He Put Up When He Should Have Shut Up.

April 23, 2004

Here’s the situation, if you would bear with me for a bit.

  • I’m in the last disgusting, mucus-effusing stages of an industrious cold.
  • Typically, this unpleasant rhume is right on time for this year’s competitive Ultimate tryouts.
  • Being, as I’ve been recently (and I think rightly) called, a “shit disturber”, a few days ago I went over to the OCUA‘s Open Forum and disturbed some shit.

About aforementioned disturbed shit: Ultimate in this city has historically been pretty cliquey, and despite our enourmous rec-level base, scouting and player development hasn’t been taken very seriously. It’s a fun sport, and people at every level prefer playing with people they know and like; completely understandable, but not a system that lends itself to serious competition and one of the reasons that I think Ottawa teams have struggled on the competitive front for the last few years.

This year, though, I’m hopeful; there seems to be enough institutional change going on that my naive optimism, which we’ll call “David”, might be able to give my native cynicism, “Goliath”, a run for its money. The Phoenix organizers have a development team in Firebird and a long-term vision for the team, the Juce organizers (despite their bizzare, outlandish tryout) seem to be getting their acts together and, most importantly, all the other open and co-ed teams seem to have backed the hell off and given these guys priority.

I strongly doubt I’m going to make the Phoenix/Firebird cut; there were quite a few taller, faster guys on the field last night. But it’s great that there might be a process in place, from people who are serious about producing a championship-calibre team.

Now, more about me: I really didn’t want to go to tryouts. I’ve got two lungs full of disgusting viscous fluids, a throat full of sandpaper a head full of cotton. But talking a lot of trash and then not showing up is extraordinarily bad form, so off we go to the field. Where it was perfect weather for tryouts, especially if you, like me, happen to be dying of phlegm-lung – cold and windy.

During the drills, I got a lot of “You’re that guy who posted that thing to Open Forum” from guys I barely recognize. Heh. I’m not sure what to make of that. That was the sum of the conversation, too: introductions, followed by “You’re that guy who posted that thing to Open Forum.” “Yup.” “Hm.” Great. In my defense, you can’t disturb shit if there isn’t a fair bit of shit present. Those of you who are hoping to learn How To Win Friends And Influence People should probably go and read somebody else’s weblog.

Worse, I think, than “not showing up” is “showing up and being a total chump”, and I think I managed to avoid both of those things, but at no small price. Every single one of my limbs feels like they’re about to fall off. When I cough, my brain feels like it’s trying to bust out of my skull and catch the next flight to Mexico. It is actually physically straining to type. I’m going to have to rely on those parts of me that aren’t hurt to get me through the next tryouts, but I don’t think that you can play ultimate with only your lips and toes.

Sean wants to go climbing tonight. I’m considering paying the $10 just so that I can flop around on a padded floor.