I wasn’t going to write a recap because I was going to leave it to people like Lance of Kapow who writes such detailed recaps that puts mine to shame but an interesting sequence of events took place for our team that I felt I must share. I also think this story has gone around winter league so I want to put my take in the mix.
A long time ago in a galaxy far away (last few weeks of our winter league regular season) a team of bandits and misfits (Boba) were discussing plans for the tournament when we began to realize a harsh reality. Two of our main ladies would not be able to attend. We had struggled with numbers for ladies all season so this was quite a blow especially since it was Skittles, who is always dynamite in games, and Megan, who is our standout handler. Skittles was running the LA marathon which I guess is more important (jk we love Skittles), this left Boba at three ladies meaning they would be running savage the whole tournament. Also Maggie was struggling with injury so was potentially hobbled. Our captain, Alex Chin, would also be out because he had to be in Indian Wells for a work event. The tournament was looking pretty grim for Boba.
Alex started the grueling process of asking about ladies and/or subs who might be able to help us out. It turns out a lot of other B teams were in need of ladies as well. We were on our own. No help was coming. It was like the Battle of Helm’s Deep or Pelennor fields when the forces of good were besieged by Saruman and Sauron’s forces with no hope. But then we got two glimmers of hope; a lady named Sarah was slated to join us and Jen was coming to play after a triathlon (which sounds terrible but it was good news nonetheless). So we were somewhat relieved and accepted that we could work with that.
Then the night before the tournament, Sauron released the Witch King on us; Sarah was out and no help would be coming for besieged Boba. We were in trouble, savage ladies with maybe one late sub who Merlin kept assuring us would not be coming. Also neither of captains, Chin or Skittles, would be there to lead us. We were leaderless and in a desperate situation. So then I, like Frodo in the Fellowship of the Ring a timid and someone who avoids risks, decided to make a Hail Mary play. I messaged a lady, who I never met before, on CoffeeMeetsBagel if she would come play with us. She said she was down!
To give a bit of context, I had been messaging her via the app a few times and we seem to have good rapport but I did not expect her to respond in the affirmative. I told my team the good news and it lifted us just like the ride of the Rohirrim lifted the siege of Gondor in The Return of the King. Everyone was pumped and ready to play.
Later that night, as I went to bed, I began to feel very anxious about this whole ordeal. I never do things like this, talk to strangers and especially a lady. I definitely never have had a friz tournament as a first date of sorts. Growing up, I did not talk to girls outside of my family much if at all. I was not allowed to date before marriage and even though I have moved beyond that period in my life, I still struggle with developing relationships with people and especially women. I probably slept at most 2 hours that night, I was so anxious.
The morning of the tourney came and the plan was she would drive to my place and we would go together. I waited anxiously and I saw her car pull up. My head was aching from lack of sleep, my heart was pounding, the butterflies in my stomach were not just fluttering but zooming around, and I felt some pain in my left arm which made me worry that I was about to have a heart attack. I went out to meet her and her smile and warm hello put me at ease almost immediately. The ride to the tournament was actually a joy. She was pleasant to talk to and we had a good conversation in the car ride over getting to know each other a bit more. She was not a friz player and had no experience except a few times in high school. I reassured her that we were just happy she was willing to play with us. I still could not believe she agreed to play with us and I mentioned that to her. Her response was, I’m from Massachusetts, we like to do different things. (By the way, is that a thing? Are Californians less inclined to do something like that?).
Anyway, the tournament ended up being a blast. Chicago was our captain and he really was a great captain for us; always positive, always encouraging. We had a tough first match against Retro who are so skilled and experienced. Their energy and camaraderie is something to behold. (Their Come Sail Away video was awesome and so fun). Apparently, my dating story was going around Retro as well which they found hilarious. I got a lot of admiration, that game haha. It was also windy which challenged us greatly. The points were long and Retro was a class above that day. It was not the best first match for someone who has never really played before, especially when she had to guard Meg and their tough ladies. But I really appreciate my team helping out and showing her the ropes especially the ladies on our team all were so supportive. We lost 7-4 which I think was almost the same score we lost to Retro last year. After the game, I asked my date how she felt about the game and she was like it is so much running, she shouldn’t have drunk and smoke hookah last night. She is definitely one of us.
Since we were in the beer bracket now, we started to drink and have fun. Merlin brought his alien beers and Chicago had White Claws. Jo had an assortment of liquors and juices for mixed drinks. The spirit was high. Our next game was against Zanja Madre. I don’t remember the score but we won. We started to click and work well. Jen showed up and played despite the triathlon. My date was starting to get a bit of a feel for the game and remarked that this game was way better than the first. It was a good time against a fun group who had a really elaborate cheer written down on a white board. We were sufficiently drunk by this point.
We then had to play Pasadena Sea Pandas who unlike our first match with them, had their star Caltech players like Jaime playing. We came into the game fired up on energy, positivity and most of all booze. I got a handblock on the first point near their endzone but couldn’t convert. This led to us being hilariously bad for most of the half. Miscues, misthrows, dropped passes, overthrows and we were reeling. They went up 6-0. Then we either got focused or sobered up and we rattled off 5 back. They took half 7-5. We were buzzing as the drinks continued to flow but we got ourselves in it. We came out fired up after half and brought it to 7-7. The point to 7 was personally grueling. I think I ran the length of the field like 4-5 times chasing a Caltech kid and not being able to hold on to a great deep look from Chicago. It finally ended when I caught a score from Chicago. It went to universe, and the next point wins. We started to work up the field, everything was looking good until an incomplete pass. The Sea Pandas then worked it down the field and manage to throw off a great break throw to the opposite corner of the endzone ending the game. We lost but we were proud of our comeback and our intensity.
All in all the tournament was great. From not knowing if we could field enough players to last to coming close to winning the last game despite missing key players was a great feeling. It was also personally enriching for me to experience something I’ve never experienced before. I’m feeling optimistic about furthering my new relationship. I learned something about taking risks and being rewarded and that feeling is honestly pretty great and empowering. I also want to thank my team for being there and supporting myself and my date with encouragement and positivity the whole way. She had a great time and it wouldn’t be possible without the team. I extend my thanks to the whole frisbee community for the tournament and this whole season in general for all the good spirit y’all bring to every game and for listening to my musings in these recaps. I feel like I’m turning a leaf in my life and I’m glad you guys are apart of it! Thank you and keep those discs flying!