LJ 2009-03-27 10:20:00
“It’s 12:00am. If you don’t have your television license, you’re being hunted down as we speak. But you’re not watching the tele, are you? You’re riding the radio waves. You’re listening to (insert music here) Radio Free Kyle.”
Intense hardcore action. Titilating group action. Nonstop girl-on-girl action, boy-on-boy action, and boy-on-girl and girl-on-boy action. For the Mohawks, as you can see, there was a common theme at Edinburgh:
No. Not quite. Not at all, really. (At least, not me.) (Damnit.)
But there was action, it was intense, and it was the Mohawks. And it went like this…
A pumped up group of players with bizzare haircuts piled into a minibus on Friday morning and began the 10 hour drive to Edinburgh. Such a drive is too much for one person; fortunately, there were many capable drivers to share the load (in other words, just Ed and Juan – thanks again you two). People who made the journey:
Teams who got into town late were supposed to meet the tournament directors at a local pub in order to meet the local residents who were housing the teams. When we got into town that evening, it was late… Too late, perhaps. Ahhhh, but this is Scotland, where pubs are open past your little sister’s bedtime. No problems there. We also didn’t spend our first 45 minutes of our time in town driving around trying to find the club (honest). Many shots of cinnamon stuff later, we were housed in the lap of luxury with Lara, our host. We had a few rooms, a few beds, floorspace, and one toilet. We had, without a doubt, the best host money could buy that we didn’t have to pay for (we were four blocks from the Saturday night club – as if we didn’t already have it good enough).
Bring on Saturday morning, the first day of the two-day competition. How we managed to get ourselves up for a 9:15pm game – I have no idea. The tourney went like this: Each team played three games to determine their pre-seeding (pre-ranking). Based on how you did in those games, you were either in the top 16 or bottom 16. One crossover game then determined whether you would compete for positions 1-8, 9-16, 17-24, or 25-32. Then on Sunday, you competed for your final placement within that group.
Of course, we had no idea how we’d do. The core of the team was most of the same group that competed in the London Winter League a few weeks ago and got pleasantly crushed by more experienced teams (but showed great spirit!). But that was against experienced teams – we’d had more time now, and were on a level playing field. And we had something that no other team had:
Picture a team, if you will, as such: 3 players wearing silly hats as mandated by the rules (Ed, Juan, and Felix), and every other player with a mohawk. Even Vicki, Penny, and Helena worked magic with some tin foil to get their hair up. It was a sight to behold.
(Note: I apologise if I get some of the team names mixed up. I’m doing this strictly from memory – if anyone has the names and actual scores written down, please correct me).
Game one was against UCD 3 from Ireland. We got started quickly, and went from there, winning the game by a comfortable margin. A good start to the tourney.
Game two was against UCD 2. This time, it was somewhat better UCD team, one which featured a flying Irishman as a captain (think: 50% of the time off the ground, 99% of the time paralell to it) – still we emerged with a victory. We were quite happy.
Game 3 was by far our toughest test. The team was named Hulltimate, and we knew that they stood to be contenders for top placings. This game was very, very intense, and was very close right up until the end. It featured some great tosses and fantastic layouts. In the end, the final score was 7-5.
For us. YEAH! But we hadn’t heard the last from Hulltimate.
On to the crossover game. At this point, we’d moved up to the 7th overall seed (we started 22nd); the team we were facing, York, was seeded 10th. If Hulltimate were contenders, we knew that York would be doubly so. This game was very, very, very close. Alas, it was not to be. Final score Mohawks 4, York 5. If there was ever a game that could have gone either way, it was this one. Good effort, Mohawks.
That was it for Saturday. Saturday night involved dinner at Rialto’s, followed by cramming 32 Ultimate teams into the top floor of a club. Saturday night was enigmatic – it was very, very memorable; and yet, for some bizzare reason, we’re all having trouble remembering it. Hmmm. In any case, the Mohawks partied hard, and partied hard as a team.
That same team woke up on Sunday morning. We’d earned ourselves a 10:30 start. At 10:10, we piled into the minibus, and since we knew how to get there, we dropped Lara off early, and went directly to the Sportscenter. That is to say, as directly as you can go when you discover that the road has been blocked off less than a mile from your destination, requiring a ton of backtracking. One of the rules of the tournament went like this: When the game started, time counted down, whether the teams were ready or not. What if a team wasn’t there? If that team didn’t have 5 players on the line after 2 minutes, the other team got a point. 2 minutes later, another point, and so forth. But we had Juan at the wheel, and thus had nothing to fear. We pulled into the Sportscenter parking lot, and ran to the hall where our game was to be played. The timer had started. In fact, it started 1 minute 30 seconds before we got there. We were dressed in darks. They were dressed in darks. “GO SKINS!!!” yells Jamie – and after dumping our bags, there were 5 mostly-gone-skins Mohawks on the line, literally 2 seconds before we would have been penalised.
That first game was against a team whose name I can’t remember; we were seeded 10th, they were seeded 15th. We played hard, they played rough. On the last play of the game, with 10 seconds remaining and us down by a point, one of their players fell to the floor in front of Felix, and just lay there. “Are you okay?” asks Felix, and not just once, and never actually getting a response, all the while the clock ticking down. After 8 seconds of the guy lying there, something was clearly up; Felix put the disc into the air, but it was just out of Jamie’s reach. The buzzer went; the player lying on the floor then stood up and joined his teammates in triumph. In the post-game, the Mohawks held their heads high and said “Great game.”
Game two that day was against yet another team whose name I don’t remember. The Mohawks politely dispatched the team by a score of 10-3. To their credit, that team showed tremendous spirit – had we lost, they would have still been a fun team to play against. We moved from the 15th seed to the 14th seed.
Game three was to decide 13th and 14th place. And our competition was none other than Hulltimate. No doubt they’d remembered defeat at our hands, and were anxious to avenge that loss. Hulltimate were tough as nails. We tried, we really did; but in the end, it just wasn’t to be. Hulltimate won that game 5-4.
Our final ranking: 14th. Were we upset? Hell no. The games we lost, we lost by a single point each time. York, the team we lost to in the crossover game, finished 5th, and were easily as good as they were. We finished in the top half of all the teams, and there were some very good teams that did not even manage that. We really came together as a group and played some great Ultimate, and there were some fantastic tosses, catches, and layouts by every single player. I don’t think a single one of us had a poor showing. Speaking of layouts, our nominee for the Shark award was Mongoloid (aka Rob), who made more than one diving catch in the end zone, including one remarkable dive towards the back of the endzone, landing hard chest-first on the ground, face-first towards the back wall (mere inches away), and disc in hand. And the whole time, we stuck together as a team, and played fair and had fun. And maybe it’s for that reason that the Mohawks were the winners of the tournament Spirit award, as voted for by all other teams. I for one think it’s a great tribute to the leadership that our captain, Felix, has shown us all season. After all, only a true leader would wear the insane hat that Penny and Vicki proudly assembled on the entire journey to Edinburgh – the hat that won the Best Silly Hat award. To boot, the Hardest Partying Team award went to a team called Far Flung, who won by one vote – and while it’s not confirmed, we’re pretty sure that the other team was us. ;)
We got back into Brighton by 4:00am after getting away by 7:30pm – again testament to Matt and Ed’s fantastic driving.
The winners of the tournament, by the way, were a team called Puca (pronounced “Pooka”, we think), and they beat out the Northern Lights. But without a doubt, in a tournament with so many good teams, the real winner – was Ultimate.
That’s the report. Felix will no doubt have pictures up soon on his website, and maybe some of the rest of us will get our film developed sometime soon, too. Until then, see you at practice tommorow!
Nicked from remohraz in a manner of speaking..