Sunday, June 08, 2008

Once more unto the breach

So, we just finished up Masters Easterns locally at Fort Devens this weekend. I was going to write something about the White Mountain Open, but Jim ably covered it over here. Before I get into the masters tournament though, I do want to mention one thing about WMO.

I won the party baby! And no, not my team. I won it by myself. After the last game Saturday, I followed Jim and his family to their hotel up the street to take a shower. Munched on some of his spaghetti and red sauce, had a beer, then went off to find the party that Seigs had told me about. It was a gathering of Dartmouth alums with some stringers. I had no lodging coming into the tournament. I had brought a couple of Therma-rests, and was planning to sleep in my car if nothing turned up (I had Jim bring a sleeping bag for me as mine disappeared years ago and I haven't gotten around to replacing it). It was a nice night, if somewhat cool. They had a beer pong table set up in back, and they were playing beerfris on the side driveway where most of the people were hanging out. Ipod speaker setup, a keg of good beer, some 30packs of cans, and you have a party. I played one game of beerfris but got spanked by the team that held court for almost the entire night. I'm not sure they ever lost. There were a couple of rounds of shot guns. I naturally held court on that, probably halving the time of the next fastest gunner. It is not up to least 15 years since I have last lost a shotgun. Hey, have to be good at something, right? As the party moved into late night, they started serving up hot dogs with all the fixings and various other snacks. Yum! Finally, we had petered out to 5 people left. There was some talk about trying to kick the keg. We did a few rounds of keg stands. I crushed that, checking in at 18 and 15 seconds. Then we moved the house next door and slept on the couches. A perfect night.

Of course, when I woke up, I should have drunk at least a gallon of water. Because I didn't, I was dehydrated, and as usual, my calf betrayed me late in the first half of the first game and I was out. I was the stupid idiot that Jim referred to in his entry. But enough of WMO. On to Masters Easterns.

This tournament was a tale of two teams. As of a couple of weeks ago, it wasn'[t even certain that this tournament was going to happen because of low response. We were stuck at around 3 to 4 teams. Funnily enough, we had offered to try and split into two teams. Otherwise Jim and I were going to enter a Tea Party time into the mixed division to at least make sure that we got some playing time. Fortunately they were able to talk OLDSAG into making the trip up from Philly and we ended up with 5 teams. OLDSAG didn't want us to split into two teams. Of course, once we ended up with maybe 15 players on Saturday and 12 players on Sunday, that makes the whole two team effort comical.

We were the one seed of five, with 4 straight games starting at 8:30 Saturday morning. Our first game was against a team from Halifax, Nova Scotia. At one point during the game, I asked them how long it had taken them to drive down, to which he responded that they had all flown, because it was a 14 hour drive. Wow, talk about the middle of nowhere. They had great spirit despite the spanking we administered. After the game, they all came over to our sideline to 'administer' a shot of some really nice scotch whose name I don't remember. They picked Marshall Goff, and then starting chanting breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, repeat. And a good morning to you Marshall. Maybe that's what set up our next game against OLDSAG. We had heard that they were still a little bitter about their quarterfinal loss to us at nationals. This game started chippy, and continued mostly chippy throughout the morning. They jumped to an early lead as our first game had not prepared us for real defense, and our offense was playing sloppy anyway. They ended up taking the first half 8-5 and it only got worse in the second. They ended up walking away with a 15-9 victory.

Round 3 was against Mt. Crushmore. Nothing remarkable about this game except for the fact that it was WAY too close, as we 'pulled' away to a 15-12 victory. This set up our last round game with Above & Beyond. Still smarting from our offseason acquisition of Arnold Sanchez (!???!?!! maybe not), they were eager to prove they didn't need him. Well, after they went up 5-0, it was pretty clear they didn't. It didn't get any better as the game went on, and we ended up losing 15-8. We got beaten in pretty much every aspect of the game as they ran right through us.

After the last game, a few of us went to the Devens Grill right next door for a couple of cold ones. Then Dennis McCarthy (YES, HE ACTUALLY SHOWED FOR TWO GAMES) and I drove directly up to Portsmouth to party. We ended up closing the town at the Red Door after stints at the decks and the sports bar by the parking garage. However, this time when I got on the road at 9:15, I stopped by a gas station, filled up the tank and purchased a large gatorade and a water and finished them as I got to the fields 5 minutes before our first game. I actually had to pee before the game started. Also, my massage guy Russ had recommended Endurolytes, an electrolyte replacement capsule after he rehabbed my calf. I bought those on Friday and popped them all day Saturday. Even though my OTHER calf seized up on Saturday, it wasn't bad enough to keep me out, although I was terrified I was out for the tournament. It's still there, but it mostly faded by the end. I was pounding the Endurolytes, ibuprofen and water all day Saturday.

That was Saturday.

We lost 5 players from Saturday and picked up 2 (or something along those lines). We ended up playing with 12 on Sunday. Oh, and I forgot to mention that on both days, it was disgustingly hot, well over 90 and humid. That definitely contributed to a lull in energy. Fortunately we had some shade trees, although a little far from the field. That didn't prevent people from taking their subs under the trees and not helping on the sideline. Our first game was against A&B in the 2-3 game. The winner would go on to play OLDSAG in the finals while the loser would play down to the 4-5 winner. After yesterdays performance along with our reduced numbers, I wasn't expecting much. It sort of felt like '95, when we lost to NYNY 17-6 in the finals at regionals, and went to nationals just hoping not to embarrass ourselves, much less defend our title. We started on offense and had to grind, but scored. This time it was our turn as we went up huge, maybe 4-0 or something like that (all these games are starting to run together, maybe that was round 2). Regardless, the energy was completely different today. While we were subdued after the previous day, we played hard, actually got a lot of defenses instead of waiting for the other team to turn it over. Our offense, while not flawless, was night and day from Saturday. We kept the disc moving, throwing to open people, taking advantage of poaches, actually had a deep game, which opened up the short game. Of the 30 points or so of defense off the pull, we played straight man-to-man less than 5 times. It was transition D almost every point, and for whatever reason, it worked. The personnel we had today was definitely a lot of vintage DoG, or people that had played a lot with us so definitely were with the program. We ended up finishing the buzzsaw 15-8, setting up a final match against OLDSAG, who rolled out to the fields at maybe 12PM. They were pleased to be playing against in the finals, and this game was much cleaner than Saturday. And the success we had against A&B continued into this game. OLDSAG definitely started off slow. It was this game that we jumped out to the 4-0 lead as they were turning it over early and often and playing poor D. We took half 8-4, then they received to start the second half. 8-6, 11-6, and then traded out with a few more breaks to take the tournament 15-8. During the lineup after, they expressed that while they were not happy about losing, they were definitely pleased that we had turned it around from the previous day and looked much better for worlds, although we still have a lot of work to do to try and avoid embarrassing ourselves.

Oh yeah, and we decided to cut the remaining 50 people from the team and we are going to Worlds with just those 12 from Sunday...

While tempting, and useful for practice trash talking, just kidding.

I'm particularly thrilled that my calves held up the entire weekend, especially after the scare from my right calf early Saturday. The main reason I didn't want to hurt my calf was actually not for this weekend, but the upcoming weekend in Versailles OH. I will be attending my first Poultry Days tournament and I am VERY excited. I had tickets to go maybe 6 years ago, but pulled up lame a few weeks before the tournament with a bruised heel. As my career winds down, I'm working on my ultimate tournament bucket list. Feel free to suggest other tournaments. I will be playing with the Greff brothers on the Breasts & Thighs team. Hope to see you out there.


Blogger The Pulse said...

That team from Halifax is called Scotch. Fitting. It was my turn in the kilt with the scotch last year at Montreal Jazz Fest.

8:18 PM, June 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah and the scotch was Balvenie byatch

11:35 PM, June 09, 2008  
Blogger notadeepthreat said...

There were a couple of rounds of shot guns. I naturally held court on that, probably halving the time of the next fastest gunner. It is not up to least 15 years since I have last lost a shotgun. Hey, have to be good at something, right?

1 - Rule the gun, don't let the gun rule you.
2 - Gravity is your friend.
3 - It's not a race.

Is Potlatch on your bucket list this year? I'd say hi at Poultry Days, but I'll be at a wedding. Have fun! And don't "fall" in the lake...


2:01 PM, June 10, 2008  
Blogger Alex de Frondeville said...

1 - yes
2 - yes, although sucking the beer out as opposed to letting it flow out is the only solution for speed.
3 - Um, you're shitting me, right? Read my little paean to competitiveness here

I would love to go to Potlatch, but I can only do the bicoastal trip so many times in a year. With Vancouver already on the horizon for Worlds, I won't be able to make it out for Potlatch, but definitely on the bucket list.

2:38 PM, June 10, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Mars?

a must-attend as far as I'm concerned.

4:48 PM, June 11, 2008  
Blogger Alex de Frondeville said...

I did Mars once late '90s early '00s. I played with Jim Parinella's team the Throbbers and we lost in the semis I think to the eventual winner. A stacked team with Matt Greff, AJ, and a bunch of good women. I remember the actual night of the 4th, Jordan were the last 2 at the fields and we set up our lawn chairs and kept drinking as we watched the fireworks breaking over the mountains. AWESEOME tournament.

7:08 PM, June 11, 2008  

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