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Kelowna Exhibition Match

Recaps, Team Canada

Team Canada Open (15) – Furious George (14)

I feel sore today. I feel about as sore as I would after seven shorthanded games of tournament play (yes, a “metric tournament” is now my yardstick for delayed-onset muscle soreness). When we showed up for the exhibition match on Saturday, we had just recently finished half an hour of shuttle-runs after approximately six hours of team practice, so if nothing else, we were at least warm.

The exhibition match between “Furious George” and “Team Canada” unfolded with vigour and excitement (a discerning reader would have noticed national team players and alternates on both squads). After the fourth inverted throw for a score in the first half, I think the spectators were adequately engrossed. We were engrossed too, in the determined act of trying to win, tugging back and forth and exchanging short runs. It was a pitched battle of two styles, with Team Canada attempting to finesse their offense onto the scoreboard, and Furious playing an athletic scramble characteristic of the defensive specialists populating the roster.  Andy Collins and Oscar Pottinger advanced the disc with aggressive cuts and some superb catches for Team Canada, with Andrew Brown driving home shots at the endzone. For Furious George, Max Hunter, Morgan Hibbert and Yvan Duban accumulated notable receptions for the Monkey, with Aaron Liu and Joel Bellavance pumping the throws.

Upon judicial review, it later turned out that Furious George won the game at a score of 15-12, but owing to some confusion and an inability to count at the time, the prevailing notion was that Furious had only accumulated 14 precious points, and so play continued seamlessly. Let this be a lesson to you. A few points later, Team Canada Open took the official victory with 3 breaks in a row on a finish, illustrating once again that even in ultimate, odds and averages be damned, anyone can go on a run at any time.

I would like to share something about what it’s like to be a lifelong D-line player. You may have noticed that most people who play the defensive line in ultimate seem to walk around with enormous chips on their shoulders and smouldering looks of frustration. They sprint to and fro, desperately chasing or containing new threats. They are very likely among the hardest workers in the game, but they’re universally accustomed to seeing the most pitiful returns on their invested efforts. They all have terrible points-scored-to-playing-time ratios. On a play-by-play basis, they spend most of their time beaten by their opponents. On the whole, it is seemingly by statistical aberration that all seven on the field successfully contain their match-ups, force a turnover, and finally find themselves on offense. What ensues is somewhat like a terrier that – for the first time in its life – has actually caught a frisbee and has no idea what to do with it. The resulting frantic explosion of misguided running is only generously called offense.

Now imagine these twitchy, habitually glory-starved persons after learning that they probably won a game by accident, completely failed to notice, and then still haemorrhaged 3 more breaks in a row for a defeat. Congratulations to the Team Canada squad on their game, and especially their late surge to victory. I need to go reassemble my inner peace.

 

Alex Davis

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