Front of The Stack
Tourney recap by Goat, David Conlon and Andy Bandit
Bracket play by Goat:
We all know that the regular season is fun. We show up late, we go to the farmer’s market so we can get free parking and hang out on the beach after our games because 2 games really isn’t enough Ultimate for anyone. But in the end, it’s the tournament that matters, and what matters most is who shows up. Well, this year everyone showed up, except Oxy’s men (and Traveling Salesmen – who really just didn’t show up). For the last 3 years (I can’t find the final standings from 2006) Oxy had only won 3 regular season games. This year they tripled that number and went into the tourney with a 9-2 record. But it wasn’t meant to be. They lost to Robot Frisbee in the first game. On the other side of the bracket Elixir show up to crush the other 9-2 team The Huck & Chuck Show. Purple Porpoise Pus were the only team of the elite 8 to hold seed over Slow Children at Playa. This set up the semis with the #5 (&) Vs. #8 seeded (Robot Frisbee) and #7 (Elixir) Vs. # 3 (PPP). Neither of those games were close, and set up a 5 Vs 3 finals. Dave Adelson told me at the beginning of the season that his team was either a top B or a bottom A division team. With a 5th place finish at 7-4, I’ll admit that I had my doubts. Who knows what would have happened if Oxy’s men showed up, but they didn’t, so we’ll never know if & would have moved past them into the finals.
In the A division, it’s was mostly business as usual. I say mostly because the breakout team of the A division, Sandy Cracks (#7) was shocked in an upset by Piñatas Strikes Back (#10). You’re probably thinking that a number 10 over a 7 is not much of an upset, but if you saw the Cracks play this year, you’d understand. They left the season with a 5-5 record and -7 point differential, while the Piñatas ended at 1-9 and -49. I’d tell you all about the game if I remembered it, but what I remember most was the email chain of players saying they couldn’t make it or would be late. A small squad helped the Piñatas gel, going up early 3-1 with a two pointer from (new to town and who I’m predicting as new-female-to-LA-player of the year) Emily Pearson to Dave Gallon, and not looking back after that. The Piñatas who would go on to face Old Man and the Sea, but that game wasn’t even close. Again, I’d tell you more about the other games, but I just don’t know what happened in them. The semis were set with the top 4 seeded teams, ShamWow Vs Mojo Jojo and Old Man and the Sea Vs. East Meets West. Both of these games were great match ups, and probably could have gone either way. It was ShamWow and Old Man and the Sea who would come out the other side and face off in a finals better than the Beach League has ever seen.
If you haven’t seen Spike’s great pictures, check them out on Facebook. The make Dominator Friday look wimpy next to Dominator Sunday! Click here for Spike’s Pics
Thanks again everyone for a great season, lets do it again next year!
B Division Finals by David Conlon
With no spectators on the south end of the fields, Chad’s pick for #1, &, took on the 3rd ranked PPP for the B-division finals.
After an exhausting 8 min 1st point ppp struck first but & answered right back very quickly.
The first half was a hard fought game on both sides with trading points most of the half. The play that seemed to turn the momentum was a cross town full field hammer sent to Dave Adelson. It was chased down and blocked by Dave Conlon, but Dave A. successfully laid out for an impossible second effort on the goal line and had an easy flick for a score to tie it up. A few more points were traded and PPP worked the disc pretty well and took half, but it would be the last time they had the lead.
It seemed the momentum would never get behind PPP in the 2nd half as a dropped pull allowed & to rattle off 2 quick points. Match that with a contested 2 pointer that went &s way, PPP couldn’t come up with the key plays to get the lead back. Not to say the attempts weren’t there, but Scot “sticky-hands” Shinderman on & caught everything, and PPP seemed to miss everything. PPP managed to make some connections to tie it up at 12-12 but & had more gas in their tank and scored 2 in a row to win 14-12 in OT.
A Division Finals by Andy Bandit
The A Division finals is a great example of the thing you publicly like to rip about sports, but secretly you want it. I’m talking about the D word. Dynasties. Here’s the thing. You SAY you get bored when the same team wins all the time, but deep down you like dynasties ’cause they give you something to passionately root against. AND they provide awesome upset opportunities, and boy do you love upsets. Like two years ago when Corey Sanford and Tim Paymaster decided to screw around during the Beach League finals helping Mojo Jojo upset Sea Shells’ three year run. Yeah, you jizzed in your pants at that one.
This year, it was the old dynasty (kinda) vs. the budding one. Which is the other reason dynasties are great. When they face eachother! Best against the best. That’s just sports gold.
ShamWOW was the incumbent. They handily won it last year, and at one point this year had like a 50 game regular season win streak or something that sounded just as implausible, but might really be true if only I had the time today to verify it. In the other corner was Old Man and the Sea, a spin-off of the She Sells Sea Shells team that missed finals for their first time last year and then had such an awesomely gossip-filled off-season that it caused a handful of really good players to simply skip the entire year rather than deal with any of it.
Beach League. So controversial.
Now, I showed up at 2-1 Old Man (my team finished dead last in A Division - which tells you everything you need to know about my captaining skills - and we were coming back from lunch at the Farmer’s market) and I’m told Meryl Del Rosario had a parade of early D’s. It might’ve even happened while I was there, but that was the beginning of my downing about two dozen Jello-shots so forgive me if my memory of specific events is a little hazy. It was that kind of day when you sit down on the sidelines and Lauren Hill immediately baby birds you a Jello-shot, so you’re like, okay, it’s on! You know what I’m sayin’.
Old Man goes up 4-1, threatening the early blow-out possibility, but ShamWOW sails a two-pointer to make it 4-3. But Corey counters with his own 2-pointer to SVW who skies two defenders on possibly the best play of the game and it’s back to a three-point lead. That kind of play could’ve sunk some teams, but ShamWOW didn’t get to 60 straight wins by giving in to a little adversity. They reel off two quick points to tie it 6-6, at which point Eric Brach defeatedly exclaims ”it’s over, ShamWOW wins again”. Really? At 6-6?
ShamWOW takes half 7-6. Disappointingly, there was no half-time show. Sand crab races? Chad Woodard hair shaving contest? Nothing? Sad.
The game continued to go back and forth, with noone getting more than a 2-point lead. It was a crazy game. A lot of high-caliber plays. The SVW/Erika Swanson match-up alone was great fun to watch. There was a point when three girls collided and all fell on top of eachother, like it was Derby Dolls night, or a 2AM Cinemax film. And Rob Severson (get this) actually went deep and CAUGHT a huck. I think I remember the last time he did that, cause that new Vanilla Ice song had just come out.
So it goes to 11-11. A barn-burner. Already an epic finals and we needed one of those. And then came the Point of Death. It lasted for about a half an hour. Just a string of overthrown hucks, missed opportunities and general frustration on both sides. Three time-outs were taken. There were so many it was debated whether there were still time-outs available. The temperature literally dropped 20 degrees from the start of that point to the end of it. It lasted so long, Chuck Kindred began to actually care about 4 on 4 beach league. I swear he kicked sand after a turn-over.
Well, it was Chuck who finally ended the point, with a great layout catch inches from the end zone that led to a 12-11 Old Man lead and victory on their doorstep. But you know, that ShamWOW. They didn’t win 90 games in a row for no reason. When in doubt, go to your captain, who happens to tower over the rest of the field like Gulliver in Liliput (shameless Fox plug). So they sent a pass from mid-field to Keegan Uhl, guarded by Chris Frost that went left as Keegan ran right. He adjusted though in time to chase the disc down but over-ran it and it sailed over his head for a turn. That was, until he called a “foul” on Frosty, which bewildered the sideline as much as the Old Man players. What the sideline was really cheering for though was a huge argument to ensue, cause those two are not necessarily known to give in quietly on calls. Not today though. Frosty tossed his hands up in the air, called contest, and the disc went back. On the 2nd try, ShamWOW tied it at 12.
ShamWOW then went up 13-12, and Old Man was on the ropes. They got it as far as they could, but Daniel “Peaches” Walton made a great sky D, and in a matter of seconds, he had streaked down the field to catch a wide open pass from Erin Mordecai, and flipped it to Chad Christensen for the 14-12 victory, their second straight Beach League title. Eric Brach smiled knowingly.
Congrats to ShamWOW for their victory. A bigger congrats to both teams for giving us a fantastic finals performance. And an even bigger congrats to Goat for yet another terrific Beach League. He is, without question, the man.