I have two recaps for you. The first is from Stephanie Hicks of Underdog. The second is from Michael Miller of Dynomutt, which based on his last two recaps, we should be receiving somewhere around the week after the tournament ends.
So we’ll start with Steph.
Another epic Thursday night at Rancho. I doubt that anyone from Princess Unikitty or Ren will write a recap…. SHAME! SHAME!… so I’ll tell you about what I know from that game. Jeff cut his hand on something and sent a pic to the wrong GroupMe, by which Underdog’s Captain Chris Walthers offered to bring some whiskey and thread and stitch Jeff up himself. I told Jeff to go to Urgent Care and get real stitches, and then come drink it off. He chose the latter, which I am grateful for. Although I think in an extreme survival situation I would TOTALLY trust Chris to play doctor. Maybe it’s cause he works in a research lab at UCLA coming up with cures for cancer. It’s like, he’s almost a doctor. Princess Unikitty got some sweet ass tiara’s since the last time we played them. Jealous. I wish Underdog wore a tiara, because I would rock that shit. But sadly the cartoon cat/dog divide generally follows the male/female divide, where cats are stereotypically “female” and dogs are stereotypically “male.” There are many exceptions to this within our league, which I will let Andy point out below. But sadly Underdog does not rock any sparkly headgear, although I’m sure if I got the team glitter and tiaras, they would oblige me…. maybe…
Ok, back to the game that wasn’t my game. Every time I looked over, the pink team seemed to be scoring. Lu actually showed up for PU. Garrett was not there for Ren, keeping with the trend of me never seeing them at the same place and time this summer. Are they really actually one person?? Oh wait, I thought about it more and I’ve definitely hung out with them both a few times. But still — it was a fun conspiracy theory to float. Anyway, Princess Unikitty won the game. And the bar. And Kwok happily drank with everyone and didn’t seem too bothered by the loss. Probably because he has to replace his two first round women and basically the worse record you have means the better draft placement you get, every round. There’s been lots of discussion about whether or not this encourages tanking, but there’s no need to worry about that with us because I’m much more invested in a first round bye at this point because it’s going to be IMPOSSIBLE to replace everyone on our team who is leaving us for the tourney no matter what order we go in.
Now for the Underdog versus Dynomutt game. Dynomutt was missing Spike and Dan and they have a ton of fast tall receivers, so if they’d had their awesome hucker-handlers they would have really given us a run for our money. They were also missing virtually all their women and Maggie was sidelined, but they were helped with Viv and Bubbles who are awesome. The game started with Underdog on O. We scored with an easy floater from Matt to Cortez (I think). Neither of whom will be at the tournament for Underdog. So I’m going to talk about how awesome they are and not worry about giving a free scouting report to all the other teams we haven’t played yet.
I haven’t talked much about Matt in my recaps this season, because he’s an Aviator and it’s like, yeah, duh he’s good, so why do I need to point that out every week? But really, I’ve been SOOOOO happy to have Matt on my team. He shows up every week, even after tough game days when he’s exhausted, he’s always early even though he comes down from Santa Clarita, he’s a work horse, he throws to all the women, encourages and helps everyone. He’s unselfish on the field, and he’s fast and tall and can handle and cut. And he does it all with a big smile on his face, and isn’t overbearing or frustrated even when we’re sucking and losing. He’s a lot how Brandon was for Pink last year. Very humble and kind in a world where we’ve come to expect arrogance and anger from pro-sports players, and for that sadly to trickle down to fun leagues [see Joanna’s article from last week]. But not with Matt. He manages to teach you while being encouraging and you don’t feel talked down to. He makes all of us better players. I’m so sad to lose him! He’s been a huge part of making Underdog special this year. Last night when he kept randomly dropping it in the first half of the game, I might have heckled him by yelling loudly “good thing we get to replace you!” But it’s just a lie. It’s not a good thing! I know we have some great options, but I’m so sad our little Underdog family is breaking up. Luckily we get to keep his younger brother Mikey for the tournament, who is just slow and terrible and drops it all the time and you should not consider him a deep threat whatsoever…
And Cortez. Damn. I love that girl. Also one of the best players out there and she has the same quiet, unassuming style. I first met Cortez when we played on rainbow, the one summer we got rainbow shorts instead of a jersey. I remember she kept leaving to go swim in the pool and was SUPER drunk by the end of the tournament. Which is winning in my book. But on the field, when not trashed, Cortez is the master of playing super chilly on offense, then catching her defender off guard, and suddenly being WIDE open in the endzone and coming down with it despite double or triple coverage. She’s a force. And I always want her on my team so we don’t have to guard her. Cause it’s impossible. She’s also been a chilly handler for us, and generally so positive and fun to be around while also being a steely competitor. I’ve begged and bribed Wildfire to change their practice to no avail. So we’re also replacing Cortez, but I’m so happy she’s balled out for us all season. And last night was no exception. She came down with the disc over and over in the endzone, saving quite a few questionable hucks by Toph who is just terrible and can’t throw and you should not consider him a threat whatsoever.
Back to the game. Dynomutt came out strong. We traded points — Dynomutt’s Randy floated a beautiful throw to Drea, who I was guarding, and it sadly lofted over my fingertips and into her hands. I was pissed I got scored on. Drea is sneaky fast when she wants to be. This is why I liked having her on Pink last year. You underestimate her and then suddenly she’s scoring on Skipper in the semi-finals at the tournament and firing everyone up. On a Dynomutt huck, Julius came down it with despite a monumental effort by Johnny. But Johnny got it back later by hand blocking Julius, and I don’t think he scored again. Cause Johnny is just terrible and slow and drops it all the time and you should not consider him a threat whatsoever.
After that we shut it down. We got a break. Went up 4-2. They called a time out. We threw a zone. Took half 8-3.
I’ve known for a few weeks now that we were losing Sam and Kellie for the tournament, who are my young-speed-demon-twins. They were awesome last night. Both scored on a few long hucks. You literally have to back them all night and force them in because they are faster than you and will outrun you and score every time. I love them because I rarely have to guard the fast women either and then can keep up with everyone in the league. I’ve begged and pleaded, but both will be out of town and can’t change their plans.
AND, I found out last night that on the male-side of things, I’m also losing new dads Armand and Johnson. Both with newborns, both work-horses, both encouraging and kind. Armand just wants to play every D-point and sweat through multiple jerseys. He can handle and huck and also cut and be open for everything. Johnson unselfishly hangs back, and Chris and I are always saying, we need to make him play more cause he’s SO good. Every point he quietly cuts and is open in the middle for 15-20 yard gains over and over. And then he’ll surprise you with an awesome flick huck right into your hands in the endzone. I keep trying to get him to handle more, but he likes to cut. I’m the same way, I get it. I also haven’t talked a lot about Armand this season, because, like Matt, everyone knows he’s great. But seriously guys… he’s SO great. And like everyone on Underdog, he’s positive, fun and encouraging. He utilizes everyone on the field, he saves your shitty throws, poaches and saves your shitty D, and he’s just so excited to be out there playing — even with a newborn and no sleep — and it’s infectious for the whole team, which is totally what Summer League is about!
Honestly, we played pretty sloppy last night, but we got away with it since Dynomutt was down so many of their people. It was a fun, spirited game and I hope to see them again at full-strength because they have loads of talent! We won 15-5. Pat got to play a ton and guarded Randy all night, which was a great match-up. Pat is ALSO leaving us for the tournament for which I am SUPER sad because he’s THE BEST. He’s so unselfish and we have to constantly push him to play more. He plays super hard D, even when the guy is 20-30 years younger than him. He cuts hard, gets open, scores and he’s just super fun to have around. Dang. I’m so sad that this summer is coming to an end! I love my team so much!!
So, Chris and I made our Underdog babies their own jerseys and got their mom’s some treats. Johnny took home the Underdog, as aforementioned, because he’s terrible.
Then EVERYONE helped some Dynomutts jump start their car. Ultimately we couldn’t get it started and they had to call AAA. It was comical how many people were huddled around the battery…
Chris parked next to this beautiful piece of art at Joxers.
And Princess Unikitty cheered when the last of the Underdogs and Dynomutt’s left after midnight and Princess Unikitty official won the bar in their tiaras.
Steph is working hard to undersell her players, the ones who will actually be at the tournament. I love the work being put in here. She’s a pro.
Yes Steph. There ARE male cats and female dogs.
Wow, this just highlights what an atrocious job I did at finding female characters. But the dogs are by far mostly male at 7-1. The cats are also mostly male at 5-2-1 although not as much so.
I have never played with Mike, and I don’t know if I’ve even ever played against him, so I can’t second any of Steph’s comments, although I completely trust everything she says. I’ve actually, to the best of my knowledge, never played on a team with Cortez, although we’ve definitely competed against each other many times. If I was ranking current Ultimate players on favorite sense of humor, Cortez is my #1 seed. Sam Regnier, I should point out, would be my #1 if he didn’t stop playing Ultimate almost entirely. Not sure my 3 seed. I’ll have to think about that. Probably Rachel Bowers, who also stopped playing mostly. And then Criqet. Why do all the funny players leave? Don’t go anywhere Cortez, please.