I was going to write this article about all the teams that went winless in Summer League history. 363 teams have played Summer League, and it’s only happened 4 times, and the last time was 11 years ago. So it’s pretty rare. And I thought it would be fun to get the perspective from players who played on those 4 teams. I did actually get quotes from at least one person from each team, and that includes the 2001 and 2002 teams where the players have moved away from LA long ago.
But in the end, I just couldn’t make it funny enough to keep it from being a real downer article. I thought maybe if people could provide some inspiring words for Lady before their final game, it would be worth it, but it was hard for most people to muster up anything particularly encouraging, which I totally get. Although Brian Calle, who played on the 2002 Yellow team told a funny story about getting super drunk the night before and his team having to go to his house to pick him up after games started when he failed to show (he lived close to the Pomona field at the time) and he booted and rallied at the field. But they still lost. Cause, you know, they were a last place team.
Apologies to the people who wrote me stories, including Colin Whitman who interestingly enough played on the last team to go winless 11 years ago and is also captaining Lady. I just couldn’t make the article good enough to make it work. That’s on me. Also, I was planning to write the article on Sunday morning but I got into a bar scuffle on Saturday night (a good story for the bar tomorrow night at Joxer’s) and it really took me out of the writing mood.
So here’s Lady’s Christi Place Your Betz with another thrilling story of a game that went to universe. Back-to-back weeks:
Alright. It’s Lady’s last game of Summer League. We just had a crazy close game the week before ending in a loss on universe. We’re down a lot of our key players – Stig, Colin, Tiff, Adair. And we’re debating whether or not we really want to ruin our perfect season (0-9). In our pre-game huddle, we decided that we should just have fun and see what happens.
We started on offense and scored first. Cool! Then Blue came back and we traded points for a bit. My next score check was at 3-2 Lady. Hey! We’re still up! Nice! And then apparently Blue snapped out of it and took us on a run. All of a sudden it was 6-3 Blue. I called a time out. We gathered ourselves and then we scored! Yay! But Blue kept up their momentum and took half 8-4.
At half, we decided that we should be a second half team. But then Blue decided they wanted to try zone. Lady was a little caught off guard, but we stayed chilly and worked it up the field. Corey had the disc on the sideline about 20 yards off the endzone. I was already deep in the endzone and cut in for the score, but one of the Blue dudes tried to make a play on the disc and fully collided with me causing me to drop it. I called dangerous play / foul / strip because I felt all of the above, but I wasn’t entirely sure what happened. I had a decent grab at the disc, but I didn’t completely stop rotation because just as that was about to happen, Blue guy ran into me. He was very nice about it, but there was confusion on what should happen next. In the end I think it was an uncontested foul, and I took the disc at the corner of the endzone. Of course, then we did our Lady thing and everyone panicked and I threw it away. On the turn, I think Greta then collided with a Blue lady and got her other ankle stepped on (but it was a quick recovery).
Then something crazy happened and Lady starts to turn the tides. Judge has a great deep cut for a score. Cody streaks deep for a score. Jennifer has an awesome grab for another score. Alex also gets stepped on, but he scores so it’s worth it.
We check time at 9:47 and it’s tied at 11s. We still have time, but not a lot. We trade points until it’s 13-14 Lady! Game point?! AGAIN?! I’m starting to feel a repeat of last weeks game, and then the rest of the game goes something like this:
Tied at 14s
15-14 Lady (Oh hey! we’re up! Can we do this before the lights go out??)
Tied at 15s
16-15 Lady (Come on, come on, come on!)
Tied at 16s (UNIVERSE AGAIN?!)
Final 17-16 LADY!!!!!!
AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! WE WON A GAME!!!!!!!!!!
And then just after we scored, the lights went out.
As far as who one the bar, 100% uncontested – Blue. Our 5 Ladies were nothing compared to the 10+ Blues there. Things got a little…interesting… with a lot of Odds going around. One involved Cory and Devore racing to see who could slurp up the most of the spilled beer on the table. Nay declared Cory the winner, hands down. But then things really took a turn with Cory trying to get Greta to eat a handful of his chest hair. Cory lost, ate his own chest hair, and then washed it down with some beer. Shortly after that, I got a “phone call” from my mom, and I had to leave.
All in all, great game against Blue, great season, and great way to lead into the tourney!
I just hope they let us come back to Robin Hood next year.
Wait a minute, wait a minute, Wait. A. Minute!!!! Are you telling me Lady got their first win of the season WITHOUT Stig? I’m floored. Are we in the Upside Down? Even Stig’s Lego Avatar is shocked.
That expression can also apply to Cory eating his own chest hair. Which I’m just gonna gloss over, and forget I ever heard that.
Congratulations to Lady for not finishing as the 5th winless team in Summer League history. Maybe they can take this momentum into the tournament. I’m telling you, it’s the hardest 16th seed any #1 seed has ever had to face in Summer League.
Note: No 16 seed has ever beaten a 1 seed in Summer League. It also never happened in the NCAA March Madness tournament until UMBC beat Virginia this year. So there’s hope for Lady.
Also, BTW, the back-to-back universe points for Lady is not even a record. The record is three in a row, set by Military Academy Black Nights in Men’s league in 2013.
When you get a universe game, you know you’re getting two recaps, and we have Bryan DeVore from Blue’s Clues with the other angle:
We saw the match-up on the schedule. A hungry, but winless Lady has been playing some very close games recently. Lady has such talent and they just need to figure out how to tweak a few things to turn a few of their losses into wins.
Before the game breakdown, I want to talk briefly about one unfortunate and controversial play. I was watching intently and we convened to chat about it after, but please point out if I’m incorrect about the way that this happened. There was a point where we threw zone and the Blue live side wing was guarding his area and a throw went up in the end zone more towards the line than he was. Lady’s woman was in perfect position to catch the throw, but before she could stop rotation, the Blue wing made contact with her and the disc. I believe the Blue player didn’t know what was ahead of his path when he was running for the disc and accidentally ran into the Lady player. I’d say it was dangerous. Immediately the sideline was in an uproar and it was generally unspirited chatter. I understand why, but it made it very hard to help make it a teaching moment. Ultimately, I believe the correct decision was made. It ended up an uncontested foul and the Lady player took the disc from the front of the end zone. I think there was a little bit of confusion as some players believed it should have been a goal. I talked with the Blue player to talk about how to avoid that from happening and how to address foul calls when they occur.
With that said, Blue has been developing a rough MO of playing a really solid 1 quarter of a game. Last week I talked about us being a freight train that is hard to start. This game was no different. We started on D and got a turnover, but were not able to complete a throw. On offense the next point, we were able to work it up, but couldn’t punch it in. Lady worked it down the field to go up 2-0. Not a big deal, but not the start you really want. We trade points, but then really turn it on. Our freight train made it to full steam. Everything is connecting and we’re on fire. This was our one quarter of exceptional ultimate. Blue is up 8-4 at the half. We chat about a couple small things, but enjoy the silly energy and look to keep it going.
Dead halt. We start out on offense and turn it near our end zone and they score. Next point was hard fought, but ultimately they take it. Then there’s another break and another break. Somehow, the game ran away from us a bit here. I think it’s a concentration thing, but it’s hard to say. Execution and decision making weren’t what they were in the first half.
The second half is a blur of hard fought points, Blue getting a hold and a break, then Lady coming right back to even it up. At around 13-12 Lady, though there were a few turnovers from both sides, we end up trading all the way up to 17-16 Lady.
I couldn’t sleep much last night, as I lay awake thinking of the missed opportunities. I think we really lost this game in the first few points of each half. Both sides really wanted to win this game and I think by the end, we had a really fun, competitive game. Overall, if Blue plays ultimate like this every game, we are on the road to success.
Jack. Jack flew back into town day of the game, just to play ultimate with us. (Okay probably not, but I like to think so) Jack probably was the smartest player on the field all night. His cuts were timed right and every time he threw it, the disc moved to an advantageous position where the defense was out of place.
Cory – Damn man. I’ve seen him play a lot of ultimate this summer and I was really impressed with the show he put on last night. He was flying around the field on defense, open on every dump reset, making the Cory classic around break throws. Props to him for a great night.
Steph! She definitely had the best game of her season so far last night. I think the biggest change was confidence. She make great cuts and played really hard defense all night. The only thing more impressive than her play was how much fun she was having.
Blue swarms the bar as always and I think we’re generally a really goofy bunch, but Lady had the strongest presence of any team we played against this year. I attribute a lot of that to Cory O. Dude is absolutely hilarious. Before the draft, on the live stream, he told me to draft him and I was trying to downplay both his ability on the field and his bar game so that he could drop to the third round, but there was no way that was happening. In the end, Blue won the bar and has been undefeated through 9 games.
We have one day to rid ourselves of our hangovers, tired legs, and heavy hearts before we see you all at Joxer’s Wednesday.
I love that Blue’s Clues is gonna make it to the bar on Wednesday even though they’re playing at Belmont, which is about 15-20 minutes drive from the bar that time of night. That’s the spirit, and I’ll be so happy to see them there.
Christi mentioned the situation DeVore is talking about because she was involved in the play. Since I wasn’t there, it’s hard to comment myself, but I will let you know that LAOUT just recently adopted WFDF’s Dangerous Play Foul into our rules. But it hasn’t been implemented into a league yet. I believe it will start with Fall Beach League, or maybe the women’s beach tournament that precedes it. The Dangerous Play Foul can be called even if no contact is made. I wasn’t at World’s this week in Canada, but I talked to a player who was giving me the rundown of how they do spirit at the International Level, which is apparently VERY significant to them, and he said it was really eye opening and made him rethink how he plays Ultimate. It was pretty cool.