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Beijing 2008 Ultimate Summer League Write-Up


It seems that this week is the week of post-event depression. As we watched from around the city as three interlopers saw the last of the Olympic flame twinkle out, I hope you were not still hung over like I was. My bittersweet hang over was not related to the Olympics, as you all know, but rather the amazing end to 2008 summer league.

Some said that our league could not be done during the Olympics with all the restrictions and police action and I am proud that, as a community, we came together and succeeded in having a great season. From our regular league play at Happy Valley to our final day blow-out this past Saturday we brought players from all over Beijing to impolitely declare, “the Olympics cannot stop Ultimate”!

I would like to thank everyone who made this year’s summer league possible. Without all of them it would not have happened. Kelly did everything that had to be done from ordering beer to scrambling to find fields for the last two weeks. Char kept the books and kept me organised (a huge task in itself). Tina got us our vans every weekend, and Lauren got us the big bus this Sunday. And, of course, Five
Ultimate and Zahlen, Julia, and Rohre designed and manufactured the amazing jerseys.

The captains also deserve a huge round of applause for all of the hard work that they put in managing their teams, building momentum and carrying around jerseys to and from the fields every week.

Thanks to all of you and all of your work. Next time we are together let’s all raise a glass to them…and then buy them a second one.

I hope I have not forgotten to thank anyone (I am doing this at work off the top of my head) and if I have, my humblest apologies.

There is one more big thanks that is due though… that one goes out to the Beijing Ultimate community. I am so glad that I could be a part of what I believe is -- by far -- the best city for Ultimate in China. It goes with out saying that if you plan a league and no one shows up it will suck ass. So thank you everyone for coming out every Sunday in searing heat and sloppy rain to play some great Ultimate. I hope everyone has learned and grown through the process and that our
community will continue to build in the future.

So, just to make sure I am going over the top in giving thanks to everyone, thanks again.

Let’s keep promoting Ultimate and kicking ass at our awesome sport until it swallows the whole of China in “Up!” calls.

Speaking of over the top, let’s turn our attention to what happened on the fields for the last game of the season. One can only hope for such an awesome game to end league, and here is Tao with an epic (slightly wandering) recap of this Saturday’s Final:

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The first game Durians won 13-1 after going ahead 12-0. Kelly, alas, scored on a break-throw and proceeded to spike the disc. In the finals, three-seed Go Blue Yourself, off a convincing 12-8 win over the league's No. 1 team, Grey Goo, jumped ahead 3-1 and looked to win a third straight over the Assassins. The lead was eventually extended to 7-4, then 8-4. But Yellow made a run, led by a stifling cup zone.

At 8-6 and with Blue going towards the far end zone, Tao got a trap on Patrick, forcing a hanging cross-field throw that Shen knocked down in the end zone while Tao was shouting, "Eat that up!" Tao-to-Shen one throw later and it was, in the words of the captain, "8 to 7!"

Blue, running a steady offense through Kevin Reitz and with precision handling by Guy -- not to mention Happy Rat, a speedy, athletic primary cutter -- scored to make it 9-7, then again to make it 10-8. Yellow would not quit, however. Always going 4 guys/3 girls on offense to take advantage of its female advantage -- Sandy, Yin, Casey and Duo Yi -- the Durians had a distinct advantage when receiving the pull.

After Sandy grabbed a poor, high huck by Tao and threw for the score to make it 10-9 -- this off a transition D -- Yellow got a break: a turnover near Blue's 30-yard-line. Tao spotted co-captain Yin in the end zone and threw a 40-degree-angled forehand that sliced through the air and settled into her hands in the back of the end zone, eliciting an eruptive shout of exultation.

Blue scored to make it 11-10, but Yellow countered with a score of its own -- Sandy backhand to Tao going towards the far end zone. In the waning light of day, Jeff called Universe Point, and so it was that Tao, disc in hand, went across the line slapping fives for a game well played and a season well lived. The evening sun had dipped, witness no more to our summertime frolic, careless to the worries of a world's importuning, its seismic, psychic sway no longer in our eye's
crosshairs which focused ahead on a bright, colorful destiny of our own imagining. The result of the final point -- who scored, who won -- no longer mattered. We were here, as was the moment, our efforts and toils bringing us to a unity and peace sweeping across the manicured grass like a down blanket putting the land to sleep, harmony transcending things expressible by words.

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As an aside, Beijing Ultimate does not condone drug use.

IN case you were wondering, Go Blue Yourself won 12-11 (on Happyrat’s birthday and a Happyrat mismatch in the end zone) making them champions of the Beijing 2008 Ultimate Summer league. Congratulations to the entire team and Kevin, Happyrat and Eric the captains.

The hard-fighting Durian Assassins grabbed second place to finish out an emotional and impressive season.

Biantaila creamed Grey Goo to secure third place for my favourite team of the summer and...

Grey Goo just got screwed when all of its players went home. A sad end to clearly the strongest team during regular play but it was fun to see them play when they had all of their players.

Thanks again everyone and congratulations to all of the players awarded MVP and Most Improved for their teams. The awards were hard earned and I am happy that such strong players were able to receive them.

Let’s keep up the momentum in the future and hopefully next year’s summer league will have twice as many people participating.

Cheers,

Jeff