Ultimate is weird. Even at the elite college level. Whenever we saw or heard something noteworthy, we wrote it at the end of our notebook. These are the back pages.
April 23, 2019 by Daniel Prentice and Charlie Eisenhood in Other with 0 comments
Editor’s Note: This article contains NSFW language.
Let’s get it right out of the way. We aren’t Tad. We’re sure this will be a huge disappointment for all of you — seriously, so many people asked about Tad at Warm Up and requested to be in the back pages this year — and we’ll probably be both Trashes on Sin The Fields. We’re also trash for taking forever to publish this.
But whatever. It isn’t our fault that Tad finally decided to be an adult and not take 3-4 days out of his life to cover Warm Up. Weird, funny stuff still happened, so we did our best to carry on the tradition for the people and in Tad’s honor. If you can’t appreciate that, well, I’m sorry.
One of the best things about covering ultimate is the access we get as reporters. Being right, smack dab on the sidelines, you get to see and hear things you’d never get to witness covering major sports. Here are some of the more memorable quotes and interactions we saw from coaches and players over the weekend:
After Rutgers gave up a blown coverage goal early in one of their first games of the weekend, one of the team’s veterans players came back to the sideline a little heated. “Who’s man was that?” he asked, about five times, increasingly agitated each time. “Really? No one’s gonna fess up to it!?”
You could feel the fear in his presumably younger teammates. They’d sooner quit the team than fess up that they were the one to make the mistake, and face the full wrath of Captain Aggro. Those inexperienced players stayed strong, though, and Aggro, defeated, and perhaps realizing he’d maybe gone a little overboard, sighed, “We’ve got to communicate better,” and walked away.
An anonymous assistant coach to the other members of the coaching staff on the team’s outlook for 2020: “I’m already thinking about quitting this year. We are going to be so bad next year.”
A scene from Friday morning:
Another anonymous assistant coach of a different team gives very specific directions to his player on how to pull with a pretty sturdy tailwind.
Player completely ignores instructions, jacks the pull miles out of the back of the endzone.
Player turns to the coach with a wry smile and flexes the double gun show to him.
Coach: “You aren’t strong; you’re just stupid!”
“Oh yeah, look at that handler defense!” shouted a player from the sideline, as Carleton proceeded to go dominator all the way into the endzone for the score.
“You’ve got to eat a bite of the lettuce!” – BYU player holding a head of lettuce to a teammate that had just scored
A cheer heard after an OB pull: “[Name] has trouble with *clap* boundaries!”
Warm Up, As Told By Photos
Michigan’s Raymond Lu broke his right wrist at U24 tryouts, but was still out there at Warm Up absolutely ballin’. He was starting on the O-line, his arm clad in bubblewrap armor,1 catching unders and hitting throws downfield with his off hand. It was a beautiful combination of perseverance and college recklessness that will make Lu a Magnum legend for years to come.
One of Michigan’s early opponents made the mistake of doubting our young hero’s resolve. “You have the advantage, Isaac!” their sideline yelled to the player tasked with covering Lu. “He only has one hand! You have two!” Lu then proceeded to roast Isaac with a quick jab step, caught the pass, hit a quick continue, and Michigan promptly scored.
The weekend got off to a rough start for Team Ultiworld. Charlie had issues with the camera to start the tournament, so we couldn’t film the first round matchup between Harvard and Oklahoma. When informed of this, a few Oklahoma players were, understandably, saddened. They’d been looking forward to some sweet air time for days!
But all the credit to them in the world, they killed us with kindness by giving us these Valentines treats, that featured a nod to an old classic while also being poignant.
Apparently it’s a Tufts tradition to give their rookies really terrible haircuts. “It’s borderline hazing,” said the man with a mustache cut into the back of his head, before his veteran teammates quickly hushed him. These cuts were all done by a single teammate, who introduced himself as Munch. Or Brunch, or Lunch, or something like that. He was very proud all three of these dos, but if I had to pick I favorite, I think it’s the Moe from The Three Stooges bowl cut for me.
While talking to these fine young gentlemen, another one of their teammates made the claim Tufts player Hakeem Adeyemi is the fastest player in college ultimate on their team, and that I should include it in the back pages. “Who else would be close to him, do you think?” I asked. He pauses. “Xander……uh, from Oregon? Actually I don’t know many other college ultimate players, but he’s really fast.”
Also of note were Tufts’ cotton tee jerseys. They all had the slack logo spray painted on the front. “What’s with the slack jerseys?”
“We really like Slack.”
At the end of a long tournament, most players’ minds go to one place: food. For most teams, that usually means ambushing a Chipotle or something. But not Wisconsin, no. As we trod to our car to leave the fields on Sunday, we saw these Wisco parents grillin’ up burgers and corn for the team right outside the parking lot. We had so many questions. Where the hell did they get the grill? Did they rent it or buy it for just the weekend? Are there parents in Florida who sent their kids up to Wisconsin for college? As reporters, maybe it was our job to find these things out, but at the end of a long weekend, we were just miffed to not be offered any.
Virginia Tech Sideline Scenes
A Virginia Tech player faked a flick so hard that he dropped the disc. Looking to fast break, his Florida State opponent picked up the disc and looked to send it long, but got so brutally footblocked that the disc went 15 feet straight up in the air. Fin.
A Tech player got fouled pretty hard on a catch attempt. Immediately, he got up and “threw the flag” like an NFL referee in his opponent’s face. DPI, no doubt. Good call, ref.
The bubblewrap was for protecting other players, apparently. “I can’t break my wrist anymore than it is. I probably need surgery. I just don’t want to hurt anyone else,” he said. ↩