Saturday, July 09, 2005

Big Rosters

Jim P has been talking about rosters and efficiency, and, as 6TM is just finishing up with the final touches on our roster, I thought I'd add some thoughts on roster size. 6TM had 13 men and 8 women last year. It was generally agreed upon when we reviewed last year that we were not quite deep enough at Nationjals. We also made a few errors in our subbing over the course of that tournament (Jay, for example, played 16 points in our first game against Uncivil Union). So, in discussing the roster for this year, we decided that we would need to use our bench more fully this year, plus add a few folks (4 men and 2 women) to make us just that much deeper.

Now, I am not getting any younger, so I am quite pleased with this change, even though I am somewhere down around the middle of pack in terms of PT. I told Marshall that he would never hear a complaint from me about PT, and this was true. After a few years of "starting" on teams that finished 9th at Nationals, I realized that for me to go further, I would need to play on a team that I would see limited PT on. I was very happy with my role (2nd string O) last year, and Marshall mentioned that he was happy that I was able to come off the bench strong. This is a skill that has taken some years to develop, and I am not sure how I fit into Jim's graphs.

We took a large roster to the Boston Invite, and with the heat and humidity, I was glad we did so. It actually felt, even though it was a 2 day tournament, that the heat challenged our bench in a similar way to Nationals, and I think the size and depth of our bench contributed greatly to our win.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Seattle/Potlatch Trip

My family just returned from a week in Seattle. We went there to visit Ruth's cousins, and I was going to play at Potlatch for the first time. We landed at 5:30pm last night, and no one could go to bed before 11pm. We had breakfast at 10:30am this morning, so the time adjustment still needs some work.

We landed in Seattle around 11am past. Apparently, Seatac has a terrible reputation for getting the baggage to the baggage claim, and our case was no different, as it took 90 minutes to get our baggage. The plus side of this was hanging out with Dave Hill and his sister, and, as she lives in Seattle, was able to give us many handy tips for the tourist portion of the trip. We decided to proceed directly to the Seattle Zoo as we knew we had to be out and about for as long as possible. I must say that Frances (8 years old) was a real trooper and managed the time change with grace. The zoo is very nice, and, with partaking in the local obsession with caffeine, we kept a reasonable energy level throughout. The gorilla exhibit was great. The silverback was huge and the baby was very active.

We made our way to Ruth's cousins house and had dinner out with Roger. He is a physician at UW. Roger and Fernne opened their home to us for week. They are very relaxed and don't impart a sense of needing to entertain upon the proceedings.

On Weds, we drove up the coast to Whidby Island. We crossed over Desolation Pass and made our way to Coupeville. The pass offered some spectacular views, and the weather was warm and sunny. The island was quaint, and we had a nice lunch. We made our way to South Whidby State Park to spend some time on the beach. The water was too cold for swimming, but Frances found a clay deposit nestled in a fresh water stream. She and 2 other kids spent the next several hours painting themselves with clay and making primitive bowls. We struck up a conversation with the mother of Frances' new friends and ended up having dinner with them before getting on the ferry to go home. So it was a very full day.

Thurs was Seattle day, so we went downtown to be tourists. We spent the morning at the Aquarium after walking through Pike's Place Market. The market is fun, but I can't help feeling like I am in tourist land, kind of like Faneuil Hall in Boston. We enjoyed the otters and the octopus at the aquarium. It is not a large aquarium, but the exhibits were well thought out and focused. After lunch, we went to visit Ruth's cousin Ben, who works at an art gallery in the center of town. Very fun work displayed there. Eli, Ruth's other cousin, made us all a wonderful dinner of halibut that evening.

On Friday, we rented a canoe and went out on Lake Washington. We went through the arboretum, and saw Great Blue Herons, many ducks, a raccoon, and a woodchuck. We went to the University district for lunch, and had a so-so meal at a teriakyi joint. Ruth and I went to see Eli's salsa band that evening, and they are very good. Eli has a good voice and the band lays down great grooves.

Saturday morning comes, and our trips go in different ways. Ruth and Frances drive to Roger and Fernne's cabin in the Ockanogan region. They bought 500 acres and built themselves a very nice place to relax. Ruth said they met interesting folks up there. Many folks living off the grid and homeschooling.

This day began my first time to Potlatch. I played with the Northeast Neighborhood Bullies (Josh McCarthy, Sangwha, Fun Boy, Skipper, Adam Goff, Jay Clyne, Megahn from San Fran, Evan, Joe, Paul, Frannie, Abby, Dave Wu, and Lisa G). Sat morning was a bit rainy and our first game was against Beer Run, a "real" Mixed team from the Bay Area. We knew some folks on the team, and they played, according to them, "horribly" and we won 15-6, roughly. Personally, I played terribly, and this continued through the day, making it one of the more useless days of my Ultimate career. We then played Sleeveless in Seattle (Fury/Wisconsin/Jam). We lost 15-13. They ended up making it to A pool semi' they must have started to play better than they played against us. For our last game of the day, we played Joy Ride (Vancouver). We played badly and lost 15-14, but based on point diff still finished 2nd in the pool. I then settled in to watch Team USA play Canada in an entertaining game. USA won 16-15. Jay's parents played host to Dave, Lisa, and me that evening and made us an incredible dinner.

Sunday. We played two pretty mediocre teams to start. Won both by large margins. I decided to break up my routines/superstitions as yesterday was terrible. I shaved, had coffee not espresso, and it really paid off...I guess. I felt much better. Active and much more confident. Our last was against DTL from Colorado. 6TM played them at Nationals last year and beat them 15-8. The fun wrinkle is that they won an fundraising auction item to help with Team USA's costs of going to Germany. Their prize was having Ted Munter coach them during a game at Potlatch, and it turned out to be their game against us. So this was fun, they played well, and beat us 14-11. I spoke with Ted after, and he said he suggested that they move away from their spread stack that they love to run. It will be interesting to see if they make changes come fall. Went to the party after....with very low expectations, which proved to be prudent. It was nice to chat, but the paltry servings of salmon left much to be desired.

After much political negotiating, Josh got his wish. We got the B pool, and our first round was against Suckwagon (Harvard). I came out strong, but injured my hamstring in the 4th point. We went down 4-1, before Josh (who said that we CANNOT lose the game) literally took over and we won 15-11. We then played a local team, Bizerkerpiggy. We played well and won 15-6. Jay had to leave, so we were down to about 6 guys. We were tired and lost in semis to UBC to end out tournament.

I was grateful to be invited on the team, and it was a fun tournament. I felt my additional mission of scouting out Mixed teams (Hang Time, Shazaam, Brass Monkey, DTL) was successful. I also really enjoyed watching Team USA and watching them play.

Ruth and Frances met me at the fields, and we went to a 4th of July party on the lake. Very nice fireworks and food.