Stall 9: The Hammer Terrifies Rachel McAdams

Why do ultimate players care so much when a real-life celebrity has played or watched or even just sort of loosely thought about ultimate at some point in their lives?

Photo: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With ultimate still on its pandemic-induced hiatus, our new “Stall 9” column is an opportunity for Ultiworld staff members to share random opinions or reflections on what they’re thinking about or miss most from the sport. Just as is the case when the stall count reaches 9, anything goes.

“‘The hammer terrifies me,’ says Rachel McAdams, referring to a powerful overhead Frisbee throw and not the tool,” says a 2005 article in Maclean’s, referring to rising Hollywood star and apparent Toronto league roleplayer Rachel McAdams. Coming off back-to-back iconic turns in The Notebook and Mean Girls, McAdams “has actually spent the past couple of months at home in Toronto, playing ultimate Frisbee in a recreational league. ‘It’s better than going to the gym,’ she says of the sport that’s a combination of football and soccer with a disc. ‘It’s really social, you’re outside with other people — such a better way to get in shape. I’m hooked.'”

How hooked? What league? What random weeknight? Was it run by some miscellaneous rec sports organizer with no specific ties to ultimate, or was it, like, league league? Who threw the hammer that shook her so badly, and did the rest of the team look at that person like they had any business trying to throw it? The profile leaves these questions maddeningly unanswered, focusing instead on trivial stuff like her regional Canadian theater background and experience bonding with Christopher Walken on the set of Wedding Crashers.

To the Maclean’s readers who saw this in print — almost none of whom, I’m positive, are still thinking about it now — the frisbee thing is a throwaway opening anecdote, a little show of down-to-earth relatability that sets the tone for a hometown-girl-makes-good-but-not-too-good-for-Canada profile of an Ontarian on the international come-up. To me, it’s the whole article.

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  1. Mags Colvett
    Mags Colvett

    Mags Colvett is a former Associate Editor at Ultiworld, the holder of a creative writing MFA from Ohio State University and a literature MA from the University of Georgia, and a proud career B-teamer. They live in Queens and tweet at @magscolv.


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