My toes hurt.
After two days at Parlee, with five games on day one and two games on day two, my feet have officially had enough sand for the rest of the month. I’m dreaming of strong arch support and no need to grasp with my toes for every step I take.
Two days later, my toes still hurt.
But I digress.
Had a very fun weekend. We drove up first thing Saturday morning, getting to the beach about 30 minutes before game time. Unfortunately, one third of our team made it it about 30 minutes after game time, so we had only two women for the first two-thirds of our first game. They were a little grumpy.
Our first game was against the Fredericton squad Fried, made up of a lot of regular Spawn players. We came out hard, scoring the first two points… and then didn’t score for the next 8. We lost 11-3. They are a very experienced team and have played together for quite a while. On the other hand, we were playing with a lot of people that had never played together before, so we spent a lot of the game just getting used to each other. But thank Jeebus the rest of the team showed up.
I felt very good with my play in this game, working on my Iceman strategy. Had a couple of layout D’s that pleased me to no end. However, it was all tainted by the fact that the first two times that I held the disc, I was hand-blocked. *grumble*
Our next game was vs. SMUTT from Moncton. We had to spend that game again getting the team used to playing together, what with the addition of the 4 new people. Sigh. We lost this one 8-5. We could have won this one, and I believe we would have later in the weekend. That’s the problem when you are playing with what is effectively a pickup team — you have to spend so much of the tournament trying to develop a team chemistry out of thin air.
Our third game after a bye was against Hot Pork from Ottawa. Finally, we clicked into place and won this game strongly 11-3. We really found our roles in this game. (The sun also came out then!)
Our last game of pool play was vs. Giggidy Giggidy from Fredericton (who were a lot of the regular Smack crew). This was a heartbreaker. We lead the entire game playing very strongly, but the teams were evenly matched. We were leading 6-5 when the horn went and then they tied it. So on to the tie-breaker point. We had the disc at one point and I sent a mid-range huck downfield… and it bounced out of the receiver’s hands. Giggidy handlers then began to iso it up the field, as they had very effectively throughout the game… and worked it up very methodically and cleanly for the score. We worked our butts off but they got it. I can say that we didn’t lose that game as much as they really won it. They played that last point really well.
Oh well, it was off to the layout and huck competition before we had our crossover to see where we were going on Sunday. I’m proud to say that for the first time in four trips to Parlee… I made it to the huck competition finals. (Takes bow.)
The layout competition was , as always, very funny and very cool. Greg from the Bunnies did a hilarious layout where he actually caught the disc with his bunny ears. Photographic evidence here:
After the layout competition, and yet another bye, we went on to our last game of the day that would determine if we went to the middle pool on Sunday or the bottom pool. We faced off against Flying Low from Ottawa. Both teams wanted this game. The whole team was getting tired at this point in the day, as evidenced by the really long points.
It’s so easy on those long points to just try and push it through, because you’re tired and working it up the field feels like it will take too much energy, but this is a bad alley to walk down. Instead, when you get tired, you have got to suck it up and play just as sharp and just as patient, because when you try and push it through you are just going to turn it over and then the point will go on even longer. That little extra effort = shorter points in the long run.
We were up 6-5 when the horn went and we did not want to get into another tie-breaker position. So we got very chilly and worked it around, and worked it around, really using our dump/swing around the endzone. I finally got to through it in for a short backhand to Anita for the score… but a pick call brought it back. Luckily, Ramzi came in with an exact replica of Anita’s cut and I got to redo the throw. We took the game 7-5. Middle pool for us!
Then came the ice-cold showers (thanks for the hot water, folks!) and the trip over to the farmer’s field where we were camping for supper and party. (Thanks to all that is good and holy that we were back at the farmer’s field this year. Last year’s attempt to upgrade to a new location was a disaster.). The food was packaged chicken dinners from St. Hubert and Swiss Chalet. When I got the box, I was a little worried, due to the massive void in my stomach that a mere 1/4 chicken dinner would not fill, but thank the stars the box contained a whole 1/2 chicken. Carcasses galore! (Poultry was devoured en masse under tarps during the thunderstorm that hit for the length of supper.)
Then, the beer began.
Cups was played.
And the beer proceeded further.
Someone’s head got shaved.
The RCMP showed up.
Day two was not the triumphant conquest that we might have hoped for, as we went 0-2 for the day. Our first game was vs. Seductive Monkey Spank from Ottawa, a rematch from Sunday of last year, and our second game was against the Bunnies from Halifax. We got grumpy with ourselves (me especially), not being helped by hangovers and sore feet. My Iceman strategy stumbled today as I felt myself slipping into bad habits and frustration. We lost each game by around three points and we shouldn’t have.
(I am damn proud of those Bunnies though. They are building themselves into quite a solid team.)
The Iceman strategy is a good one, but I know I can’t expect to have gotten it down pat in one tournament. It’s going to take a while to get myself to the point where it comes naturally and easy. But my play on day one, where I felt very cool for the most part, contrasted with my play on day two, where I got frustrated and had it affect my play very strongly, are blindingly obvious signs that it is a worthwhile exercise to continue. After this trial phrase, the Iceman Project shall go forward with venture capital and support from the community at large.
After that, it was a haze of poutine and hotdogs. I threw in the finals for the huck competition, coming in a respectable third or fourth. Ramzi and I subbed in for Joel and Chris in the layout competition. We didn’t win it, but I think we made the crowd laugh the most. Using Joel’s concept from the day before, Ramzi took a post onto the field with him, planted one end of the post in the sand and on the other end he placed his forehead. He then proceeded to walk around the post. Six times. With his forehead on the post. Then, barely able to keep his balance, he stumbled off and somehow laid out and caught the disc that I floated in front of him. Of course, he then got to attempt it again. The crowd started screaming for ten spins. So Ramzi spun on his forehead ten times. And then promptly fell over. He got up. And fell over again. At this point I was laughing so hard I could barely see. I blame the fact that he missed his layout more on my laughter than on his having no idea where the ground was. But it was till funny.
Then we drove home and I showered. It was a good shower. Long. Hot. Lots of soap. Sand flowing down the drain. Good times.
But I digress.
Three cheers to the everyone that made up the Squid crew this weekend. You guys did awesome and made the weekend a blast.