Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Club Reshuffle #1- Godiva is disbanding

Like the re-emerging buds of spring, rumors of changes in the make up of club teams are ripe in their speculation and sense of potential. I think the first rumors I heard were on the alt-RSD Ultimatetalk chat section. These initial rumors mainly centered around West Coast teams. This talk spilled for a moment onto RSD, but it seemed to carry the weight of the typical beginning of the season optimism.

Then....this evening...comes the following RSD post under the title "Godiva Rides off into the sunset.....":

"Boston women's Ultimate is getting a shake up this season: some leaders
from Godiva and Brute Squad are joining forces to form a new
competitive women's Ultimate team. We have a shared vision of a team
that will incorporate the strengths of Godiva and Brute Squad and leave
room to develop and employ new strategies. Our goal is to create a team
that will continue to compete at the highest levels of the game while
integrating diverse talents, implementing dynamic strategies, and
having fun along the way.
We are interested in players with various backgrounds and experiences,
ranging from up-and-coming high school and college players to veteran
club players. We welcome women who are eager to learn, develop and
compete at an intense level.

Open tryouts will be held in the Boston area every weekend in June and
culminate with the Boston Invitational tournament (June 24/25).
Times/location to be announced. If you have a scheduling conflict,
please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your
individual situation.

In the meantime, we hope that you will join us for pre-season training
sessions and/or tournaments so that we can get to know one another. We
will be playing at Henelopen on April 29/30 -those interested should
email one of the contacts listed below.

Please email Peri Kurshan (pkurs...@gmail.com) or Betty Smith (
tortugal...@yahoo.com) if you are interested in trying out, would like
more information, or have any other questions.

We are looking forward to an exhilarating new season and hope that you
will join us for the ride!
-VY Chow, Nancy Sun, Nurit Bloom, Betty Smith, & Peri Kurshan"

I was reduced to a superficial "......wow....."

I am certainly not the person to offer any perspective on the Godiva legacy. There are many, many players out there that are better writers and much more qualified than me that, I hope, will be able to put this change into context. My extremely limited offering is that this team defined, for me, discipline, competitive drive, and high standards.

From my outside viewpoint, I can understand the change, even if it feels like we have lost something. I hope the best for this new team, and, like the newly developing spring, it sounds like it will be chance at a fresh start.


LittleOrphanAnnie44 said...

Molly Goodwin must be rolling in her grave.

Oh wait, she's not dead yet.

Sam TH said...

Why do you think this is Godiva, rather than Brute Squad, disbanding? I realize that Peri's post title suggest that, but I recall that when Dog and Hogg merged, it looked like something similar was happening, and now there's one team, and it's not called Boss Hogg. Also, 3 of the 4 people who seem to be leading the team are Godiva players.

But it does suggest that the rigidness of Godiva's structure is going away. I wasn't in Boston when they were dominant, so I can't tell whether that's why they were good. But the reason that Riot crushed everyone last year was they just had way better players. So maybe strategy's not all it's cracked up to be.

gcooke said...


I wrote Peri, and she said that Godiva was disbanding. As for Brute, my guess is that they will figure out if they want to remain as intact as possible...or try-out for this new team.

My impression is that it was a combination of the structure, but also the work ethic, competitive spirit, and, of course, talent.

MC played on 6TM this year, so I got a chance to ask her about the Godiva O (I am pretty sure I told this story in this blog before). I asked her, "After a while, didn't the other teams know where the cuts were coming from". She said "Oh yes, and that was when Teens and Mollie would improvise".

The thing that I admire the most is that they seemed to question and analyze everything down to the smallest detail. Their marks, for example, are a bit different than most teams, and from my conversations with some Godiva alums, the reasons for this are very well thought out. I am sure the intention was effectiveness, but to me it also came across as questioning the "norm".


Tarr said...

Back when Godiva was winning every year, people made the same argument Sam makes about Riot - that they were winning not because they had the best strategy, but because they had the best players. In fact, many of the DoG guys have made the argument that they won despite their "80's" style, hyperdisciplined offense.

That said, I get goosebumps when I listen to Molly and Teens on the AB2k commentary track, talking about playing the "right way". I am deeply attracted to the notion that the far-and-away most talented team in their division would spend a large proportion of their practice time working on basic fundamentals. It sends an extremely powerful message about what really matters in this game.

I wonder what will become of the half (or more) of the women that don't make "God Squad"? Will a new team emerge, a-la Boss Hogg in the ashes of Snapple/Roq/Darkhorse, or Twisted in the ashes of Boss Hogg? Or perhaps the ladies, rather than copying the New England men, will take a page from the Ottowa community and actually try to form a "second team" that follows the same strategy and can serve as a direct talent feeder, eliminating the need for the cycle of merging and splintering.

gcooke said...


Well said. I agree that Godiva seems to be possibly the best example of putting great talent in a superior system.

According to what Kathy Dobson just posted on RSD, Brute will remain intact and compete in the Series. Awesome....


micah said...

Will a new team emerge, a-la Boss Hogg in the ashes of Snapple/Roq/Darkhorse, or Twisted in the ashes of Boss Hogg?

Geez... people always assume that we came out of DoG swallowing Boss Hogg, but we've always been a pretty separate group of guys than the BH/DoG crew. Keegan's the only player to play with both (actually all 3) teams, and he came from DoG to play with us.

As for the ladies, I believe that Brute is still going to compete with basically the same people that have been on the squad for the past few years, so I'd guess the new team will have mostly Godiva people with other college and new to the area people.

Jeff said...

I was going to say something similar to what Micah said, but he beat me to it. Twisted existed for a year before Hogg disintegrated, I believe, and there is little to no overlap in players. Of the Hogg guys that didn't make DoG, I think most of them moved to mixed or retired. Some may have played with Giant, though I'm not sure.

It sounds like Brute will still exist, but Nancy and Betty at least are moving on. Betty was only there one year, but Nancy has been an important part of the team.

Tarr said...


Yes, I am aware that Twisted did not add many exHoggers, although I think Hogg did have its share of exDarkhorses. The point is a broader one - that the New England market tends to support two elite open teams, and when one gets eaten by DoG, another rises to prominence.

To put that another way -- how many guys did you add between the disappearance of Hogg, and making nationals for the first time? How many of those guys might have played with Hogg otherwise?

Marshall said...

Someone (Jim?) once observed that Twisted as a #2 team in Boston makes for a more interesting game with DoG precisely because they come out of a different tradition and without the history/weight/limits/ego-sucking/whatever that comes from being a "DoG-lite" true #2 Boston team, which arguably Snapple-Roq-Darkhorse-BlackJack-Boss Hogg always were.

Personally, I think that overstates the case "against" those other teams, but the difference is meaningful in describing Twisted. They did exist, though not quite as strong, in the last year or so of Hogg. They do play a different game. And perhaps more importantly, they're less populated by people who "have talent but didn't make or didn't *yet* try out for DoG" (as some people considered all of those other teams). While those other teams all had people who arguably could have been playing for DoG - and many have or do now - there is less of a clear dividing line now than there has been in many years.

Of course, the original point of this post was about Godiva. Someone else will have to eulogize them, if that's truly appropriate, but it's unquestionable that a team with that many championships, who never in their history failed to make the semi's, and who established a powerful approach to the game, will cast a lasting influence on the sport.

gcooke said...

My first reading of Tarr's comments lead to a similar reaction to that of Micah and Jeff. In looking back at it, I see now that his comments were mostly about timing and not personnel.

Godiva did not make semi's this past fall.....so that would be the first time?


Jeff said...

the "rising out of the ashes" implied to me that Tarr thought twisted was merely the next step of Boss Hogg, rather than a new team entirely. If that wasn't what Tarr was trying to say, then I misunderstood.

I think if Hogg had tried to stick around a few more years, Twisted may have missed out on a few players it did pick up, but that Hogg would've been the team that eventually died out. Twisted seems to provide a true alternative to DoG, rather than a feeder team that DarkSnappleHogg always seemed to be (to an outside observer).

Back on topic... when DoG first merged with Boss Hogg it was termed a merger, with dreams of BoDog, HoDog or BossDog. Now... it's thought of as DoG eating Hogg and being reborn as... DoG. If the new team competes this year in the fall series by a name other than Godiva, then we can start thinking about eulogies. Until that time... it's a bit premature.

krishna said...

Brute Squad has 16 players returning and preparing for a competitive season.

Even though a few players, including Nancy and Betty, have left to compete with the new team, it would be quite inaccurate to call the new team a "merger" of Brute and Godiva.

Metal #19

Jeff Graham said...

I've received emails from a few people that were surprised by some of "Jeff's" comments above, thinking they were written by me. I am not "Jeff" I am "Jeff Graham" in the Blogger world.

I was doing such a good job of staying away from Blog's, but figured I should make the distinction above.

Since I'm blogging I might as well write something relevant. Here it goes:

I think it's pretty awesome that we have such an abundance of quality ultimate players and teams in Boston. Some juggling of players occurs each year, but the state of utlimate in this city is great. What other city has had two teams finish in the top 11 in the continent, 10 in the nation, in open, women's, and coed, in the same year, ever? Boston did last year.

Regarding the Brute/Godiva situation I know a lot more about Brute. From my view, similar to Krishna's, Brute has 75% of it's players returning. They still have many core members and are going to be a great team with a great attitude and a great coach again in 2006. Sounds like a recipe for another great season.

Jeff Graham
Metal #21

Jeff said...

Sorry for the confusion. I guess that happens when I'm the lesser-known Jeff in the Boston Ultimate community.

To eliminate the confusion, I'm gonna change my name to SamTH. What? That's already taken? Damn.

Jeff Listfield
6TM #24

Sam TH said...

Jeff -

You know that tea with the weird name? I think it's called Tazo. I bet no one has that name.

Sam TH

jtflynn said...

so when are we gonna hear the GCooke take on the bay area mixed shakeup? (I'm sure it will take a while for the dust to settle on the changes there, but I'm certainly interested to hear what's shaping up. ...club update #2 can't come soon enough.)

W$ #74

gcooke said...

Hey Shiv,

Glad to hear u Ho's are headed down under!

I must be honest. I haven't heard too much other than Brass Monkey will be back.....but you have made me very curious.

Time for some research....


jtflynn said...

yup yup, the $hack will be in Perth. (however, i'll be left behind --- $$$ and vacation days will be spent on my September wedding.)

anyway, stirring the rumor mill, i've heard of a few quality bay area co-ed teams calling it quits including a big old name. i've only heard 3rd (4th... 5th...?) hand, but i'm sure you can crack the case.

do tell,