Ok, that was a weekend well seized. I had the opportunity and honour of playing with number of the folks from ÜberSküber this weekend at the Co-ed Jamboree out at UPI. I was really, really nervous about playing with a bunch of folks I had never met, and had butterflies for the first time since minor hockey.
Saturday morning was a demonstration in 143% humidity, as the rain came down soaking everything. On the drive out to UPI, we were wondering if the day would be cancelled – it wasn’t, games were on, and away we went. We all had our gear, garbage bags, fruit, and lots of dry socks in baggies. We were lucky (?) enough to have a bye first thing in the morning, so were starting at ten (ish). We got in about an hour before gametime, found our field, and started to throw, warm-up, and get ready for a loooooong weekend.
Our first game was against Two Left Feet, a local Tier 3 team who started the game with 6 people, but ended up with a bunch more spares than we did. It rained most of the game, but the wind was a non-factor and 20 degrees beats 27 any day, in my books. Gary Watanabe, the brother of an old high-school chum, was on-hand to play with and coach us. Unfortunately, on the very first play (like, 20 seconds past the opening huck) Gary tried to follow a cut and pulled his hamstring, reaggravating an older injury and knocking himself out of the tournament. We were down to no spares, and picked up Max from Phoenix in the middle of the first half. This was a godsend. The game was wet, slippery, and fun, and we came out on top with a win to start the day. I fell on my head once and permanently taco’d the game disc after falling on it. I blame football instincts.
Our next game was against TRON, a visiting team from Guelph, and we all learned the difference between 16 and 18. We were waiting on field 18 for the longest time, wondering where TRON was, and discovered that they were on 16 (where we were supposed to be). We never established a flow in the game, and consistently turned the disc over in the red zone and/or after 2 or three passes. We ended up losing the game, and I was pretty intimidated at the end from screwing up royally and noticibly irritating my teammates through clogging lanes, missing reads, getting burned long, and generally playing like a n00b. I did manage to get a really good convo going with the person I normally marked up on, and had fun, but it was painful.
Our third game on Saturday followed a 90 minute break in the driving rain, and was against Weed Eaters, a team from QuÃƒÂ©bec City. We were all soaked, cold, and not-so-happy as we started the game, as were our opponents. We traded points for a while, but eventually the Weed Eaters pulled ahead for good and beat us in a closely contested game through a number of long strikes and somewhat shaky play on our part. The bright side for me (and, I think, for everyone else) was induction into the knighthood of weed eaters. I had landed on my head for the fourth time that day on a layout (I caught the disc), and the captain explained that they gave awards for something in a game that really impressed them. In this case, it was a catch I made near the goal line. I landed squarely on my head, and his comment was “We have two doctors and one physio-therapist, and they all agreed you should not have been able to walk after that catch. You got up. That impressed us.” Thanks, I think.
So, we finished Saturday 1-2, which meant we would have an uphill battle all Sunday.
I begged off on the party on Saturday night, as Rachel and her cousin Janet were in town. We headed out to Drumlin’s for a pint and some much-needed food and met up with Mark, Barb, Sam, Eric, and Sam’s sister. After several dropped hints that I needed to go home went unnoticed, my falling asleep at the table did the trick, and that was it for the night.
Sunday morning came waaaaaaaay too quickly, and I was just a little sore, requiring about 10 minutes to get out of bed. It was a very different day weather-wise, with the temperature at 9am already reaching 24 degrees. Thankfully, the humidity was bearable, but it was going to be a scorcher.
We were scheduled to play at 10am versus Marmotte, but things were a little disorganized so we started around 10:30. We played point-for-point with Marmotte right up until the half, where we led 8-7. During the half we had a really good discussion, and everyone agreed we just needed to focus a little, move the disc around a little faster, and have some fun. We did just that, and took the game 15-10 in the end. I had a couple of run-ins with the person I was marking all game (there was no animosity, we were just going hard for the dsisc), and ended up flat-out tackling him in the endzone on one play – he made the catch, tho’. I felt bad about the excess contact, but we were both all smiles at the end, and no one else seemed to be complaining.
Winning against Marmotte put us into the semi-finals against the winner of the other quarter-final game which had TRON up against Booyaka. We had a couple hour break until the semis, so watched a couple competitive teams play a good game before moving over to our field. TRON and Booyaka were playing when we arrived, and TRON won the game 14-9 . They were less-than-impressed to see that we had a bye after the first game, and a couple people voiced the opinion that since they won the pool, they should get the bye. It was really hot by then, and I would’ve been a little cheesed, too, I think (especially after driving in from Guelph for the tourney). Thems the breaks though, as anyone who’s played in any kind of tournament will attest to.
We played a very tight game, opening a 3-1 lead early only to see TRON come back to tie it at 3-3. Following a pair of traded points, we slapped a zone on them and clamped down hard en route to 15-8 victory on a very good defensive and offensive effort. The heat took a lot away from me, and I was a hurting unit by the end of the game.
We were facing 49-tonnes in the final match of the day, and their captain requested we play a game to 8 to decide the final. We collectively decided we were here to play the whole thing out, and didn’t want to play a half-game to finish off a weekend’s work. The final was held next to the competitive final (which was a great game), and it was somewhat anti-climactic. We took an 8-4 lead at the half, and never really looked back, finishing the game and the tournament off at 15-6. I was pretty wrecked, and focused on my defense. I did a lot of running, but only had a couple catches to show for it on O, but took my player out of the flow pretty consistently on D with a couple of layouts to block some passes which forced some deep turns that lead to points. Nicole finished the game off with a great sliding catch, and it was off to the beer garden to claim our prize (a pint) and watch the end of the competitive finals. We finished off the weekend with a trip to Mexi’s, stuffed our faces, shot the shit, and had a great time.
At the end of it all, I have bruises on one ankle, both calves, one knee, both thighs, my right shoulder, my chest, and my hips. I lost all the skin on the bottom of both big toes, the nail off one big toe (ouch), and have blisters on half the remaining toes. I was mildly sunburned, and I’ve got turf rash and chafing in far too many places. My cleats smell god-awful, I did three loads of laundry, and it took five minutes to get out of bed yesterday, 10 minutes this morning.
For this I won a single pint.
It was more than worth it.
The whole weekend was an amazing experience, and the folks I played with were awesome. I learned a lot, played pretty well, and had a super time. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to do it again.