2012 End of Year AwardsDec 29th, 2012 | By AndyBandit | Category: Articles, Awards
To be fair, she moved here from the Carlton College program last year, so she might’ve already broken out in Minnesota. But playing pick-up in Pasadena, the Landesmans noticed her and got her onto Mojo Jojo in Beach League 2011 and she parlayed that into a spot on Entanglement for Winter League, where she first caught everyone’s attention when they won. Then she made it onto 7 Figures and went to Nationals. And it was her game-changing two-point catch against the defending Beach League champs that pretty much sent Mojo into the finals this year. So… two league finals, one win and Nationals. That’s a hell of a rookie year.
How about Caltech getting both the break-out players this year. Josh was also new to LA in 2011 but came earlier than Sophie. He was in Summer League that year and went to finals. And then played on B team Shark Bait in Beach League. There were other great break-outs like Stig and Turok but both of them had already made Renegade in 2011. Josh was still on a B-team in Winter League this year! But after getting a spot on 7 Figures and making that trip to Florida, I can promise you those B-team days are over.
When I asked opinions, I think it was clear people wanted me to give this to Viva or Renegade, who both took big steps up this year, and may be winning this award in 2013. But as opposed to the previous two awards, this isn’t about who had the best improvement. This is about who had the best season. And yeah, there were 5 spots to go to Nationals in Co-ed while there were only 2 for Open and Women’s each. But 7 Figures finished 3rd at Regionals, which was higher than the other two teams. And you can look at all their records. It’s on the post here. I think what’s notable though is that for the first time, possibly ever, there’s been extremely competitive teams in all those three divisions. I hope it stays that way.
And now I’m going to completely ignore my own argument above. Because in this case, you gotta love a championship win. UCLA BLU was the only team to make it to D-1 Nationals, and they finished 12th. But we’re going to mix it up this year and award the Greenshirts, who finished in 5th place at D-3 Natties in 2011. But they took the big step up and followed the lead of the men who won it all the previous year by taking the crown in 2012.
There were a few good choices this year. Green Dot went 9-1 in Summer League and took down a very strong Purple team in finals. Entanglement had those two come-from-behind wins in Winter League. Boobs and Balls completely dominated Goaltimate League. Kermit the Frog held their #1 seed in Women’s League. And RIP went 10-2 to win Men’s Beach League. But ShamWOW not only won Beach League with a 10-2 record and smoked it in finals, the win gave them 3 wins in 4 years, tying She Sells Sea Shells for the most wins in Beach League.
What do Dot, Uni, Bogo and Peaches all have in common? They’re all named Dan. And it turns out, when you put them all together, they make a dan good team. With the cancellation of the 2nd day of St. Pat’s Hat, this left Huck It as the largest L.A. tournament of the year. There were some good smaller tourney winners, but it’s hard to argue with a team put together based on one name. I should point out I don’t see any Danielles on this team.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I have a hard time with teams who have obvious A division talent playing in B. But I feel like the crotchety old guy when I say it. (Ironic, since isn’t Retro filled with crotchety old guys? Hey-o!!!) The new landscape of LA ultimate is all about tiers of talent now. It’s not even so much that we’re not all in one division anymore. It’s that very good B teams have no desire to move up to A. (See Controversy of the Year.) So I give in to the new landscape, and therefore it’s a no brainer to give Retro this award. They went undefeated on the year (8-0 with a +62 point diff) in the regular season. And will not be moving up to A in 2013.
The Men’s League team finished the year in 6th place with a losing record. And then they won the tournament. But they lost three key players before the tournament, and I replaced them with possibly better players than they lost, including a club player who I didn’t know at the time, but was almost certainly better than anyone they lost. Although another big reason for the surprise win was Peaches, their top pick, who missed several regular season games. And I love their post-game show, they had hot dog eating contests in honor of their namesake. That’s pretty cool.
I almost feel like what’s the point of continuing to do this award, but one day Lei-Out will stop growing and then I’ll give it to another tournament. But that day definitely did not come this past year, as it jumped incredibly from 119 teams in 2011 to 163 in 2012! That’s 44 more teams, and to put that in perspective, when Calle first took over Lei-Out, there were only 45 teams total. And here’s a spoiler alert. At 186 teams already for this January, I’m feeling pretty confident who’s going to win this award next year.
This was a down year for league parties across the board. Winter League, Beach League, even St. Pat’s saw fewer numbers at the party, and less shenanigans than we’re used to. Summer League was a huge disappointment. After having to up the bar tab several times in 2011, we barely even reached the tab this year, but that was in large part to all the club players who weren’t there. So this year, I’ve gotta give it to a club team party, which definitely lived up to expectations. Viva threw a poker fundraiser in July at Scott Mahr’s place, and craziness abounded. Shots were downed at record pace, even though people were paying for them. But if you saw what Sam Pitman was wearing to entice people to buy them, it probably made sense.
Please remember that I don’t see everything over the course of the year. But I do manage to see a lot. And of all the plays I saw all year, nothing was more jaw dropping in my opinion than Evan’s D against Matt Hennessy in the Marshall/Kong semi-finals game. I don’t remember who threw the pass to Henny, but I think it was probably Keegan or Joe Forbes. But it was one of those over the shoulder passes that Henny pulls down in his sleep. So forgive everyone on the field for just assuming he was going to catch it for an easy score. Evan ran him down from behind, flew at him, and tipped the pass away at the last second. There was a group of players watching from the sideline from one of the teams that had a bye that round. And their reaction alone is why I give Evan this award. A typical play from a person you all voted to be the #1 draft choice for a new AUDL team in LA.
I had to create this category this year because of what I saw during a pick-up game in March. On a very windy day, Jason Trevor pulled it as high as he could, somehow knowing that the cross wind 50 feet above us was even stronger than what was on the field. The disc hovered in mid-air like a UFO, moved slightly less, slightly right, and then was suddenly carried by a huge gust that sent it sailing way past the end zone, OVER the 20 foot high tennis court fence far beyond the back line. We couldn’t see it land, but based on the distance to the fence, and the assumption it must have fallen at least halfway across the tennis court, it cleared over 200 yards. Is that an unconfirmed record? I don’t know. Google frisbee throwing records and it’s more confusing than a David Lynch film.
Normally I try not to give awards to things that happened outside of L.A. But multiple people mentioned this, so I have to include it. Spaz is a character. We all know that. He didn’t get that nickname for nothing. But this February in Hawaii, he took it up a notch. TD Ben Bergen had to leave in the middle of finals to stop Spaz from picking up girls. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. He was literally picking up girls. Off the ground. And from my understanding, they didn’t want to be picked up. But he’s Spaz. And he lives by different rules.
This was a close one. We lose a lot of great players and people from L.A. every year. It’s the nature of our city. But this year, I thought it came down to two people. Jeff Chai has been the LAOUT accountant for years now, and oh by the way still is even though he lives on the East coast. And he is responsible for the word “Uncoverable” becoming a running joke for a long time. In other years, he might’ve won this. But you gotta give it to Korb for all he did with the UCLA women’s program, turning them into a perennial Nationals team, and nearly winning it all in 2006.
I’d say he had a pretty good year. He expanded Beach League to three divisions by adding a Men’s division that was popular enough to open the doors for a Spring League in 2013. And he got freakin’ married. Goat continues to be the man. He gives out gifts to the captains. He raffles off prizes. He gives rewards for winning teams. He runs a league that actually has four divisions when you consider the youth division. And he does it all with a smile on his face all the time.
What does he have to do to win a tournament? Only two times in Summer League has a person captained a team to an undefeated regular season. And Frankie was both of them. And both times, he loses in finals. The first time was understandable cause it was to the 2nd place team. This time he got beaten by the #6 seed. Twice now he’s won every game but the one that counts the most. That has got to be the worst feeling. Only the Patriots can understand that, and they only did it once.
Huck and Chuck was a fantastic case for the divide between A and B. They were a team on the rise in 2011. After a 2-5 record in B Division in 2010, they took a major jump up by going 8-1 with a +60 point diff and making it to finals. But in 2012, 9 teams wanted to play A and 11 wanted to play B. So in an effort to even things out, we moved Huck and Chuck against their will up to A. The bump up in class was probably even rockier than expected. In A, they went completely in the other direction, losing all their games with a -70 point diff. But interestingly, they will be staying in A in 2013, and this time they’re doing it by choice. Controversy solved I guess.
Remember back to January, when we found out about that crazy $1,000.00 fine for throwing a frisbee on the beach in the Summer? Facebook went ablaze with posts about how ridiculous it was. And it was. But there’s a huge difference between airing your grievances on Facebook – where you don’t really do anything – and really taking action. Tiffany, Julia and Alison took action. They went down to the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting and spoke out, and helped to get the ordinance clarified so we could all throw a disc on the beach in the Summer without fear of getting slapped with a ticket. For a more in-depth read of what happened, click here.
At the Viva poker party in July, the first place prize was pretty juicy, around the area of $400 if my memory serves correctly. I was at the final table, with one of the top stacks, and I can tell you, I was already thinking of things I might buy for my house with the money. Screen doors? A new shelving unit? Maybe a new fence? Well, that didn’t last long as Alice Chen knocked me out. But clearly Laffite had a better idea what to do with the money he ended up winning. After besting a field of around 50 players, he donated the prize money back to Viva. Pretty awesome. I would’ve had a new fence by now. Just saying.
Mystery has been the hallmark of Andy Kennett’s Winter League since he first put it together as Gesundheit in 2011. With little explanation of the name, and a roster submitted that was missing last names of half the guys, they were the complete surprise of the year when they ended up making it to finals. In 2012 they continued to surprise by changing their name to Entanglement, and not only repeating in finals again, but actually winning the whole thing. So as their final act, would you be shocked to find out they’re not coming back for 2013? Jigga what? Yep, it’s true. Year 1, finals. Year 2, trophy. Year 3, poof. Gone.
Trying to cure the long lines of 2011, where some people never made it into the party, Calle made the decision to have a spill over bar for the party at Yankee Doodles. But even with the extra bar, it just wasn’t enough. I mean, 44 more teams meant another 600 players to come out. So in an effort to get those partiers off the street, Monsoon overfilled their bar. And the police took notice. Just at the time when the party was reaching its dancetastic heights, the music shut off, and we were all shoved back onto the street. Partiers make the best of things, of course. There were street musicians who took the opportunity to get some extra cash by creating a little dance party. But that too ended quickly. Fear not though. This coming year, the party will be moving out of the restaurants and bars, and into a location where the rules may not be nearly as strict. I can’t wait.
So the one funny thing that did come out of the party being cancelled was the rally cry of the group on the dance floor downstairs. Before being kicked out, there was a good period of about 10 minutes where the music had stopped and the lights came on, but no explanation was being given as to why. In an effort to keep spirits up, the group began singing songs (Broccoli actually remembers the tunes including Small Town Girl and Build Me Up Buttercup) and in a last ditch effort to not get tossed, the group chanted “We’re not that drunk!” Eh, we still got tossed. Police, it turns out, don’t have nearly the sense of humor you’d think.
CrossFit, Inc. was founded over a decade ago. But it took Ultimate players a little while to take notice. When they did, it happened in a landslide. Some Ulty folks will tell you about how they’ve been doing CrossFit for several years, but it took off in the community in 2012 so rapidly that you almost felt left out if you weren’t doing it. It’s a little pricy, but if you’ve seen the abs, arms, shoulders and shiny-ness of some of the people who’ve been doing it regularly, you might want to start putting aside some money every month to get in on it. Beach days in LA are right around the corner.
This is a special award given out to the CrossFitter who is the poster girl for what it can do for you. And with her new kickin’ body, I’ve seen Martha with her shirt off more times this year than Megan Fox. People, the results are real.
On the very first day of Beach League, Goat met with the captains and made a point to mention how if you walk up to the front of the goal line on any turnover or out of bounds pull, the 2-pointer is in play. But you know, the thing about memory, it takes like A week to get hazy. So Good Vibrations was playing Sandy Cracks late in the season, and we threw a 2-pointer, or so we thought. But Crissy staunchly argued that it wasn’t a 2-pointer when you walk up to the goal line. And in a brilliant move, she produced a piece of paper that proved her point. Well I mean, we assumed it did. We didn’t read it. We just figured she’s got proof in her hand, she must be right. That play contributed heavily to an upset loss. And then later I found out that at least one other team had the same exact thing happen when they played Sandy Cracks. Crissy didn’t mean to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. She just misread the rule, and admitted the mistake. No harm no foul. But it won her at least one game, so she gets the award this year.
Entanglement was one game away from making Finals for two years running when they went up against AFO in Semis. But AFO was the #1 seed, and was solidifying their best season yet with an 8-1 record. AFO immediately jumped out to a huge lead (I believe 8-2 although someone can correct me) and somehow the scrappy team of Long Beach players came all the way back to win. Two straight finals. But there, they fell into another hole, down 13-7 to Marshall in a game to 15. At that point, they called a time-out. That turned out to be the most effective time-out I may have ever seen. Immediately they reeled off 6-straight points to tie it at 13’s. And they held on to win 17-15. A most improbable two consecutive major comebacks that also wins for COMEBACKS OF THE YEAR.
The Pomona senior graduated this year and moved away from LA. But not before captaining a D-3 Nationals championship in 2011 and this year he played on the NexGen Ultimate tour, a team of 15 college all-stars who traveled to 15 different cities to compete against top teams. And also, he plays for China’s national team. No big deal.
Bryan Williams took a step up this year in LAOUT responsibility, captaining his first Summer League team, creating a Beach League team, and assuming the reigns of the Open club team Gridlock. But the year had it’s ups and downs, and the biggest down was the problems on Grey. They were winless halfway through the year when I first started hearing mentions of their poor spirit from opponents. And that led to in-fighting, and a threat of a player quitting. At some point, I had to go over as TD and watch a game and talk to the team. But fortunately, things did improve and they really worked on their issues which nearly resulted in a huge upset win in the 2nd to last week of the season, and by the tournament you could tell they were working together a lot better. So there’s a happy ending.
Foca contributed several poll questions this year, but the one that generated the most emails I can remember was his July 9 poll asking “In the context of Summer League, how do you feel about using the gender ratio to force the other team to play down a player or mark up cross gender.” There were only two possible answers. Essentially: “Dem’s the rules” and “Chill out on the rules”. 102 people responded, and the vote was nearly tied the entire time. A half dozen people wrote me to remark on how amazing it was that the Ulty community was split down the middle on this issue.
So speaking of that rule, on August 16 What Can Brown Do For You played the White Stripes in Co-ed. A toxic spill on the 405 caused huge delays and very few people made it out to the game. Brown could field only 4 players. White could field 6 (they had 5 men and 2 women). But then Brown’s Chris Feeney came up with the idea to use the rules to even the game up a little. On offense, they chose to play 4 women, even though they didn’t have 4 women. But they didn’t have 4 men either. According to the rules though, since they opted to play 4 women, it meant White could only play 5 players instead of 6 (3 men, two women). It was pretty brilliant. That kept them afloat long enough for other players to show up, and they went on to win a squeaker 15-13.
Most of the time, Goaltimate pick-up games were played on the West Side during 2012. But the East Siders wanted to move it for a week to Rose Bowl in Pasadena. They scheduled it at noon on Sunday, so people who wanted to move over to the regular Ultimate pick-up could do that when it started two hours later. But field space became an issue when softball had taken over half the area, and as the Ultimate players began showing up, the Goaltimate players weren’t ready to stop playing. Since noone else spoke up, Lewis determined to take on the Goaltimate players by himself. It got heated, and in the best moment of the fracas, Lewis stood inside the end zone completely halting that pick-up game. That is, until they simply decided to play around him. Hey, sometimes there’s obstacles on the field.
This is pretty amazing, but based on how Alex has been playing this year, it’s not at all surprising. This particular play came with Fork in the Road against 7 Figures. The photo then blew up on Facebook, wound up on USAU’s page, and even Ultimate video star Brodie Smith has been sharing it. I pretty much love any picture where it looks like you’re flying. I don’t know how this sport isn’t on ESPN… every day.
Pick-up at Lake Hollywood. This is just a short two minute video to test slo-mo on his camera, but it’s the only ultimate video I saw this year made in LA. http://vimeo.com/54690374
This was a hotly contested award, as you’ll see below. There were many well deserving couples, but when put out to a vote of a handful of players, Biway were the winners. Nothing against Biclops of course, who is pinchably adorable in his own right, but this award was won mostly by the breathtaking cuteness of Enway. Lots of pressure, by the way. All the previous award winners in this category are still together.
I can’t tell you how proud this makes me. That these guys actually took the End of Year Awards seriously enough to create stickers to promote Stig and Punky as New Cute Couple of the Year. I’m kind of touched. It adds validity to the awards. And truly, they are a super cute couple. Very deserving of that award. One can only speculate whether or not the campaigning helped or hurt them. But the vote definitely went to Biway over Stunky in a close battle. And I left the Beach League tournament with about a dozen stickers pasted to me courtesy of Broccoli. Thanks guys.
I’m sorry, I can’t help it. This is my favorite fact of the decade. That Alice Chen is dating Alice Chen!!! If there is a heaven, things like this happen in it. I love them both, and I love that they love eachother. I love that Alice Bee Chen lists her Facebook status as complicated. And I love the fact she’s said she wishes they had the same middle name too. Of course, this ignores the fact that Balls doesn’t go by Alice, she goes by Shinyi. Yes, yes, I know. But c’mon! It’s aMAZing!
It’s not like this is so innovative. Lots of sites have forums. But this is new to LAOUT for 2012. Bofa added it to the site, in large part to the demand created from the Summer League “I want to rant” poster. You should go there and post things on it. http://www.laout.org/forums/
The Women’s club team Revolution changed their name this year to Viva, which was a great choice for the chanting, the cool new logo, and the new shorts, that were a hit with everyone, prompting a lot of sales even to guys. Unicorns. Who knew?
This is a man who knows how to make an impression. He just moved here last year, and with the Wuhawk in full force, it was hard not to notice him. He played Top Shelf for Winter League, and turned heads with his laser crossfield hammers and layout D’s. With George Van Pelt gone to China, and Chad Woodard going to the barber shop, there was a serious hair of the year void, but thankfully Ed came along and brought style back to LA.
Sometimes, it’s smart to copy from the best. After winning H Division at Lei-Out on the strength of Crissy Vega’s speech about not caring too much and having fun, the Cracks applied that same principle at Beach League. They were tired and hung over and savage and Roxy yawned in the huddle. Crissy remembered that Apollo Anton Ono yawns before speed skating to get an extra burst of energy and they should all do the same. The trick worked. It led to two wins on the day, including an upset win over the defending champs. And I imagined they probably celebrated that with a yawn too. Beat the #1 seed. Whatevs.
He moved during 2012 so he can still win awards this year, and playing with the Sand People, he got to dress up in the best team outfits as far as I’m concerned. The team is from New Mexico, and won the C bracket at Lei Out. And when they won, they raised staffs in the air and made that gutteral sound the Tusken Raiders made from the film when they celebrated a kill. Pretty brilliant.
This is the second straight year a female Sam has won this, with Sam Treu winning last year before sadly moving away again. It’s given out to the new person in town who’s suddenly everywhere in the LA community. And Sam was that. Coming down from Canada, she met everyone, went to all the big parties, served shots at the Viva party, coached the USC women’s B team, got an ultimate nickname (I’ve been here 14 years and I don’t even have a one), found an ultimate boyfriend, and moved into the house of the LAOUT president. Well played miss.
First, I want to apologize for not recognizing Eric Brach’s fantastic recaps of Beach Worlds last year. Total oversight. And now, I must say how incredibly psyched I am that between Winter and Summer Leagues, we got an astounding 57 different players to write recaps this year – way more than any previous year – and it included 11 women. Between them, we wrote 208 recaps. If I may, I got a call from a guy who works at TopScore. He went through our site for possible upgrades, and he mentioned that of all the sites they’ve looked at, we’re the only ones who have these kinds of recaps after games and it was the most exciting part of our site. I credit all of you who’ve contributed, and I hope those who haven’t yet strongly consider writing at least one this year. So…. of all the people who wrote, Henny’s recaps stand out the most for me. He only wrote a few, but each one was brilliantly comedic, and told a story you did not want to put down.
Speaking of re-capping, the person who actually wrote the most recaps all year was Remy, and they were all great. She technically wrote 12, but you’ll only find 11 on the website. I don’t want to dwell too much on the specifics, but I do love a good scandal, and basically Remy objected to something Joy wrote in her recap, and the two of them agreed to delete both of their recaps, and it sparked a ton of emails I got wondering what happened.
He came over here from Texas, playing on the open team Space City, and before that he had a little team called Doublewide on his resume (at least according to his Summer League registration). Also he played for the Hawaiian co-ed teams Party Van and Shugga, and anyone who played for Shugga is definitely okay in my opinion.
When was the last time we got a Team USA player to move to LA? How about a Callahan winner? Obviously her track record is loaded with accomplishments. Won College AND Club Nationals. Now if we can just get her to play for an LA club team.
Boy, I was personally sad to see this team go. They’re such a great story of a team coming from the absolute bottom to becoming contenders. They came to Winter League in 2008, and lost every game in the regular season, only beating Swingers in the 17th place game to escape from the basement. But in 2009 they had the most incredible come-from-behind win in the B finals. By 2011 they had worked their way up to A Division and finished pretty respectfully. And by 2012, they were gone. But for a time, I was hoping they were going to be the story of basement to championship. And they were such a close knit group of friends who partied and traveled together. Probably a big reason they didn’t last was the Bergens and the Dulaneys moving out of LA. Which I understand. Broke my heart when they broke up.
It rained pretty consistently that 2nd day. But the saddest part about this cancellation is that it wasn’t the fields kicking us off. In fact, nobody from Parks and Recreation told us we couldn’t play. It was the lack of players showing up. And that’s shocking because just four months earlier I put out a poll asking people how they felt about playing in the rain, and 3/4 of you said you would play. We didn’t even get half of the players coming out on that Sunday, and so we had no choice but to call it. Some remaining die-hard stayed around to play pick-up in the mud.
Granted 7 didn’t have nearly the stellar regular season they had in 2011 that got them a Regionals win and a winning record at Nationals. But who would’ve expected they couldn’t even win SECTIONALS the following year. The reason was in part because of the unusual schedule that didn’t include a Sunday bracket. But part of that was a loss to a team thrown together for the series. Call Me Maybe had good players on it, for sure. But this team didn’t even finish in the top 10 at Regionals. So yeah, it was a pretty big upset to take down the defending Sectionals champs. Especially when you saw what happened in the rematch on the 2nd day of Sectionals. It was a walloping. Re-focused, 7 Figures downed the rookie team 15-4, making you wonder where they were on Saturday.
I had been hoping all year that this would happen. Team George formed of course behind George Van Pelt last year. He’s a West side player captaining an East side team. But when he decided to play on the West side this year, his former team kept the name. That’s love and loyalty right there. And thus, two Team George’s were born. And the only way they could play eachother would be to meet in the tournament, which fate allowed. Could it have gone any other way? It went right down to the wire, each team winning a game and forcing the rubber match. It was tied 4-4 , of course, on universe point, when Greg Preston threw a score to Wendy Copeland from an angle that if you were watching a plasma screen TV, you wouldn’t be able to see the picture.
This came down to two choices who both played on Purple for Summer League. Alex and Eileen or Chad and Sarah Woodard. Chad and Sarah won Beach League while Alex and Eileen won Winter League, and they both lost in finals in Summer League. Either would be a deserving winner, but I give this nod to Alex and Eileen because Chad didn’t play as much during the season for their Summer League team. And because Chad cut his hair. Sad. Alex and Eileen were rookie co-captains for the Summer, and that’s pretty impressive to get that far in their first try.
Connie had a big year. She won Summer League and Goaltimate League, made it to finals of Winter League, and her team went to Nationals. You could probably argue, had she made the trip to Sarasota, 7 Figures would’ve had a better run there. She was an enormous factor in Sarasota the year before. When teams went up against Green Dot in the Summer, a couple captains considered putting a guy on Connie to contain her. If she baggages with Josh again in 2013, I don’t know how they’re not the first pick in the draft.
There were several choices coming into the Beach League finals. A win for Mojo Jojo or Good Vibrations could’ve sent this another way, but when ShamWow dominated the finals, it was between Scott Mahr and Peaches. Scott won Goaltimate and Beach League, and on a sidenote ran the LA marathon in under three hours, which is pretty sick. But Peaches won Summer League on the Men’s side, Beach League AND Huck-It-Long-Beach. And also went to Nationals alongside Scott. With the three wins, he takes the crown this year.
So there you go folks. Hope you enjoyed it. I certainly loved playing with all of you in 2012 and can’t wait to do it again next year.