Thursday, March 09, 2006

New Place, New Tournament, Same Ol' Pup

I don’t understand this. I’m not saying that I’m a great ultimate player, but I think I’m ok (when I’m in shape). Throughout the season, I do ok, and a few games here and there, I get possessed by the Big Bad Pup (BBP) and have mactastic monster games.

Like clockwork, at the end of every season comes the End of the Season Tournament. Regular season is fun, but you gotta kick it up a notch for the tournament. It’s an all day event usually involving at least 3 games (more if you keep winning).

And like clockwork, I choke every time it’s tournament time.

This last Sunday was the Winter League tournament. I got all fired up. This is my first change back in GA to show that I don’t choke anymore. Our first game was at 9am. I packed a cooler full of sports drinks, water, and plenty of beer. I’m ready to go.

After following MapQuest directions incorrectly, what should’ve taken me 25 minutes ended up as a 1.5 hour drive to the field. I just missed the first third of the game. Fantastic start.

With no time to stretch (yes, I know I’m old), I went into the game. After a few points, I thought my heart was going to explode. Needless to say, I was a nonfactor in the game.

I blamed it on my rushed start for lack of contribution to the game. I was going to be huge in the second game. I’ll spare you the details. I played better, but still not a factor.

I think my problem is having too high of an expectation to play well. Trying a little too hard as they’d say. The next game was no better. The solution I came up with was to calm down a bit so I started drinking.

Oh, magic nectar of the Gods. How great you are. You relax me like nothing else. It’s the forth game and we were now in the semi’s. We were up again the top team of the league. We’ve pulled off 2 upsets earlier with wins over the #5 and #4 teams.

This was a classic hard fought match. Scores went back and forth. As I was staring down the the young’in I was guarding, I realized that this guy was faster, taller, and in much better shape than I was. No, this wasn’t bad self-esteem, just the facts. I don’t think I could guard him even if I wasn’t exhausted.

I tried guarding him with very little success. This was a big game and I wanted to be a big factor. The way I thought I’d do this is to take myself out of the game. One of my teammate may have better success with the guy.

Ahead by one and with the clock running out, the other team score once more to put in the final nail.

The kid I was guarding caught the final point.

Oh well. 3 more months till the spring tournament.

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