Gentle rain, humidity, the muffled roars of games going well for some and badly for others. A weekend of Ultimate in Ottawa has drawn to a close and I’m frustrated…in myself.
I for one believe that the weekend could not have gone better considering the weather conditions. Ottawa experienced between 70 mm and 100 mm of rain according to local authorities and the fields showed it by gushing water with every step. The schedule, already experiencing changes from a shuffling of seeding, underwent yet another revision as fields were deemed to be unplayable.
Too Bad came in seeded 9th and facing a relatively easy pool of Demon, Roy, and Chuckwagon. A quick three wins followed by a hard match against our crossover. We should move into the top eight I thought. As I stood on the main hill overlooking the fields I knew that the day was ours for the taking.
Unfortunately the day soon proved to be as uncertain as the footing. Too Bad is known for inconsistencies and the day was fraught with frustration. Both Demon and Roy should not have proved troublesome for us but for some reason we lacked our usual aggression. On defense we failed to pressure cutters or throwers while on offense we continually overthrew or under-threw our cutters. When a line that worked was found they were worked for a few points straight until a change in one or two personnel changed the dynamic in our opponent’s favour. We lacked chemistry and that disturbs me as we head to Nationals.
Both of our games against Demon and Roy were affairs punctuated by big runs on our part before completely breaking down for a few points allowing a chance for the score to be tightened out. Our game against Chuckwagon was finally a game where I personally felt the intensity from both the team and myself. I felt as if I wanted to run and strike and play. I must admit that it was partially because of the support from the sideline of Medicare.
Medicare had entered seeded 8th and started Saturday in power pool A. They faced tough games against Mephisto, GLUM, and NADS. Three games later they had gone 0-3 (including an 11-9 game against Mephisto) before facing us in the crossover. As Medicare had finished early they came to watch Too Bad play Chuckwagon. The winner would face Medicare, the loser: GLUM (based upon point differential). Given Medicare is my home town team their sarcastic chirping, heckling, and rare positive comment put in me in a better mood and I lifted my game just a little.
Too Bad happily defeated a tired and short-benched Chuckwagon handily. Unfortunately we then made an error: we lost our focus. We sat down and relaxed. We run a sloppy warm-up drill. We didn’t consider the strength of the team that we were about to face. I don’t know whether if in our minds victory or defeat was the foregone conclusion but once we started it was evident that we were in for a fight.
Medicare maintained a lead from the start and while we tried to fight back we could never close the gap to less than one. Whenever we gained momentum on offense we’d let up on defense and before we knew it Medicare was within one of half. We battled again and managed to tie the game 6-6 before Medicare executed perfectly on offense to quickly take half (7-6, games to 13 on Saturday).
While we were down by one the mood in the huddle was somewhat positive. We all discussed the myriad of ways in which we were failing and nodded our heads in agreement about changes but it was just a facade. The destruction in the second half proved that most of us were already thinking ahead to the party. Frustration was evident on the faces of some who believed that we could do better; I was one of those faces.
Medicare outscored us 6-2 in the second half.
Medicare wins, 13-8.