high school students. I'd say I felt old, but I didn't (even when I realized I was twice as old as one of the players, because those are wiley veteran years, my child!). So, the other "old" guy said in the team huddle, "I hear we're going to run a dump that just stands there behind the thrower. He doesn't do anything until the count of five; he just stands there." The entire rest of the team answers, "Yes." To which he responds, "But I've never heard of that before."


Blink. Blink.

The player may have been old, but he clearly hasn't played the game.

I played fairly lackluster. Nothing in my game particularly stood out. In the last game we played, against another team that was also 0-3, I kept guarding the same woman. After her throwing the goal or the assist in the first three points I covered her, I became annoyed, and decided she wasn't going to touch the disc again while I was covering her. She didn't. And based on her grunts while cutting, I'm guessing it was starting to frustrate her. shrug You can't get better if you don't play against better competition.

We did end up losing all our games. According to Dan K, whom I caught up with on my way across the fields to lunch (in one of my Kris-defined social butterfly moments), the advanced male players were distributed on teams 1-12 in order, with the female advanced players distributed along the same path, giving team A the top male and female players, team B with the second top pair, etc. Unfortunately, there weren't 12 advanced male and female players, so later teams (I was on team H) had no advanced players. The team I would have played on was supposed to have Kris and me, and did fairly well without us.

(Fists to sky, looking up) We would have crushed! Bwa ha ha ha!

I had a really good time, despite the score and the losses. I played with Scoops (she would tell people she could juggle ice cream scoops) and Andrea, from Berkeley, as well as Jeff (Venga) from UCSD (even managed to be an honorary squid for a game), who had come to a Mischief track workout earlier this year. I also met many other up and coming players, some of whom I'm sure I'll see on the College Champies videos in future years.

And so that I have the memory connection down, Scoops was on the opposing team for the first game I played in two years ago at Beware-o the Sombrero. She was on Ben Wiggins' team, and had come off the field on one point frustrated that she was unable to play strong defense against me (i.e. I had worked her over that point). Ben was very encouraging. Scoops' playing has come a long way since that game two years ago. I don't know her real name, but she's tallish, blonde hair, wore glasses this year and has a younger brother Jacob, who barely missed catching a huck I threw this year..