Hodag Love

Saturday, January 19, 2008


(in alphabetical order)


I love playing Ultimate.
I love playing Wisconsin Ultimate.
I love beating the shit out of teams.
I love winning.
I love winning tournaments.
I am a National champion.
I am going to do everything in my power to repeat as a national champion.
I will work hard.
I will teach the younger players everything I can that I will soon have to rely on if i want to continue the hodag tradition of domination.
I will always know that the team is nothing without everybody working hard together which is harder than any other team in the country.
And I understand that we are good because of the players we have now and have had in the past.
I love all of my teammates.
I love all of you hodag alumni.

hodag love forever
Tom Animal Annen

P.S. Dean Sucks!


T- for Teamwork. This is what Hodag Love is all about. We workout together, we party together, we play together, we WIN together.
U- for Ultimate. What more do I have to say!
R- for Respect. If Teamwork is what Hodag Love is all about then Respect is the foundation. There may be bickering and fighting at times, but when it comes down to the wire every Hodag can trust and respect his teammates to make the game changing play.
T- for Training. We work harder than any other team out there. We do this so that at the end of the season we know that there is no team in the nation that can out run us, out jump us, or out play us.
L- for Layouts. As a Hodag you have to love the feeling of flying through the air putting your body on the line in order to get the D. When a Hodag makes layout it shows that he is willing to put his body on the line for his teammates. That is true Hodag Love.
E- for Eliminate. This is what we love to do on Sunday. We love to knock teams out on our way to the championship game especially if it’s Carleton.


My name is Shane Hohenstein, I am a 5th year senior and 3rd year Hodag. I wanted to write this essay because the Hodags have become the most important thing in my life and wanted to share that passion with anyone who has a chance to read this. A little over three years ago I decided to transfer from Winona State University. I wanted to transfer for a number of reasons but there is no coincidence that the two schools I applied to were recent national champions in ultimate (Wisconsin and Colorado). I visited both schools, and was in contact with members of both frisbee teams. I was weighing out the pros and cons of each school in my head until it became obvious to me. The clear decision stood out after I visited a Hodags practice and met many members of the team. After watching the way the 2005 Hodags worked and how they interacted together I knew immediately that there was something special about the Hodags; something that I wanted to be a part of. I practically made my decision that day. My transfer to the University of Wisconsin is the best thing I have ever done for myself, and the reason is because of my experience I have had as a Hodag.

I was recently talking with a high school friend about my college career and what we are going to remember the most. I told her that, when I think of my college career, all I think about is being a Hodag. It is how I define myself and it is the most meaningful part of my college career. I wanted to right this essay to attempt to explain why this is.

So it is extremely hard to put into words what it means, to me, to be a Hodag. When I sat down to write this essay I had a hard time trying to organize my hurricane of thoughts and emotions I want to express. There are three pictures, however, that I think demonstrate at least a bit of what it means, to me, to be a Hodag.

In this picture I see pure determination. This was after a goal I caught in the semi-finals of the 2007 college nationals in Columbus, Ohio. I look into the eyes of myself and Miller and I see purpose, intensity, and will. When I think of what it means to be a Hodag I think of all these characteristics. To me, the Hodags are group of guys, past and present, that create a family that is dedicated to common goals. What is most important is that each Hodag takes it upon himself to work as hard as possible to achieve these goals as a single unit. Each Hodag pushes the other and picks each other up when we are down. I have never met a group of people more passionate and determined to make their dreams come true than the Hodags. To be a Hodag means that you work as hard as you physically can to make you and your team better. Hodags sweat, bleed, and cry together as they work as one to achieve their goals. I love this about the Hodags, and I see this aspect of determination in the above photo.

I look at this next picture and laugh my ass off. It is ridiculous, haggard, stupid, and maybe embarrassing. Nevertheless, this picture is amazing, and I think it shows another important part of what it means to be a Hodag. This picture was taken at the end of a 'Cowboy and Indian' themed party. The above victims include myself, Dan Heijmen, and Brian Frederick. The reason I included this picture is because I want to emphasize the fact that Hodags are best friends. I know a lot of people, from a lot of different walks of life, and with many different personalities, but I will always consider my teammates as my best friends. The reason is that through strife, success, hard work, and hilarity my teammates have become my friends on a level of friendship that no others will understand. I included this picture because I love surrounding my self with other Hodags and as best friends we have more fun with each other than imaginable. All Hodags know this from any spring break they have been on with their teammates. This picture, to me, embodies the hilarity that best friends are able to have with each other and how much I love spending my time with Hodags on and off the field.

Hodag Love is the most important aspect of being a Hodag. The determination, passion, friendship, hard work, success, and everything else I have described up to this point is done through Hodag Love. This is a special connection that is what makes me cry with my teammates as pictured above with Matt Scallet, Dan Miller, and I after 2007 national finals. With huge grins on our faces, we cried like babies, after we achieved our ultimate goal last year. We embraced each other for minutes in triumph and in love. It is Hodag Love that gives a special relationship between past and present Hodags that is exhibited at every Alumni game and night spent together. I feel instantly close to every Alumnus I met simply through the common understanding of Hodag Love and what it means to be a part of the greatest ultimate team in the world.

I could claim that the Hodags are the greatest ultimate team for a plethora of reasons, but the reason that resonates with me the most is the culture we embody and the relationship that past, present, and future Hodags will always have with each other through Hodag Love. I love this team as I love my family and it is the most important thing in my life right now. What I have come to learn that is truly incredible is the fact that being a Hodag, like a family, is permanent. It goes well beyond one's college career, and it is a family for a lifetime. I have learned that as I have felt the love and common respect for every Hodag I have ever met. It is this family, friends, and Love for one another that I am eternally grateful for. It is these things that are, to me, Hodag Love.



On October 24th of this past year, I received the most gratifying phone call of my life. Matt Rebholz’s familiar tone of voice caused what had now become a Pavlovian acid reflux in my gut. This was the third such phone call I’d received from Matt Rebholz in my ultimate career. The prior two had resulted in a short period of depression, my ultimate career or year’s tryout flashing before my eyes, and a big gulp of pride. Fuck…it was familiar territory for me having been disappointed with hockey and soccer during high school. I guess I’m just an ‘on the bubble’ type of athlete. But, I always seem to persevere. Before that phone call on October the 24th I had been planning on weaseling my way into a graduate school the following year somewhere without the name Madison or Wisconsin or Hodag in it, at the same time knowing that every fast-twitch muscle in my body wanted a two-year tenure with the Hodags. And then it happened… ‘you made the team, you’re a hodag.’ I smiled.
Though it has only been a short time since I first slipped on a baby blue knit, I have been aware of the existence of Hodag Love for a few years. I have, as many B-teamers and probably many other ultimate players, learned frisbee and ultimate work ethic in the shadow of the Hodag. The Hodags have been my pinnacle, my ultimate bible, my scary older brother. They have defined what it means to play defense, what it means to get in shape, what it means to win. It is wholly gratifying to now be apart of my only view of how frisbee can be played. To be a Hodag for me is to be an ultimate Goliath, it is an opportunity for me to succeed. Making the team is exactly that—an opportunity; for I am hardly a Hodag yet…but not to worry, I’ve got Hodag Love on my side.
For me, Hodag Love is the catalyst for creating an ultimate player out of raw athleticism and heart. It is the collective passion for passing on mad skills and work ethic and the will to eat babies to every Wisconsin student who shows a ravenous need for touching plastic. It is the lofty feeling I got during CCC when I stood on the line with my comrades at my flanks. Looking down at the Hodag on my jersey knowing the chump 70 yards away is wincing like an abused puppy. The confidence in my fellow brethren and myself transcends the present; our confidence is derived from every great player who has ever worn baby blue. The other teams shake because of our history, our reputation. No player would shake because I am marking them; they shake because a Hodag is marking them. Every time a n00b is built into a baby-eating machine it adds to the prestige of the baby blue knits. We are a treasury of greatness compounding with every offensive flow and sick d, every OATBAG, every line of the story. Hodag Love is our fuel. It is derived from each individual Hodag committed to becoming part of the faceless army. Hodag Love is setting the bar so high that no other team can even see it. And it’s fucking tasty.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Alumni Reunion-Mancation

Double down, ante up and push all in, because the Hodags are going to Vegas. Following a litany of complaints that last year's mancation was planned mere weeks before the event in a location some didn't like, this year's trip is being announced months in advance in a place everyone loves (or at least has a healthy bit of respect for). Same rules as last year apply. Your girlfriend, wife and sense of decency are not invited, your liver and sense of humor are. People will be getting in on Thursday March 27 and if they survive long enough, likely leaving on Sunday the 30th. Dean is looking into rooms as we speak and if you are planning on coming you should let him know: dbolton991@yahoo.com

Who's going to be there (other than half the hot strippers in America and a bunch of black jack dealers from Buffalo, NY)? The four founding fathers of Mancation (Dean, Dise, Tyler and Pankratz), rumor has it Zach and LA Rob will also be there. Not even a full year of marriage and Bruss is reportedly looking for excuses to get out of the house and if our Hello Kitty scholarship funding goes through, Kang. Who are some of the dark horse contenders to make an appearance? Is Frederick willing to risk throwing away a promising medical career before it even gets started? Does Hector ever go on vacation if it doesn't involve speaking spanish or playing frisbee? Is Anderson's cougar hunting license valid in Nevada? Is Ley a minister yet? and if so does that mean he'll want to go to cub scout meetings instead of strip clubs? Will Flounder's company let him use the company jet? Can Tyson take time off from his busy duties as captain of the Widowmaker? Only time will tell, but I hope everyone can make it. Please help spread the word to all the former Hodags.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Alumni Reunion (Sans ULTIMATE) Mulligan

I was just kidding about March 22 and 23 the Reunion in Vegas is happening the next weekend. Anyway stay tuned for Pankratz's plea.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Pankratz is going to be posting soon with compelling reasons why you will want to attend, but the details are as follows: Vegas on the weekend of March 22nd and 23rd. Some may arrive prior to the weekend to take full advantage of the weekend. Right now I have gotten at least waffling commitments from Pank, Tyler, Dean, Bruss (via Bryn) and Bert. Being close to LA I'm assuming that LA Rob and Zach are practically guarantees (with this notice) and with the cancellation of TIV I imagine others may now be more interested. Check back frequently for Pank's post.