Float like a butterfly, stung by a bee


Last year for the fall series, Brynne suggested we have secret psych-up buddies. Each teammate was assigned another teammate, whom s/he was to secretly inspire. This year, even without Brynne's inspiration, we did the same thing, with Steffi leading the charge (I think). For the most part, the women on the team are all excited about the idea, and the men are all fairly much down on the idea.

For the most part.

Last year, Paul had, I don't recall why, Gu packets clipped to his nipples and shorts, asking anyone if they wanted a shot of Gu. This year, Paul's psych-up buddy helped him to a repeat, providing clips and Gu. Paul obliged and asked the team, if anyone wanted a shot.

Oddly enough, some were willing. He had takers.

DanO had an inspirational buddy, who made sure he stayed hydrated with his very own adult sippy cup.

The most spectacular psych-up idea was, however, from Mark's buddy. She, and oh boy does it have to be a she because of the idea, and a player new this year, painted the Mischief logo (in this year's colors, not last year's colors, hence the belief she's new this season) on two paddle ball paddles. She then wrote up an instruction manual on the uses of the paddles: either as paddles in the game or, tied together around his broken hand, as a splint.

The instruction manual was both entertaining and well done. The gift was inspiring.

Doyle picked up the paddles and was walking around swinging them. Of course, when you swing, you hit things. Say, bees. And when you hit bees, you, uh, piss them off.

The frost in the morning had gotten my feet so wet that I had to do something to dry them. I was tired of their being damp and cold, so I took them off and was walking around barefoot as the socks were drying in the sun. I stepped over a couple bags on my way to sit down, avoiding a yellow jacket that was buzzing around the bags.

Except that I didn't.

And it stung me.

I jumped up, screaming and crying, brushing my foot where I had just been bitten. I tried to turn away from everyone, because I knew I had just made a fool of myself, with the screaming, and that my face was going to be a screwed up mess with the pain and tears. My teammates are awesome, though, and took care of me. I iced the foot, and didn't seem to have any swelling, which is a BIG change from the last bee sting, which caused my ankle to swell to the size of my knee.

I can't believe that even WITHOUT playing, I still manage to be injured.

Regionals first day


So far, what I've seen of Corvallis is nice. Seems to be a small(ish) town with lots of space not crammed full of buildings and houses and such. Not that I could tell much, though, as the windows were frosted so thick that I ended up driving straight through a red light (not a yellow light, not an orange light, a full on red light), much to my horror upon the realization.

My plan was, and always had been to use POUNDS for taking stats today, but the chaos of last night meant I wasn't able to finish the last input details. After dropping my carload of teammates off at the fields, I dashed back out to the nearest Safeway for paper, as I had tragically had forgotten not only my notebook, but all of my paper, and notecards and everything.

We were scheduled to play four games today. If we won our pool, we'd play semis in the last round, against Shazam if they also held seed.

As expected, the fields were pretty wonderful, but good lord so cold. I spent the whole bundled up in three or four layers, including DanO's wind jacket. Gillian was able to warm up somehow, a talent I wish I had.

The first game was against Night Train, whom we see every tournament practically, and certainly every Sectionals and most Regionals. Recognizing that we have a problem with morning games, the start of the first game in particular, the team came out on FIRE, going up 3-0 before Night Train woke up. We took the first half 8-2 and stupidly relaxed in the second half, barely winning the second half 7-6, for a final score of 15-8.

The second game was against Bozos, which has historically played better than their seeding. Realizing we had problems finishing the last game, we focused on finishing the second half in this game, taking the first half 8-1 and the second half 7-3. Better, but still not as good as we wanted. If we can play 8-1 in the first half, why not 7-1 in the second?

The third game was against Hunzinger Proxy, the first seed out of Oregon. The team is made up of Carleton Alums, and had crushed their opponents in their Sectionals. However, as Kris often says, just because you crush your opponents, doesn't mean you're any good ouside your section. Indeed. We took half 8-3 and won 15-5. On to semis.

Shazam, who are actually "Shazam Remains," had also held seed, so we were in Semis against them, with the other semis being D'oh and Mental Toss Flycoons, from Big Sky. The first part of the game was an uncomfortable frantic game, with no settling, as the one of Shazam's women kept hucking to another of Shazam's women who kept skying our women. Shazam took half 6-8 then scored the first point after half to take the score 6-9.

And then "the incident" happened. Close to the endzone we were defending, Steffi caught the disc, turned up field and threw to Chucky, who was fairly uncovered. A pick call had happened before Steffi's catch (but as the disc was in the air), and a couple people (in particular, the defender on Will), stopped playing. Steffi didn't hear the call, hence didn't acknowledge the call, so threw the disc to Chucky, who caught it. As in 11th edition rules, the disc stays with Chucky, as he wasn't involved in the pick.

Now, Will's defender began arguing the disc went back to Steffi. Everyone explained the rules to the guy, but he wanted nothing of it, the disc should go back he insisted. As near as we could tell, he had stopped playing, allowing a gap on Will, and he wanted to recover that gap. No, the disc stayed with Chucky, and when it was tapped in, Will turned to sprint deep.

Will's defender, a handler, which in this case meant "slower than Will, with less ups, but better throws," stepped into Will's path to stop his cut, a clearly illegal move, as well as unsportsmanlike, highly discouraged and dishonorable on the field. Will lost a step and was unable to catch the huck from Chucky.

On the turn, Will's opponent, picked up the disc, then turfed it. Chucky returned the favor by throwing away the disc, but the same opponent of Will's threw the disc away again, after calling a contested foul on Will. Chucky picked up the disc again, and threw a quick throw to Will for the score, as Will burned his opponent again.

Will, in his excitement, threw the disc at the ground, and missed. Instead of hitting the ground, he hit a Shazam woman standing 15 yards away. He immediately ran to apologize, but the whole endzone exploded into chaos. Someone asked if we were about to have a fist fight, a first for Mixed ultimate, but cooler heads prevailed, and both teams split to their sidelines.

We asked if Shazam wanted observers, but they declined. The pace of the game slowed, and we ended up outscoring them 9-4, and winning 15-12 on a throw from Kyle to Andy.

The win guaranteed our bid, and we're on our way to Nationals as the 1st, 2nd or 3rd seed from the Northwest.