Sorry for the brief blogging hiatus… We’re back and settled in.
It finally happened. Legitimate coverage of Ultimate Frisbee on the homepage of ESPN. Check out this clip of Andrew Fleming from Sockeye making a sick grab to keep us ahead 16-14 in the quarterfinals. (There’s a 10-second ad at at the beginning – sit through it, its worth it!)
[ THIS JUST IN: FLEMING'S CATCH DEBUTED ON ESPN TOP 10 PLAYS AT NUMBER #1!]
Wow. It feels surreal to think that our team was 4 points shy of a World Championship. We entered this tournament with modest expectations: to advance to the quarterfinals and to continue our team building process. After all the turnover we’ve had in recent years and along with a new offense to figure out, this tournament was a great chance for us to bro-down and create some momentum for the rest of the season.
Here’s a summary of our path to the finals:
Quarterfinals :: Sockeye vs Ironside (Boston), 17-15, Win
Semifinals :: Sockeye vs Chain Lightning (Atlanta), 16-15, Win
Finals :: Sockeye vs Revolver (San Francisco), 13-17, Loss
Playing in these games was an incredible honor. It’s a rare opportunity to be a representative of the sport to which I’ve dedicated so much of my life.
Sockeye finished in 2nd place and earned the silver medal. We also won the Spirit Award for the entire open division of the tournament. (After each game, each team gives their opponent a spirit score based on sportsmanship and integrity, and Sockeye scored the highest.)
I left Prague feeling so proud of this team.Read More
I’m excited to announce that Sockeye beat their opponent Chain Lightning in the Semifinals yesterday, 16-15. This means that tomorrow the team will compete in the FINALS for the World Championship! Sockeye will be playing Revolver, also from the United States.
For early risers or East-Coasters, the Open Finals will be streamed live online starting at 5am Saturday morning here: http://www.strizna.cz/Read More
I’m posting this entry on behalf of Raybies, who is still in Prague and kicking ass! Sockeye won their Power Pool game on Thursday morning against Phoenix from Canada with a score of 17-8. They also won their Playoff game on Thursday evening against Ironside from the U.S. with a score of 17-15. This means that Sockeye has qualified for the semi-finals! According to Ray, this will be one of the most memorable games of his career. Sockeye will be playing Chain Lightning from the United States tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Czech time (11:30 p.m. tonight, Seattle time). So far Chain Lightning is undefeated at this tournament, so it is sure to be a great game.
You can see a nearly real-time scorecard for Sockeye here. I will also be updating the blog as soon as I have more news.
Go Sockeye!Read More
Not much to report from the land of the original Budweiser. Our team is 4-1 right now, with a 13-10 loss to a US team in a game that was truncated due to lightning storms. The rain and clouds have actually been a nice break from the relentless heat. We are still alive in the tournament, but we cannot lose anymore games. If we win our next 3 games, we will be in the quarterfinals, most likely against a US team.
Wish us luck!Read More
Finally, the World Ultimate Club Championships commence! The anticipation for this tournament has been intense for me, especially with the World Cup going on right now (oh Ghana… so close). The high today was 88F, and perhaps my routine of 3 coffees and 3-6 beers/shots a day wasn’t the best strategy for preparing for the heat and a week of playing. Walking 5-10 miles a day for the past week didn’t help either.
The format for the tournament is an initial group of 4 teams (12 groups total for 48 total teams). We don’t expect to have much competition in these first games. Then the top 2 teams in each group move up to Power Pools, which are groups of 6. This is where it will get interesting. The top 2 from these pools advance to the quarterfinals, and this will be no cake walk. So despite having easy games early on, we need to finish them early and get out of the sun so we are prepared for the dogfights ahead. A great aspect of this tournament is that you never play more than 2 games a day, giving everyone plenty of time to mingle, meet new people and see the sights. And drink $1 beers!
I won’t pretend that folks are terribly interested in the details of my games, but here’s a quick synopsis.
The first game of the day was Sockeye versus Emo from the UK. Sockeye started the game by “singing” the US National Anthem in honor of Independence Day. After some very sloppy play by both teams, we finally found our rhythm and cruised to 17-6 victory.
After a few hours of downtime, Sockeye played Domino from the Dominican Republic. We got to hang out with them in Colombia last November and they are a great group of guys. One of their cheers is to line up and fall into each other like a string of dominoes. Anyway, we took care of business to the tune of 17-3. They presented us with a gift of Dominican Republic rum, which we took turns swigging from in the blazing heat. Good way to finish a day of ultimate.
Tonight sadly marks Jen’s last day in Prague. I headed back to the nice accommodations of our hotel for one last night with my wife. After this it is going to be communist dormitory blocks, bland dorm food consisting of goulash, cabbage and polenta, lot’s of ultimate, ton’s of pilsner, and with any luck, some hardware to come home with (gold/silver/bronze medal).
I’ll try to live up to Jen’s excellent blogging, but with limited internet access and very repetitive days, we’ll just have to see how it goes.Read More
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