Strange Blue Tournament Report

University Indoor Nationals

29-30.Nov.2008 - Southampton

Hey Strange Blue,

This weekend we went down to Southampton for Indoor Nationals, with Pedro, Magic, Natman, Sam Lings, Rob S, Rob G (our new JTM!), Hammad, Fatty Jon and myself.

Our pool was Mojo, Rosham, and No Frills..

vs. Mojo (Win). We started the game with two first pass drops (by me and Sam) next to our endzone, to make it 2-0 them. Then we were all "wtf?" and proceeded to own them 10-5, the most convincing win we had all weekend. Fatty Jon had a sweet lay that hurt his arm (though it didn't stop him from playing great the rest of the weekend; and I'm not entirely sure it was in this game either). They had this girl who kept getting the disc and throwing scores. They also had very multi-colored kit; with shoulders and torso in squares of yellow, red and blue.. That's all that's memorable from that game, really.

vs. RoShamBo (WIN!). This was nuts. (It really got out of hand fast). We went in hard, and strong, in true non-SB style. We took off a few points off of them at the start, and then stayed strong, to win by one point (7-6). Their play consisted of an iso assisted by two deeps (three man stack), and they would scoober it over our defenders to the breakside, and then score easily. That was until we switched our iso defender to the breakside, gave them the two-yard open pass, and trapped them on the line, with their non-handlers. It worked. That was the only match they lost the whole weekend.. Totally sweet!

vs. No Frills (Loss). These guys beat us by one point.. Their play centers on a defense that is fairly tight and slows flow, and an offense that resets to the same two players, but otherwise is similar to rosham's iso-of the front of the three man stack. That being said, I still don't know why we lost to them. I think our mark's were broken a bit too much by their two good handlers.

vs. Too Many Pies (Win). Rob Schumacher layed out into a wall! With his HEAD! YEAH! They have this totally sweet handler guy who is shortish, and kindda fat, but is really difficult to mark, and is quite relaxed, and cool. They have this girl, who can totally run and totally get open, and who point-blocked me. And they have great spirit, unlike almost all the other teams we played. We won by one point. It was so close, that I thought we had lost (through the post-game talk and everything) for like an hour later. Weird, huh?

vs. Picnic (Win). These guys were very badly spirited.. When they lost, one of them actually threw his cap off. He also did that when they lost the 13v14 game. We gave them quite a few (like 3-0 or 4-0 start) points at the start, and then proceeded to take the game back, and win by one point (like 8-7 or similar).

That was it for Saturday. Then we went to pizza hut, ended up with loads of extra pies (2 large and 1 medium, I believe) cause they screwed up our order. Me, Rob S and Sam started on the vodka, but luckily didn't have too much before we got to the party, cause the party was lame. It was at a pub called "The Hobbit". There were Lord of the Rings themed cocktails. There was a dude in a suit singing Frank Sinatra style songs, with a little Prohibition-era bar in the back. That was pretty sweet. We sat around for a bit. Hammad looked miserable. I felt sober. Sam explained to some Bears' players playing pool where the shadows on the pool table came from. Then we went home. Watched Anchorman. Sam quoted pretty much the whole movie, as it was happening.

Sunday. I'm getting there.. We came into Sunday seeded second!

Quarters vs. No Frills (Loss). We came out strong, taking two points off of them. 2-0. I remember the score going to 3-1, then to 3-2, then to 3-3, and then we were tied until the very end, when they won the last point after the buzzer to make it either 7-6, or 6-5. I have to say, that, though we lost, we went in much better into this game than into the first one against them. I saw great playing from pretty much everyone on the team. Sam Lings had a really big game, with several d's and scores, and skyes. Their spirit was worse than in the previous match.

Semis in bottom four vs Too Many Pies (Win, by one point, again). This game was even more spirited than the first one! Even though we had lost the game into the top four, we played hard, fought for it, and won it. That was a very fun game.

Playoff for fifth vs. Sublime (Loss). These guys were another badly spirited team, but because we expected it, it wasn't a terrible experience. Our handlers werent connecting with our longs at the start, so it went really quickly to 5-1 them. Then we had to work it back, and we definitely started, but never finished.. I think the end score was 8-5 or 8-6.

So that's it! I didn't really talk about individuals playing during games, because I didn't remember that many specific moments. But still.. Pedro and Magic provided the backbone of the team, with many repeated breaks, and beautiful full-pitch hammers and blades that were usually very difficult for the other team to bid on. Natman stepped up as a handler, and I recall some Picnic guys saying they wouldn't put it with him on defense in the deep end. Damn straight. Rob Schumacher did what he does.. i.e. looked half-dead on the sideline, wandered onto the pitch in his ski jacket and skyed some noobs (ok, there was no ski jacket), and provided handler assistance.. Hammad had some great d's, and some great scores. Sam did as well, but I think he really came out and had an especially great day on Sunday, with some totally sweet skyes and d's. Fatty played hard, from his lay out for the disc Pedro mis-sent, till the end.. And finally, Rob G had a very good, tight defense, that pulled off some much needed d's. On offense he helped out the handlers out of tight spots, and occasionally went deep for the score with one of Magic's hammers. For anyone, but especially for someone playing with us for the first time, he played really well. Totally awesome

We came in with nine players, and throughout the whole tournament, every point, we kept subbing lines on and off. There was never a critical end-game point when Pedro said "Alright, now only the best five players play". I think that we were probably the ONLY team there that did that, and didn't play power lines. We achieved our best place nationally, ever. We didn't give up after losing the quarter. We never gave up in games (though it would've been nicer to have done better at the start, as Fatty likes to point out). We were also the only team that beat Roshambo! I'm really pumped to be on our team. I'm really pumped for outdoors! Good night blue.

Mark Ioffe