Living next to Philly.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ultimate Frisbee

When I was in high school, we had a Frisbee Club, of which I made myself the unofficial president because I was the only one who took the time to try to recruit people to come out and play. This was what an extracurricular should be; a bunch of us would trek down to the field, about a mile away from school (and off school property) around 3:00, and we'd smoke pot until the faculty adviser would show up. Then we'd play shirts vs. skins, with most of us barefoot, until around 5:30. Just a bunch of guys trying to kill those Monday high school blues.
But then I went to college, out at Susquehanna University in the middle of PA, and there was no such thing. Oh, there was a frisbee team, but they were nothing like what I've described above. No, no. These were grade A douchebags. The kind of guys you picked on all throughout middle school, and left alone in high school but really wanted to keep calling them names.
And these assholes took my favorite game (which I'd nicknamed hippie football) and made a mockery of it. They had mandatory practices three times a week, wore uniforms, and worst of all - cleats. Completely changing the idea behind what we were playing, they effectively chased me away from any organized version of the game as long as I was at school.

Yesterday, my good friend George shot me a text message during work telling me that he would be playing some ultimate frisbee somewhere in Manayunk, and invited me along. Obviously I accepted, and drove myself down to our friend Chris's house on Kalos St. in Manayunk. We got ourselves mentally prepared at Chris's and then made our way down to the field, a city block-sized patch of land on Henry Ave.
(I have to note that this field was directly next to D'alessandro's on Henry Ave, one of my favorite places to get a cheesesteak. Across the street stands Chubby's, which makes a sandwich to rival their competitor across the street. Sound familiar? The difference is that the age-old cheesesteak rivalry between Pat's and Geno's in South Philly concerns the originals and not the best in the biz today. Alas...this is a story for another day)
A good share of people showed up to play, about 20 in all, even one girl. But as soon as we started playing, it became fairly clear that I was in a game with that same kind of douchebag that hijacked the game back at college. They were trying to get us into zone defense formations, shouting "SUB!" at the top of their lungs whenever the disc was in the air, and apparently scolded one of my friends for not hustling enough. Meanwhile, they weren't even keeping score.
I don't know what it is; maybe that we're older, and just naturally more mean-spirited? Do we derive pleasure from giving out orders to people in the most mundane of situations? Do we get off on hearing our own voices? Or did I just stumble upon another batch of douchebags?
Regardless, it seems inescapable, and it will be the moral of my post today: Douchebags flock to ultimate frisbee. There's just no way to change it, and it's a damn shame for those of us who love to play and aren't douchebags.

But thank god for D'alessandro's, which made up for the whole disappointing evening. More on that soon. For now, back to bed for another half hour.


Christopher said...

tom - great commentary on ultimate. it is an absolute shame that these d-bags have hijacked an activity so near and dear to our hearts. i'm afraid i will continue to try playing the game that i enjoy only to find i'm playing with assholes that don't deserve such a fun and entertaining activity. until next wednesday, where we shall be berated for not hustling enough or not wearing cleats, i bid you farewell.

The Baby said...

hey, brent wallisch played frisbee at su. and he sir is no d-bag