Friday, April 11, 2008

Your Moment of Zen

The magic of YouTube transports us back to a simpler, more innocent time of Ultimate Frisbee at Penn State, before it became the huge corporate monster of today. Gaze upon this glorious documentary from 1992, the tie dye, the Umbro shorts, the Carlton Banks sweaters! To fully immerse yourself in the time, this is best appreciated while listening to your album of Slanted and Enchanted, 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of... or Blind Melon.

I think it would be a shame, for example if Penn State, not to criticize, if any university would hire a coach. In my mind, it’s a great benefit for one of our players taking over coaching responsibilities himself. It helps that individual develop as a person a lot and it certainly can inspire the team, because it remains a group effort, a team effort, rather than something being coerced upon you by an authority figure.


Pete the Streak said...

Now, you can hear from a REAL old-timer......

I was introduced to Ultimate as a frosh in '74. We were mostly a group of former HS jocks not talented enough to play Division 1 anything.

In those days, Rutgers ruled the Ultimate world, which stands to reason, I suppose, as the game originated in New Jersey. However, we loved the game, worked hard, consumed mass quantities of both performance-enhancing and performance-degrading substances, and by '76 had reached the semis of the Eastern Ultimate Championships, falling to eventual champ Rutgers by a VERY close score.

We put it all together in '77, knocking off the Rutgers Beast in Easterns at Hampshire College to win it. That year, Wham-O decided a World Championship would be in their best interests, so they flew us out to LA for a week to participate in the annual World Frisbee Championships against the Western Champs, Santa Barbara, in the Rose Bowl. It was Ultimate's first presence in the event. That's the good news.

The bad news? The event was in August, which meant we had zero team practices - or any kind of conditioning - for over 2 months. The first we saw of each other was at JFK for the flight out.

Of course, this was a Major Party for us, and we made the most of it.
The game itself didn't work out so well. We were by far the superior Ultimate team, but endurance is a huge part of the game. Think soccer type pace of play, only with everyone involved all the time. We jumped out to a 13-3 lead, only to have the drugs begin to take effect. The wrong drugs. Anyway, as we could no longer breath without pain, we promptly got outscored about 20-1, and got smoked.

Great time, tho. We even were featured on ABC's Wide World of Sports in a 5 minute segment. Our 5Minutes of Fame.

Interestingly, we had our 30 year '77 Rose Bowl Ultimate Reunion just last summer in State College, getting lubed on margaritas at Mad Mex. (We held the 30 year event after only 29 years, as we weren't sure we'd all hang on another year).

Just consider how OLD we are, as that vintage video was filmed 15 years after our glorious run.

Pete the Streak said...

By the way - the preceding post was about Penn State Ultimate. Not sure how forgot to get that in there.

Old age suqz.

Pete the Streak said...

Oh, wait - the reunion was TWO years ago. 2006. Hmm.........

It WAS, tho, at Mad Mex, and the margaritas WERE excellent. I know I have that part right.

Damn - getting old REALLY sux.