Welcome! To the second Sidelines of 2012, which is shaping up to be quite a year. The AUDL, the NGN, the end of the world, it’s even an election year. (Colbert/Stewart 2012! Hey South Carolina, a vote for Herman Cain is a vote for Colbert, just saying.) Bob was right, the times they are a-changin’.

This week on Sidelines:

Ultimate Digg

Stanford Bloodthirsty v Cal UGMO

The Top 10

The Bottom 10

The NexGen Network!

The internet is a beautiful thing (beat it SOPA, come back when you’re written by someone who doesn’t use Internet Explorer) because of sites like Digg, I think. Admittedly, the internet doesn’t gets used in the most….efficient ways at all times, but Digg is what the internet was meant to be, and now there’s an ultimate-based version. “

BananaCut“, in its own words, is the Digg of ultimate-based content. I love sites like this because every once in a while, you strike gold, and there is definitely gold to be found in the ultimate community.

The Stanford Invite is fast approaching, March 3-4, just over a month away, and this could be a very special tournament. More on that later. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Last year’s Invite was a few variations of awesome, and I expect no different this year. The showcase game was a highlight with the hometown Stanford taking on UC Berkeley (Cal UGMO is the team name) which produced a pretty solid highlight reel, check it out.

I don’t know if its just me, but I forget that there are more high quality college teams out there than Florida and Colorado and Carleton and the usuals. And I’m ok with that, I’d rather be underestimating than over.

If you follow sports online, you’re probably familiar with Bleacher Report. B/R is a great site, with everything you’d need on most sports, outside of darts and spelunking. And I think they’re starting to add Ultimate to their repertoire. First two articles I’ve seen, a “Top 10 Plays” and on Ultimate going to the Olympics, definitely made my day. It’s nice to see someone share my optimism for the future of Ultimate, thanks Al Rieger, keep ’em coming. You’ve probably seen every catch on that top 10 at least once, but they put Zipperstein’s catch (i.e. not Fleming’s) at number 1 and after seeing it again, I agree.

And from the Top 10, we go to the bottom. If you went to see the NexGen tour and at some point thought “that should probably not be humanly possible”, let me prove to you that they are all human. My favourite is the slip on the pull, mostly because I can relate. I like this bottom 10 idea, but it should be more blooper-ish, and set to the Benny Hill theme. Yes, that definitely deserves a hyperlink.

Ok, that’s all fun and games, but if there’s one part of this article that you pay attention to, I hope it’s this. The NexGen Network is going to broadcast the Stanford Invite and College Centex, if they reach their fundraising goal of $20,000 . To all 453 that have donated thus far, and to anyone who will, thank you, you’re amazing and deserve all the praise NGN will no doubt heap on you. Of their$20,000, as of the morning of the 21st, they’ve collected about $17,000 of it, with 8 days left until the cutoff. If they don’t make$20,000, it’ll all be for naught (all-or-nothing fundraising), but if they do… We (the general public, everyone, you don’t need to sign up to watch live) get Stanford and Centex broadcasts, and the NGN gets launched. I’m not saying you should donate, I’m just laying out the facts here. The times, they are a-changing, and I can’t wait to see the end result.