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Flowerbowl 2014

Tournaments

The Comprehensive Spectator’s Guide

Every year, the first Open/Women’s tournament of the Northwest launches the club season, featuring teams from across the continent. The trouble: divided Mixed clubs, split-squads, tryout squads, and droves of the casually semi-retired — half of them using aliases both esoteric and ironic. How will you know who’s who at Flowerbowl this year? Whom are you going to watch?  How will you know what to heckle? For your viewing pleasure, we have demystified and laid bare the elite division for you below.

 

ELITE OPEN

The Ghosts (Calgary) – Taking their name(s) from “the ghosts of sports teams past,” Calgary’s Ghosts are who they say they are, but don’t expect them to dress that way.  Cowtown’s top-end ultimate team will wear the regalia of every ill-conceived and defunct Calgary franchise they can still buy or counterfeit – the Calgary 88s or the Calgary Cannons.  It’s all very esoteric and mildly confusing to everyone outside of Canada, and generally dismissed as some kind of cosplay outfit.

U19 Team Canada (Canada) – Unlike some previous years, Team Canada is actually Team Canada, and rumour has it that this is the national team in its entirety, in town for a training camp.  The only controversial component to this team’s name is that the U19 division includes 19-year-olds.  So, nobody really knows what the “U” stands for.

FIGJAM (Calgary) – At first glance, Calgary’s longstanding and reasonably well medalled Masters team may seem deceptively interested in preserves and condiments, and other wholesome things.  Their peculiar name is actually a contrived and oft-misunderstood acronym for “Fuck, I’m Good; Just Ask Me.”  Seriously.  Just ask them.

Spartans (Victoria) – The male contingent behind Victoria’s premier active Mixed club, Skysharks (like a land-shark, but different, presumably) the islanders have reprised this identity for a sophomore effort.  They try to act tough, but really, this whole facade is just a hastily constructed excuse to exercise some juvenile lines lifted from the script of “300.”  Still, they’re just itching to kick someone into the Vancouver municipal abyss.

Furious George  (Vancouver) – Forever causing H.A. and Margret Rey to roll in their graves, the Angry Monkey is back, combatting the ever-thickening forest of logistical MLU/WUCC/TCT nightmares.  Flowerbowl is serving double duty as a tryout for Furious’ Triple Crown contingent, and a practice for the Worlds contingent.  Saturday’s complement will feature exclusively candidates and a few confirmed rookies. Following a Nighthawks game on Saturday night (19:00, Thunderbird Stadium), Sunday’s roster will combine them with a veteran component for advanced examination.

Blackfish (Vancouver) – Blackfish was named for the orca, or “killer whale,” in 2006, which predates the documentary sharing the same name of the criminally disgruntled Tillikum — the killer killer whale.  In short, they had the name before it was cool, and no, they are not affiliated with either Sea World or any animal-rights groups.  Roster-wise, they are Vancouver’s Open B-team, although they will probably have to donate some players to a Riptide game scheduled in the afternoon (13:00, Thunderbird Stadium), and some more still to Furious tryouts.

Refinery — Vancouver’s third practicing open club, focusing on player development. Please note: they are not affiliated with Enbridge, the Northern Gateway pipeline, or any oil sands projects. So don’t give them a hard time about it.

ELITE WOMEN

This is where it gets complicated.

U19 Team Canada (Canada) — In case it was not obvious, this is the junior women’s component to the national team, and not just the same crew trying to double their chances. Again with the “U.”

Zephyr  (Vancouver) — Continuing the inexplicably Greek theme in BC ultimate, Zephyr is the goddess of the west wind. It is also Vancouver’s second practicing team.  After donating a host of players to Traffic’s Worlds roster, Zephyr has taken on 14 new players in 2014, to the excitement of numerologists everywhere.

Traffic — Traffic is Vancouver’s premier women’s team.  Their logo is believed to represent the merger between then-Prime and then-Roughriders into an all-star team in 2007. Or it could represent someone cutting off someone else. Note, however, this is only the fraction of the club that is bound for Italy.

Congestion Cats (Vancouver) — This is what happens when you take the fraction of Traffic that is not going Worlds, combine it with the fraction of Traffic that is going to Worlds, but not with Traffic, and combine those two with the former Battle Cats and the name “Roadkill” is already taken. . . . . You get something that sounds hyperallergenic, or requires veterinary intervention.

Roadtrip and Roadkill (Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Seattle, Idaho, Utah) — Contraband once existed as Flowerbowl’s pasture for retired Women’s division players.  And then, in 2014, too many women retired from Contraband.  So then Jenn Nicholls called up all her former Mental Toss Flycoons associates, and Betsy Chan imported all her friends from Victoria, and Anja Haman fronted the money for a team called “Roadtrip.”  Then they realized they had too many friends.  So they put some of their friends together in another group and called them “Roadkill.”  That’s nice.

Wild Rose  (“Vancouver”) – Contrary to how it was officially listed, this is Calgary’s premier women’s club, crossing the Rockies for their first second tournament of 2014. More than just a mildly clever double-entendre, Wild Rose is named for the provincial flower of Alberta (triple-entendre). More recently, it has also become the name of an energetic, right-wing political party (quadruple-entendre). Don’t give them a hard time about it.

Fusion (Winnipeg) – Winnipeg’s premier Women’s team. Fairly isolated in the Canadian prairies, these ladies have been known to travel disproportionately far and wide for ultimate. They are hardcore, and presumably, familiar with nuclear physics — good conversation starter.

 

Alex Davis

One Response to “Flowerbowl 2014”

  1. Frank Says:

    Felt inclined to say, all your articles are entertaining and informative. Keep it up!