Strange Blue Tournament Report

UKUA Open Nationals

01.Sep.2007 - London

Dear Frisbee People,

This weekend the Strange Blue open team took on the nation's top tier of teams at U.K. nationals. We brought along the Sb regulars Magic, Pedro, Martin, Danny, Jon, Ryan, Steve, Two Hands, Mark, Matt, Shihan, Tom C., and myself, and two latecomers, Bruce Lim and James Kermode. After finishing 17th this tour season we came into the weekend seeded 16th out of 30 teams and finished a respectable 14th with a record of 2-3, the best record we've had against top 16 teams all summer.
Here's the game by game summary for people without a whole lot to do at work:

Game 1, 16 vs. 17:
SB 15- Flyght Club 4
We started the tournament with the 16 v. 17 game to decide if we would stay in the top 16; a game SB lost last year. After only edging out Flyght Club in a close and scrappy battle at Tour 0 and instituting a vulgar dick and fart joke orientated American as captain a few jitters were present amongst the ranks. Jitters soon subsided as we came out of the gates and pounded flight club by running way harder on O and D, and taking advantage of the gorgeous conditions to open up a more aggressive deep game. We quickly showed that our spot in the top 16 was well deserved.

Game 2, 1 vs. 16:
Clapham 1 15- SB 6
In our second round we made a great showing against this year's National champions. Clapham showed up expecting to role over us, but found a lot more fight then they expected. Before they could take off an early run, strange blue switched on some hard defense and began to trip the 1st seed's offense with some great running. This game featured most of the team's big play highlights of the weekend including a completely horizontal caught lay out D in the endzone by Chris, a monster sky by Jon over two clapham players for a goal, some amazing length of the pitch hucks from Pedro to crack open the zone defense, Two Hands putting up a beautiful in the flow huck for a score, and Steve roasting Claphams big deep threat deep. This game showed us the level we can play at and the kind of plays we can pull off when we're rising to a challenge. (Of note, clapham beat brighton 15-4, and while the argument can be made that clapham might have been playing harder against Brighton, this argument is wrong, and its safe to say that we're exactly 50% better then Brighton)

Game 3, 9 vs. 16:
Clapham 2 15- SB 12
Maybe the best game I've seen SB play this summer. After we missed a few connections at the start of the game Clapham 2 started to pull away. The rest of the game featured some of the harder and cleaner play SB managed this season. We came back from 8 - 3 half by continually earning breaks. We forced turns and took the game to 10-9 running on Offense at a pace we hadn't seen. After a few more great Ds we just couldn't seem to convert to tie it up and pull ahead. Clapham 2 dug into the reserve tank and managed to finish it off. This game featured our pick ups Jack and Bob really shining. Jack took the opportunity to demonstrate to the team that he can run harder then anyone on the pitch point after point without tiring and made himself a big D threat. Bob unleashed some big Ups to take down some goals and get some pivotal sky Ds. We were all a bit upset about not being able to take it away from the 9 seeds and crack into the top 12 after coming close, but at the end of game everyone was feeling great about the amount of fight we had in us. This season we've played this team 3 times and improved from a 15-2 loss, to a 15-7 loss, to a great battle where we showed we can dig deep, inspire each other, and outplay teams in the next tier for long stretches of game. Great job again SB.

After a hard day 1 the squad suffered the loss of Jon and Tom to a dislocated finger and some hip trouble respectively, and a temporary loss of Danny to a pulled hamstring.

Game 4, 13 vs 16:
SB 15- Boogie Nights 11
We came into this game with guns blazing and put the first half away 8-1, with Jack running down a ridiculous number of goals and our handlers Matt, Ryan, Mark, Chris, and Pedro confidently shredding through zone and man defenses. After the run, boogie nights refused to give up, and took advantage of some offensive mistakes and some down trodden defense to make some runs in return. It was great to see SB switch back on with an entire team effort to run harder on defense. After it was clear we were going to take it away, these bastards still would not give up, but we traded to finish and break seed for the tournament.

Game 5, 13 vs. 14
Blue Arse Flies 15- SB 10
Somehow, after hours of fitness sessions early in the morning all summer long, our squad of 11 healthy players managed to start quite tired for our last game. Matt Shannon hurt himself attempting to do cock push-ups before the game, but Danny stepped up big to get back in with his hurt leg to provide the extra energy we needed to be competitive. We unfortunately started off getting pummeled 6-0 by some good deep shots by BAF and a lot turns with a jittery and unfocused offense. After a timeout we came back better composed, went on a run to put in 3 or 4 in a row, and played a great, competitive, well spirited game. Highlights included danny running down a clutch huck from Mark to end a hellish 3 turns a team point, Steve working hard to constantly make great cuts, and Strange Blue stepping the defense with some body to body marking downfield. One of my favorite sights of the weekend was seeing martin bodying up his 6'2" man and forcing him underneath for a 2 yard gain while breathing down his back.

This weekend we played some great Ultimate in some beautiful summer weather and had a great time. I think we showed the potential we've been building towards this season and have given ourselves a lot to look forward to next season. On another note, this weekend showed a new side of the team with a more supportive sideline giving lots of positive encouragement to players on and off the field and showed a move away from the negative side of the team that has come out in stressful situations before. Our MVP was Jack, for his tireless running and clutch endzone grabs, but we saw a really well distributed amount of effort from the strong team we had this weekend.

Thanks to everyone who played and Hillary, Sophie, Nick, Kelly, and JB for giving support from the sidelines. Much appreciated guys.