Tag Archives: brodie smith

CCC LIX Previews – Florida Gators

Last year Florida’s season started with a lot of hype.

And then it ended with more hype.

However, the fall of 2010 has been a bit quieter for the Gators. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a team from Nationals that lost a larger percentage of its scoring this offseason than Florida. The departure of Chris Gibson and Brodie Smith will hurt UF tremendously. Just take a look at this video around the 2:25 mark to see what Smith did last season during his team’s Championship run. No one is more aware of this negative impact than the remaining third of Florida’s 3-headed monster, graduate student Cole Sullivan.

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Weekend Roundup: In Which There is(n’t) Trouble in Vegas

College Trouble in Vegas has been a tournament that has brought us some of college Ultimate’s very finest memories. However, between this season and last season, factors like an overgrown population and weather have seriously hurt the tournament’s reputation.

This season left many unsatisfied and even angry at the way things were handled by Cultimate. We spoke with Notre Dame captain Andrew Schroeder and discussed the problems TiV has encountered. Though he seemed relatively unhappy about the way things went down we both seemed to come to one conclusion.

Vegas is going to happen and it’s going to be well attended for as long as Cultimate wants to put it on. The fact of the matter is, it’s a weekend in Las Vegas with your team. That’s a tournament, completely disregarding any Ultimate (or lack thereof), that can only be rivaled by Mardi Gras. So, rant and rave against TiV as much as you want, in all likelihood, it won’t change. If it doesn’t, it still might be the most popular tournament every season. If it does, it still might be the popular tournament every season.

Onto the results!

We weren’t able to speak to many folks in the power pools but our worst fears from last season were realized. Few people have forgotten the sad ending to Oregon Ego’s season last year and if the early results are any indication then we might end up wondering what might have been last year if Ego had gone to Nationals last season.

We spoke to Florida fifth year captain Brodie Smith about the power pool play. He told us that Oregon looked strong. He had this to say about Oregon’s play.

“(Ego) just had a very in sync offense and (they) were playing a force middle defense i think against carelton that gave (CUT) some trouble,” Smith said.

Ego took Carleton to a double-game point situation but were defeated after the above video led to a questionable travel call by the defending champions. The call has been much debated on RSD but what can’t be debated is the fact that many of the top teams in the nation are evenly matched with each other.

Carleton’s two other games were decided by a total of three points. As a matter of fact, the only team in the power pools that didn’t have a win decided by two or less points was Florida, beating Cornell, Virginia and Wisconsin by at least seven goals each.

“Even without two of our starters playing, I felt pretty good,” Smith said. The Gators were missing Andrew Peterson on offense and Travis Catron on defense.

Cornell and Virginia certainly struggled the most out of the power pools both turning in 0-3 records. Elsewhere on the bottom half of the power pools stood Wisconsin and Stanford, both with 1-2 records. The Hodags were, in all likelihood, venturing outside for the first time since their CCC win in the fall. (Seriously, we imagine in Wisconsin, they have underground heated tunnels to go from place to place. How else would they survive?)

In the middle of the pack roamed perennial powerhouses Colorado and Carleton. Smith recapped their performances by saying that Mamabird’s youth shone through this weekend in an unimpressive performance and CUT looked as good as one should expect the defending national champions should look.

Of course, it’s hard to judge results of simply three games. It’s early in the season yet and who knows how all of these teams would have performed over an entire weekend. Trouble in Vegas wasn’t at all what we were hoping it would be and that is a bummer but the preseason rolls on, straight into a gigantic weekend of Ultimate.

W2W4

Mardi Gras

Teams to watch at Mardi Gras include Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas and Luther. We’ve got contacts at this tourney and we’ll be playing in the co-ed bracket with many kings and queens.

President’s Day

Alas, living on the east coast has left us far from the west coast and we’ve know not a single person or team (personally) attending the tournament. That being said, based on results keep an eye on UC and UCSD. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds at this tournament have to be the favorites to win this tournament after both teams lost on double game point to Colorado at The Santa Barbara Invite.

Queen City Tune-Up

The East Coast elite are assembling for the biggest early season tournament on the right side of the nation in the early season. The top seeds in the tournament are all likely to have a good tournament, but don’t forget about Georgia Tech, who had a strong showing at CCC and have the talent to go deep in every tournament they play in this year.

South Open Regionals: Saturday Recap

Competition and sparks flew fast, often and early in Atlanta today at the UPA South Open Regionals. 16 teams from all over the southern United States met today in order to decide which two teams would move on and all but six teams have been removed from the competition.

(We don’t have photos at the moment but hopefully we will soon. If you were out there today and you’d like to have your photos posted on this blog then e-mail us your pictures!)

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Morning Pull: Spirit of the Game

The Huddle is dropping some heavy, heavy knowledge right now. The online Ultimate magazine has had many issues with “experts in the field” weighing in on subjects from a mock draft to how to use the sideline but The Huddle’s most recent issue on Spirit of the Game is real and addresses some serious issues about this game that we all know and love.

There are some seriously refreshing and honest opinions about Spirit from The Huddle, especially from Ring of Fire’s Taylor Pope and PoNY’s Ben van Heuvelen, but there is one gigantic mistake. Not a single one of the articles addresses the actual definition of Spirit of the Game (SotG). To be frank, while interesting, it doesn’t matter in the least bit what a single elite level player thinks SotG is when it is, in fact, something else entirely.

SotG has nothing to do with abiding by the rules, per se, and has everything to do with whether or not one abides by this italicized paragraph and these basic guidelines.

Spirit of the GameUltimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate unsportsmanlike conduct from the Ultimate field. Such actions as taunting opposing players, dangerous aggression, belligerent intimidation, intentional infractions, or other ‘win-at-all-costs’ behavior are contrary to the Spirit of the Game and must be avoided by all players.

One can easily go here and realize that Ultimate is possibly the most loosely defined sports of all time. In the introduction there is not even a definition of the field of play. The only things that get defined prior to SotG are object of the game (to score goals), how to score goals, number of players, object played with (disc), ways to advance the disc and turnovers.

The way we interpret that is that SotG is second to only those factors in the way that the Ultimate community defines the game that it claims to live by. Which is why we think many of the articles in this issue of The Huddle, while insightful, are grossly misguided in an attempt to actually define Spirit. We can personally understand, feel, sympathize, imagine, define a travel however we want, the fact of the matter is that the rulebook and the governing body of the sport defines a travel a certain way and that is what it means.

We love The Huddle and the vision of a true form of Ultimate media is part of what led us to start writing on this website. (That and an extreme case of senioritis last spring) However, in reading this issue of The Huddle, we were really alerted to only one thing: what Ultimate says and what Ultimate does are two different things.

Not to say that the writers for The Huddle are a signal that, in the immortal words of Brodie Smith, Spirit of the Game is dead, but to say that perhaps it is time for a round of introspection from the UPA. Perhaps, as much as we hate to admit it, we agree with Toad and SotG does need to be redefined. To us, it’s clear that most people have their own definition of what Spirit is, but how those definitions line up with the UPA definition, or how the UPA definition lines up with the majority of its players definitions of Spirit may not be so clear.

Florida: Toeing the Line

 

Photo courtesy of Jesse von Fange.

Photo courtesy of Jesse von Fange.

This picture is interesting for several reasons. Not the least of which being the fact that we are standing in the background of it looking like, how do you say… a chump.

We’ve been interested in Florida since we first started hearing about them early on in our relatively young Ultimate careers. They are a polarizing figure in the Ultimate scene. We have yet to find someone who feels just so-so about the Gators. You either like them or you hate them and it’s no secret that the vast majority of people hate them.

After  spending a weekend studying the character of the Gators and those teams around them, here is our take.

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AC Regionals – Florida Gators Preview

Florida posess after its victory at the Stanford Invite. Courtesy of Brodie Smith.

Florida poses after its victory at the Stanford Invite. Courtesy of Brodie Smith.

There’s a lot of pressure with being on top. Everyone loves to beat the Yankees, the Patriots, the Red Wings and the Lakers. These teams are the types of teams that come into seasons and playoffs with giant, glaring targets on their backs. The Florida Gators (34-2) are the equivalent to these teams in Ultimate. While the Gators have been as dominant in the last several years as Wisconsin, there is something about their swagger that makes people strive to top them.

However, one thing that all of those teams have in common is that they never let that pressure get to them. The Gators and their captain, senior Brodie Smith, share that blissful ignorance of pressure with their professional counterparts and it will show at AC Regionals in Charlotte this weekend.

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