Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Boston Invitational 2008 - Ugh!

So, Jim covered the debacle in some detail over here. I'm not sure what I really have to add to that with respect to actual sequence of events.

On a personal level, I think that Saturday was the most devastating day of ultimate that I have ever been involved with. When all is said and done, we only lost one game that we feel we should have won (against Gunslingers, who we had beaten prior, and who lost to Tombstone whom we had beaten...). Hopefully we will be scheduling a scrimmage with them in a couple of weeks to win the rubber match.

However, it was the nature of the losses that really hurt. It was dispiriting to not be able to adjust in ANY of those games to turn anything around. In the huddles people were saying all the right things (mostly), we were trying to make adjustments, but it was just a continual litany of individual mistakes on offense and defense. The defense was exposed early in the Tombstone game as, even though we won, our various transition junk defenses had huge gaps in them as people were missing their assignments. Throwers remaining unmarked a couple of passes in for almost 10 seconds in a 5 pass clam, which is incredibly unacceptable, and this happened more than once. Being beat deep when playing junk way too much. The whole point of junk is that you have a safety that is supposed to eliminate the deep throw. And it didn't get any better in the subsequent games.

The offense had very little flow, and the other team almost never truly 'earned' the turnover. It was typically poor throw selection, the occasional art, uncharacteristic drops, pretty much think of something offensively bad, and we were doing it. Hell, I even had a bad turnover against a zone on a stupid bladey huck to Zip(?). Been awhile since one of my zone throws had been so easily d'ed. Basically, people were trying to do too much, or too little, or everything but playing the 'DoG' way. About the one good thing that came out of this tournament was when we realized that there would be no Saturday games during Worlds (starts on Sunday, ends on Friday for Masters), which means if we can blame our last two incredibly lame days on it being saturday (masters easterns also) then we should be good to go for worlds, at least psychologically...

What is more valuable in playing a tournament like this is the wakeup call for Worlds. As Jim says, we are no longer able to either coast or just turn it up when we need to. We have to play intense pretty much all the time to have a chance. A little depressing, but that's what happens when you get old. I guess I should be happy that I'm still able to play at all.

And, of course, we had a glimmer of hope after Sunday play. We played much better both defensively and offensively, and did a better job of taking what we were given, although we still scored deep a bunch. At least 2 of the 3 longish throws that Jim caught for goals over Korber, as each one was being released I was saying to myself, Noooooooo! And each one JUST missed John's outstretched fingers. Korber took me out at one point on a poach D attempt. I fell over and cracked my head on the ground and took an injury sub. As predicted, my neck was brutally sore the next day and even now is still pretty stiff.

Interestingly enough, I didn't end up throwing any hammers on Sunday after having thrown at least 20 on Saturday. Draw whatever conclusions you will from this...

One month to Worlds!

Read more!