Tiina’s Take: Day Two

Tiina Booth is talking Nationals each day this weekend.

Conversation of the day: I chatted with Evan Lepler yesterday, a complete sports junkie if there ever was one. He is a freelance reporter for ESPN and currently works for the Salem Red Sox in Salem, VA. He also is, “the AUDL’s primary voice of the ESPN3 weekly game-of-the-week package, traveling to a different city and game most every week.” He will be providing color commentary for the games today. He considers himself “one of us” and we are lucky to have him researching and compiling our backstories to share with the ESPN audience.

Evan graduated from Sharon High School in Sharon, MA in 2003. Sharon has become an eastern MA powerhouse and on Oct. 25, they will be hosting their annual Spirit of the Game tournament, which is co-sponsored by the MLU Whitecaps. No scores are reported but the winner of each team’s SOTG award plays in a game with the Whitecaps. There was no ultimate when Evan was there, so he didn’t start playing until he went to Wake Forest for College. He is envious of all the ultimate opportunities for youth today.

Although, play-by-play is “his passion,” Evan has stacks of grids for each team, where he records all his research. He had “prepped for all the favorites” and obviously will not be using much of what he gathered today on the Men’s side. He is interested in trying to “put each game into a larger context” by including both individual and team histories. His work with the Triple Crown Tour as well as the AUDL has helped him flesh out these stories and he clearly knows his stuff. “What would it mean for a team to win?” is one of the bigger questions he hopes to answer today and tomorrow.

Bob Ryan, a reporter for the Boston Globe, developed a strong personal relationship with the Celtics in their early years of success. He went to dinner with the players and sat a few seats away from the bench. Lepler considers himself lucky to be in the same position right now in the ultimate world. He is “getting to know the community in a time when people are not leery of sharing their stories.” He wants to be “broadcasting ultimate for the next 60 years.” We look forward to hearing them today and in the future.

Sub Zero's "shorts"Surprises of the Day: On Thursday I saw the Sub Zero uniforms from afar and at first I thought they were a Masters team. Yesterday I got a kinda up close view. I don’t think/hope they will start a trend.

– Every week at summer day camp we celebrate Popsicle Wednesday, a favorite of both counselors and campers. Late yesterday afternoon, the lovely and generous Adriana Withers passed out red, white and blue popsicles, possible to celebrate GOAT’s first ever semifinal appearance.

Pet Peeve of the Day: If you are watching the game as a fan, you should be able to close your eyes and hear virtually the same amount of cheering and instructional help from both teams’ sidelines, no matter what is going on. The sideline should not reflect what is happening on the field; the sideline should influence what is happening on the field. Why compound poor play with a sullen sideline?

And can we soon abolish the self-absorbed slow trudge back to the endzone when you have been scored on? We know you are bummed. We know you care. I suggest moving lightly, with shoulders back and eye contact with your teammates. At the very least.

Big Red ChairCliche of the Day: I know that, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” but I didn’t believe it until I saw this red chair. My normal Super Target blue chair is dwarfed and the huge one has cup holders for a six-pack, three on each side. Of course it does.

Final Word of the Day: I assume you all are tipping well when you go out to eat. You also need to tip the staff who will clean your room, condo or house. Have everyone put in a few bucks and maybe leave a nice note too. No need to explain why. It is simply the right thing to do.

  1. Tiina Booth

    Tiina is an Ultiworld columnist. She retired from teaching English at Amherst Regional High School 4 years ago and retired from coaching their varsity boys team this past September. She still runs the National Ultimate Training Camp and offers clinics on coaching, training and sports psychology to teams of all levels. She is a co-author of Essential Ultimate and one of the founders of the Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference. She will be coaching the UMass men's team for the 2014-15 season.

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