Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Black or White.

It appears I'm on some sort of a color kick with these last two posts.

This weekend RAZE (my clique team) played in the second round of the WAFC playoffs. Generally an unpleasant experience. I found the other team annoying, generally unpleasant. Our team came out flat, and played poorly. The weather threatened rain all day...basically it wasn't much fun. It was, however, made that much worse by the asshole-ity of the other team. Several examples come to mind the most illustrative is this.

They chose to wear white and so we were red. One person on our team wore a black jersey because he didn't have a red. Midway through the first half one of their guys puts up an ill advised throw and it gets D'ed by our guy who is wearing a black jersey. The thrower comes up to me and says, "Can you have him change into a red?" I was incredulous and asked, "Because it's too hard to tell his black jersey from your team's whites?" and he said, "Yes."

To recap, this guy was having trouble distinguishing between his player's white jersey and my teamates black. Granted, I'd rather that we were all in red, no doubt about that, but to complain that you turned it over because you confused a black jersey for white is just moronic.

The other telling instance from the game came on game point. One of their players fell and caught the disc, and thinking he was in the endzone sprinted around, spiked the disc and began screaming and gesturing like he'd won the World Championship of Greatness and the Nobel Prize for Awesomeness in the Field of Coolness. Several problems:

1) COORDINATION He fell down while catching the disc, no layout, no jump. Dude was barely able to manage the dual tasks of motion and catching without great failure.

2) COMPETITION He caught the winning score in a quarterfinal game in clique B league, in Washington DC. A quarter final game in a secondary level league, in a tertiary or worse level region. To further illustrate the arrogance, think of the clip of Jordan celebrating his game winning shot over Craig Ehlo. But instead of it being the NBA playoffs, imagine if you acted like that when you beat your friends playing miniature golf in 7th grade.

3) RESPECT You don't spike in Clique League, and certainly not in a game where the final score is 15-10. It was neither close nor terribly dramatic. But to spike and galavant around is just poor sportsmanship. This is the same player who earlier in the game grabbed and took hold of the disc when I faked a throw. He just reached out and grabbed the disc. A clear violation. I called him on it and his response was (maybe he was joking, I couldn't tell) "You put it in my hand."

4) REALITY He wasn't in the endzone. That's right, dude decides to behave like a moron and disrespect everyone...and doesn't have the courtesy to actually score. Instead he falls down, gets up and runs around, spikes the disc and carries on like a crazy man -- only, he never, at any point, reached the endzone, didn't even run into it. So our sideline calls turnover. He did, afterall, drop/throw the disc so we gain possession where he spiked the disc.

To further explain how annoying his team was, their sidelines were shouting that we shouldn't get possession because before spiking it he travelled. I called back, being a bit saucy myself, "It's alright, we never called travel, so we'll just take the turnover. But thanks for your concern."

All in all a frustrating game and a sad one. I love ultimate. I love the idea of ultimate. But I find myself playing more and more games with people who behave rudely, crassly or are just plain violent. It's sad. I don't know what I can do about it, but I miss the game I fell in love with. The game where there's more pressure to do the right thing than to win. I still get yelled at by my sidelines for calling myself out of bounds too often. I figure I'd rather win without any qusetion as to my honor, and if I can't win that way then I guess I have to train harder. Sadly that ethic seems in danger. Makes me sad.

I guess as games become more competitive and players more aggressive it becomes harder to see that line. It's harder to tell when you're in bounds (literally and metaphorically). The line is being blurred, what was once as clear as black and white is now harder to see.

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