Hodag Love

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

So while the Hodags were winning Nationals in dominating fashion, many of us were in attendance of the wedding of the centur...meh of the May 25th, 2007. So whilst we await Muffin's sweet write up of the Hodags sick play, here is a recap of the Bruss Martyna wedding from Opie's perspective. Or at least my guess of what Opie's perspective is.

Wow. Here I am in Santa Cruz eating some sweet mexican food with Pank. I better get on the phone and try to find some sort of ride to the airport at 4:30AM on Sunday morning because I am really good at planning trips and booking sweet ass flight times.

Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you gonna get. I'm most likely going to get whipped with those 3 foot licorice whips in Pank's lap.
Mmm this food is pretty good. That was a great ceremony. I'll have a little food now and then maybe discuss some world events over a glass of wine.

Huh? What are you talking about? Who has a wedgie? I just like my pants to show my contures baby.
Hey dudes look! I'm drinking this bottle of champagne by myself. What a great idea that in no way will lead to bad things later. I love you guys. Plus I definitely think my head is as big as Bert's. And it's all red and gingery.
Yes finally made it to the bar. I'll just sit here and hug Zach's girlfriend. I'd hug Bert's girl too but he'd probably beat me to a pulp...hmmm...he hasn't hit me but the room seems to be spinning. That's odd.....
zzzz.....I'll just rest my eyes for a seco...zzzzzzzz... hey what the... am I enjoying this? Hector's hands do seem to know their way about my breastesiss area...
Well... I mean, I haven't peed myself or anything. That's pretty good right?
Man this must be contagious like yawning. Pank looks sleepy too. Who wants to take a man nap!
Bruss "Heeeeeeeeeeey wahas happenining over hurrr? Is this a basketball?"
Bruss "No it's Opie! Yay group photo. Everybody smile big. Opie you didn't smile... You're ruining my Wedding!"
Huh.?? Wait what's going on. huh...man I don't feel good I hope I don't puke whoops there I go.
What the...how did I get in this position? There must be a logical reason....
Ohhh I guess that makes sense. At least I made it outside before I started yakking...what? I didn't? I puked in the bar you say?... how about that...
Huh...oh ok Jake one picture then I gotta you know get some sleep or something. I gotta wake up early. At least I got all my puke out earlier right? What do you mean I just vomited all over the bus?...I gotta catch a flight.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Congrats to the Hodags for a dominating performance this weekend on their way to the National Title. Also congrats to Dan Heijmen, the first of many Hodag Callahan winners.

Friday, May 25, 2007

In case you haven't been paying attention.

2007 Nationals
Friday Pool Play

(1)Hodags over (12)Pitt 15-4
(1)Hodags over (13)Kansas 15-5
(1)Hodags over (8)UNC 15-6


Monday, May 21, 2007

To the current Hodags: Remember what this is really about

When I was a freshman at the UW, in 1998, during a three-year streak in which the team didn’t even make nationals, UC Santa Barbara won their third title in a row (and sixth overall). Talk about dominant.

Before Santa Barbara’s three-peat, ECU (East Carolina), had won two in a row despite coming out of an outrageously difficult Atlantic Coast region. Another utterly vicious team.

Upon arriving at the UW, I quickly learned from Jammin, Rez, Simon, etc. that everyone knew these teams. They kicked ass and won titles, so naturally all the other teams followed them and tried to figure out how to replicate their dominance. Other teams also, for the most part, disliked them. Partly this was because of jealousy – people tend to bitch about whomever is at the top – but partly it was because both Santa Barbara and ECU were cheaters and assholes. They rammed cutters, intentionally hacked throwers and screamed at opponents all the time. Particularly ECU.

The first time I played either of these teams was when I was a sophomore and we played ECU in South Carolina. Our team was in good physical shape but was very low on throwers, particularly those that could throw forehands. ECU decided they would front the open side and not allow us to attempt a break throw. In the first half, every time we pivoted over there, they hacked, the stall went to zero, and they called us pussies. We called lots of fouls, but in the second half they started bitching more, we stopped calling fouls and they just trampled us. They bullied us out of a fair game, even though they were better than us, and we felt cheated. They didn’t care because they were big dogs with a high seed.

A decade later, the Hodags are the big dogs with a high seed. The pride that this brings me, a former player on the team, is tremendous. Knowing how bad and disorganized we were then, and how unbelievably good the team has become recently, compiling outstanding numbers of victories and tournament wins, really makes alumni feel as though they were part of building something special, even if they had no direct hand in any of the games (i.e. we give ourselves too much credit). We keep tabs on the team, we root you on, and if we can, we come to nationals to cheer. Some of us have Hodag tattoos (and would consider more if we won more titles). One particularly generous alumnus is even setting up a foundation for the team, for god’s sake. You make us very, very proud.

What doesn’t make me proud is the idea that Wisconsin ultimate handles the spotlight of being a top team the same way Santa Barbara and ECU did. There is a big difference between truly expecting that you will win and believing that you are pre-ordained to win. Let me be clear about something: You are not god’s gift to ultimate. You didn’t invent it and it will be going on long after you are done with it.

I don’t pretend to know if any of the many rumors about the Hodags being a bunch of cheating egomaniacs on the field are true or not, and it doesn’t matter. For one, there is always more jealous criticism of the big dogs. And moreover, what really matters is that you feel – that you really believe – that you are treating the game and your opponents with respect. And as you sit atop the competition, I hope you consider this even more than we did when we toiled away in obscurity.

We have all played with bad spirit. I played a point against some terrible team at college sectionals with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my hand. My teammates like to joke about it – and it is funny – but I would undo it if I could. I have in one way or another, bullied teams that we were better than to let them know we were going to win. Would I undo those transgressions now for whatever advantage our team gained? Absolutely. It's not something to cry over, but I would undo them if I could.

My point is when you’re at the top you need to be particularly concerned with being stewards of the sport. Strangers come to watch you play. Probably, even, people who have never seen ultimate before come to your games. Acting like a dick is never good, but it’s particularly harmful to the game and to the Hodag name when you do it at the top level. Remember Joe DiMaggio’s quote about why he played so hard every game? "I always thought there was at least one person in the stands who had never seen me play, and I didn't want to let him down."

I read the post about Dan Heijmen for Callahan on the Hodag web site. Sounds like an awesome player. But given that a third of the award has to do with sportsmanship – something you mention nothing of in a 1,000-plus word write-up – someone who really cares about the game is unlikely to vote for him. And if that’s the way the team he leads acts and portrays itself, in my book he shouldn’t win. Simple as that.

Just remember that as you (hopefully) blaze your way to glory this weekend, how much it will mean to the sport – and to alumni – when you do it with class, and with a smile on your face. Imagine the tremendous good step you take for the game and the Hodag name when you resist making a ticky-tack call or – can you imagine? – take back a bad call on the biggest stage in ultimate. Shaking an opponent’s hand after a good play is also excellent, though it is certainly not required.

I promise that it will make all the memories and friendships far warmer. And you will still dominate.




After discussing this for a few years, some of the alums finally got around to investigating getting an official charitable fund set up for the team. There are a couple of advantages to doing it this way. One, the alums can now contribute to a charitable organization and get a tax deduction for all donations. Two, the fund is professionally managed so no one has to worry about handling the finances and taxes. Three, since it's tax deductible, the alums should be able to donate a little more, which will help out the team.

However, there is still one issue on which I could use some input. There are basically two ways to have the fund set up. One, everything that is donated within the year is distributed that same year, much like we do now. Two, we spend a couple years building up the principal, and then only the interest is distributed to the team each year.

For option two, you can assume that 4.5 - 5% interest will be distributed to the team every year after we reach the initial level of $10,000. The UW Foundation estimates that they will get a return of approximately 10% every year. Of that, 1% goes to their maintenance costs. The remaining 4% is reinvested in the fund to battle inflation. So after we meet the initial amount, the fund becomes essentially self-sustaining. Of course, the principal has to grow to a rather large amount before it really becomes a benefit to the team. And if we never get the principal up to a large amount, we can convert it to the full annual distribution at any point.

I created the poll below to get a sense of what people think will be the best option. The poll is open for the next week.

Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Any alums from the DC area going to nationals this year? I've already arranged for time off of work (less than a week into my new job), but I don't have a way to get there. I'm working in the Patuxent national wildlife refuge.

Friday, May 04, 2007


As Told By: SEBBY

So when I was on CUT, we were the kindler, gentler, but still socially awkward team. By which I mean that we didn't hang out with any other team and/or care to do so. For the most part all I remember about the Hodags is the mass of baby blue running after me. Although I do have two specific stories that may be interesting.

Firstoff, at the Kansas Fools Fest in 1998 and the very first Ultimate tournament I had ever played in, I was guarding Ben Jammin for onepoint. He made a dump cut and caught the throw, even though I laid out and missed the bid. And then for the next 7-8 seconds he just held the frisbee in front of my face and talked shit as I was getting up and stalling him, not even glancing upfield. Then he threw (and I think completed) a stall 9 hammer. So you might say that he was the reason I always liked beating Madison.

Second, and I think this was Sectionals in 1998 at St. Olaf. Madison was playing and destroying CUT B, but we were on the sideline watching. On one point, the Hodags pulled and sent Opie screaming down for the mark of a 1-3-3. Al Licup caught the first throw off the pull, and then threw up a big forehand fake right as Opie sprinted up to mark him. As Al faked, Opie threw out a leg to try and footblock him while still moving forward. After the fake, Al pivoted over to throw a backhand, and as he did so he caught Opie square in his junk with the disc on the way across and then completed the throw. I've never seen a man crumple as fast as Opie did that day, and he remained in the fetal position for a good 10 minutes before moving.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007