Sunday, May 26, 2013

Peaked Too Soon

This evening I got to do the coolest thing.  I hooked the laptop up to the TV and watched The College Ultimate Open Semi-Final live.  I think this should count as national TV as I assume someone actually gets ESPN3 as part of their cable package even though it turns out we don't.  I had to use the Watch ESPN streaming feature on their website (which of course requires that you actually have cable - a rant for another day).

If you missed it there is going to be a rebroadcast on ESPNU later this week.  That running is scheduled to record on the DVR, but why wait when you can see it live online?

Pitt was one of the two teams playing in the semi I watched: Pitt Vs. Oregon.  The other Semi is Carlton vs. Central Florida (which is probably over is, Central Florida won).  I can't say I am a rabid Pitt Ultimate fan, but it was nice to be able to root for a Pittsburgh team and I will happily root for them in the final tomorrow.

For me though, the reason watching this game on television was so cool is that in the spring of 1989 I actually played in it.

1989 College Nationals was in Wilmington North Carolina and I was a junior in college.  I played for Carnegie Mellon's "Mr. Yuk" and it was my third and the team's fourth (and last) trip to Nationals.  We'd played really well in pool play.  I had actually thrown two goals: one a total rainbow hammer to Greg Wolff against Indiana and the other a much longer than I thought it was flat flick to Ron Papineck against North Carolina.  That year I was arguably the 7th starter or the first or second guy off the bench, a dedicated middle who could handle a little and would work real hard and smart on D.

We drew returning champions Santa Barbara in the semi-final.  I remember they had this fake up the line, dump over the mark break pass at the staple of their offense.  Midway through the first half I discovered that off a turn you could totally stymie their play by just standing in the break behind the mark and giving them the easy pass up the line which it turned out they didn't want.  They were so disciplined that they'd let the stall go up to 8 or 9 before they'd abandon the called play.

Yuk actually lead something like 8 to 3 at halftime.  After that we collapsed, or they really rallied, or both.  I think we lost like 15-12 in the end.  After the game we talked about easy things we forgot to do that could have got us another couple of points.  We never sent our handlers deep, we never threw our zone, really aggravating stuff in hindsight.  These days the teams actually have coaches, with clipboards, they probably would catch things like that (although I guess what would make one team better would probably make both teams better).

I think there was an ESPN in 1989.  I doubt there was an ESPN3 or an ESPNU.  Would have been nice if there had been though.  It would have been nice for my friends to have seen me play in the National Semi-Final (and would be great to be able to go back and watch a tape now).

I guess it will be enough to be able to do it vicariously.

No comments: