Friday, May 20, 2005

Hodag Love.

It is sometime shortly before noon, and the Wisconsin Hodags - Madison's Ultimate Frisbee team - is visibly drunk, but not without some reason.

For Madison, the sectionals are a chance to have a good time before the regional meets set in and ruin some of the fun. This explains - in part - the heavy drinking.

Imagine if you will the natural evolution of sport. Imagine the sports that have evolved to the highest conceivable level of refinement, sports that have been around for years, sports that are the end of a centuries-long process of evolution. These sports are soccer, basketball, baseball and polo.

Walter Frederick Morrison patented the Frisbee in 1955. The rules of Ultimate Frisbee were invented in New Jersey in the 1960s, but the game in its popular form wasn't around until the early 1970s. Rutgers and Princeton held the first intercollegiate game in 1972. The Ultimate Players Association was founded in 1979. This puts Ultimate Frisbee somewhere on the leading edge of the primordial ooze of sport.

Just as European noblemen once derided soccer as the sport of the drunken masses, so too does Ultimate invoke an unrefined label from some sports purists. The players in the Lake Superior sectional don't seem to care, even the ones wearing funny costumes. The one that sticks out the most on the men's side - costuming is more of a tradition on the women's teams, one player tells me - is the fellow from Madison decked out in a skin-tight hodag costume, complete with horns, face paint and tail.

Link to full article
Ah, college life. The intellectual pursuits. The walks down the Shaded Groves of Acadame.

Our nephew Matt's Ultimate Frisbee team, the Hodags from the University of Wisconsin - Madison are in the 2005 WPA College Championships! If I'm reading the seedings correctly, looks like the Hodags - currently ranked #3 in the standings - will play Hahvahhd first next Friday, the 27th in Corvallis, Oregon.

Tension, as my sister-in-law notes in an email, is beginning to mount.

Roberta forwarded an email from Matt which included a very funny pep talk from an "old Hodag and coach", which I'm tempted to reprint here... but won't, to save us all embarrassment, as it opens with:
In my twenty five years I've slept with several virgins.
...and goes downhill from there.

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