Strangely enough, we're starting to have ugly games. This surprises me, because we don't intend to have bad games: some call or incident will set us off, and snip snip snip, we become little children calling tit-for-tat.
I feel we're becoming the Donner Party of this year: seemingly spirited to outside observers, but horrible to play against.
Today's game was against Night Train started fine. We were on fire, on a roll, and playing hard. If two points can be called a roll, that is.
A NT throw then went up, and, as it flew out of bounds on a trajectory that would bring it back inbounds to a player streaking deep, it hit an out-of-bound player standing over 8 feet outside the sidelines. The trajectory changed, and the disc landed out of bounds, short of the player running deep. A player on NT freaked out, and immediatelly yelled violation, and demanded the disc back.
Now, any ultimate player who knows the rules (speaking of tenth edition rules) knows that any contact with an out-of-bound object makes the disc out of bounds. That object can be a tree, a fence, the ground or a person. Any contact, even if the disc comes back in bounds, makes the disc out-of-bounds, and possession switches to the other team.
The NT player, who we shall name Mel, because that's her name, however, insisted on the violation, and demanded the disc back. Kyle asked me for my rule book, which I handed to him after showing him the rules, and he dashed over to the sideline, to explain to her she was wrong.
She was insistent. She was upset at the turn-over and, despite the inaccuracy of her call, refused to budge. And that's putting it mildly because I'm trying not to curse. I stayed out of the argument (yay me!), but it was hard.
Hard because of our history.
Six years ago, I was playing on Special K, and she was playing on a team called Mirage. Mirage entered sectionals (of 22 teams) seeded last, even though they knew they should be seeded much higher (they finished ninth). During this game, Mel and I had issues, then words, which turned ugly and I called her a fraggin' biotch (using real words). Her team was up about 12-5 on our team, game to 15 at the point of this altercation.
She flipped out, and spent the next many points on the sideline. I took myself out of the game because I was so unbelievably angry I wouldn't be able to play well. I was silent on the sideline. She was not. She began a litany of verbal abuse, complaining to every teammate who would listen, ranting about how our altercation. I went to the other sideline, fuming,
and stayed out of the game.
After a few points, Mel went back in the game, and proceeded to turn over huck after throw after throw. Our score climbed, while their score stagnated. Before long, we were back in them, and just after that, our score was tied. Two points later, we were up 14-12. I went in.
Play this, play that, Mel on Lisa, Lisa went long for a huck, and I trailed her cut by a few yards. Lisa caught the disc just outside the endzone, and turned to throw an easy pass to me in the endzone. I caught it, then raised my arms up in victory: our team was going to Regionals for the first time! Exciting!
For seasons after this incident, Mel and I ignored each other during games, avoiding anything but the most cordial of "Good game." during the end-of-game line walks. Last year was truly the first season I had no ill feelings to her, or felt any from her. I no longer know if she remembers the incident.
Today, however, was hard, watching her complain about a rule. She's been playing ultimate long enough to know the rules. She should have known better.
We won the game 15-8 in a remaining ugly game of tit-for-tat and unreasonable calls ("You fouled me." "I contest." "You hit my leg, that's a foul." "Yes, I hit your leg. I'm still contesting." "You know the rules say contact is a foul." "I know the rules." "You don't, because you hit my leg." "Yes, I hit your leg, I contest the foul" - actual conversation with another player and Kyle), but the team is now on our ask-for-observers play list.