Akina and Charlie share their diary entries from Tuesday.
August 5, 2014 by Charlie Eisenhood in Interview with 1 comments
It was a long day for teams, so some of our diarists are off tonight.
Here are Tuesday night’s diary entries.
Akina Younge (Revolution)
I am absolutely exhausted. I always falsely think that playing in longer tournaments and having fewer games will mean I will be less tired. It’s such a foolish thought, especially since these longer tournaments (ex: USAU nationals) tend to be the times you’re matching up against only the best competition. The bright sun and trying to sprint through the mud definitely didn’t help, but I still feel like it’s all worth it.
My fatigue today is accompanied by some wins. Today Revolution won our two games, meaning we won our pool. I found both our games, one against UFO from Finland and one against Sporting Team Box Athletico United from Australia, to be extremely spirited with a high level of skill and play. I always am in awe of how well people can maintain sportsmanship at the highest levels in a self-refereed game. I guess I am one of the players who falls in the camp that this is something special and unique about Ultimate and I am a lover of SoTG and its centrality in our game rules and culture.
Another thing I love about Ultimate culture/community is how friends come out to support each other. Yesterday during the MUD game, it felt like the stands were full of Colombian and Japanese fans, cheering the same cheers and singing the same songs as the teams playing. They ooh-ed and aah-ed at the incredibly athletic plays each team made. Today, the sidelines for our game against STBAU also had tons of people. I especially remember my friends from New York who are playing with teams at Worlds came over to our field during a marathon point in our game against STBAU, and started cheering me on just when I thought I couldn’t run anymore.
I guess this happens in all sports, too. And I guess it happens so much in Ultimate I should come to expect it. But still, every time I hear people cheering for me, especially a voice I know but who isn’t on my team, it feels precious and wonderful.
All of this is extremely exciting, and I am especially happy that we are so successful as a team. But, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that we still have so many more games and days to play! And the competition only gets harder from here!
Charlie Eisenhood (Ultiworld)
Long days and late nights writing are piling up for me! I’ll file this at around 1:45 AM here in Italy, and I’ll be up around 7:30 AM to get ready for tomorrow’s games. I’m not exhausted (yet) but it’s hard to work here at the dorms, where there are really no suitable tables and chairs.
Today’s frisbee was better than Monday’s. The ground was much less wet, so games were a little less slogging through the mud and more explosive and exciting. The additional drama of needing to make power pools made things more fun as well.
Some of the best ultimate I saw today was in the women’s division when Revolution took on Sporting Team Box from Australia. There’s a reason Akina saw so many spectators! Thrilling layouts, no-holds-barred hucking, and all-around passion for the game. Good stuff, and great spirit.
The Open Division had some great games as well, but I saw just a bit too much chippiness today. I went to a WFDF cocktail hour in the evening and almost the entire discussion centered on game advisers and observers — should international ultimate have them or not?
The discussion in North America is not about observers or self-officiation. It’s about observers or referees. I think that’s what scares international players, who feel more strongly than many US players about the importance of self-officiation. But, unfortunately, too many games end up as call-fests; I saw some today. It’s not generally that teams are badly spirited — it’s that they want to win in big pressure games and one bad call can spark a trend of them.
Observers stop that before it happens.
Little things have helped make things move a bit more smoothly when I’m facing such long days. I bought coffee, filters, and a makeshift melitta (a flour sifter) to make brewed coffee since I can’t stand instant (which is all they have at breakfast). I think that makes me an unbearable coffee snob (which is appropriate since I live in Brooklyn), and I’m pretty sure some players were laughing at me at breakfast. Whatever. Enjoy your brown water while I drink this delicious coffee.
Turns out the WFDF lounge at the fields — to which I have been granted access — has an espresso machine. Huge. (Can you tell I’m a caffeine addict?)