Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hype man's guide to USA ULTIMATE College Nationals. Thursday / Friday.

First USA Ultimate Nationals as a spectator?  Are you a recent Alum looking to get the low down on what to watch, and who to see?  A Local of Madison who just wants to check out the fun fast paced sport of the 21st century?

Welcome to Outside In, where I give you the straight up PLAN to enjoying your spectating experience.  The whosits, whatsits and wheresits to enjoy your stay in Madison.  It’s an outsider’s take on the inside scoop.  Little secret, I use a little thing called the INTERWEBS, invented by Thomas Jefferson and Al Gore.  Off to Madison…  Let’s talk about what to do when you’re not at the game, where to eat, and also, of course, scout the games.

Most of this is what you should be doing when you’re NOT watching Frisbee.  But I got some game watching thoughts in there, also.

Days 1 and 2 are held at the Reddan Soccer fields in Verona, WI.  Looks like basically a suburb.  There is probably plenty of McFood around.  But it looks like campus is less than 10 miles away.  I’d at least head into Madison Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.  If you’re staying in a tournament hotel, I’d hit the Homewood or the Hampton on Commerce, as they are a little closer to Madison, and the fields aren’t that far from anything. 

BEST CHOICE FOR GOOD TIME:  Contact someone in Madison.  Bribe them for couch space.  Rent bikes.  Seriously, If you know anyone in downtown Madison, I’d rent a bike for the 4 days, and ride the bike route out to the fields; again, this is one of the great cycling communities in America.  Take advantage.  Pay less than $80 for 4 days of cycling.  Buy something for your host.

The weather looks decent for spectating.  Cool temps, and light breezes less than 10mph should make for appearance of actual ultimate-like substance.  A blessing after Sarasota gales, and Boulder, er, Gales.

DO: Get there Thurdsay, and if the weather is good, go for a bike ride.  Outside Magazine recommends Madison as one of the greatest bike towns in America.  For pure entertainment value, I think someone needs to check out the “Red Bikes.” 

I Have no idea if these bikes are what you want to have to ride .  They may just be beaters, but, I think you need your picture taken with a “RedBike.”

If you’ve followed my advice, and contacted the Madison Ultimate Community, You’ve got a place to stay.   Now call a bike shop and rent for the duration of your stay. 

I found Erik’s bike shop, where you can rent some decent road bikes for as low as $18 a day.  The deposit is pretty steep, so hopefully you have a credit card.  Helmets and locks provided. Click HERE. or Budget Bikes HERE (even cheaper!).  Check around. 

If you’re only riding Thursday, I’d at the very least do the lake Mendota lake loop, at 23 miles, but check in with the locals.
Lake Mendota

But if you’re adamant that you just want to spend your vacation weekend in a car, at a motel, and at a generic soccer complex, well you’re mostly going to be watching Frisbee, so renting a bike might be a waste.  But do a loop on Thursday, shoot some pictures, get a little culture out of the trip.  You’ll have that many more memories.

Still, on Thursday, if the weather is bad, or if you are just looking to go full tourist, you might have time to catch a museum or a show.  If you live in a outdoors-recreation-rich culturally barren backwater as I do, this might be a good call.  There’s a photo exhibition at the Madison Museum of Contemporary art downtown. HERE is a description. 

The dinner options downtown are too many to mention.  Wander around until you see something you like.  Then, Thursday night, catch Matthew Santos at the Redamte Coffee house.  Here is the venue. 
Doors open at 7, and music at 8.

Reviewed HERE, Santos has worked with Lupe Fiasco (on superstar), and tickets are 8 bucks.  Also he hails from Minneapolis, so maybe he’ll be channeling some of the miracle magic of the healing waters of Lake Minnetonka.  I assume you’ll wander around downtown after the show, or head home to catch Jersey Shore at the Hotel.

Friday:  All you need to know:  Get some coffee.  If you're staying in a Hotel, just eat the damn waffles.  If you're couch surfing downtown, get a tasty bagel sandwich at Bagels Forever on University.  Then head out, and camp out at fields 3 and 4.  Bring your earplugs, and remember, you’ll pay for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.  There are multiple coffee shops within a couple miles of the fields. Always important for me.  Hopefully you're biking, as the bike routes look great for riding.

Games to Watch:
Round 1 8:30
Honestly, the first round games don’t look too thrilling.  Will Tufts – Texas on the Girls side have  some serious brawling?  Maybe UCSB and UBC will find UCSB returning to prior years form at the big Show..  Or check out Will “Nexgen” Driscoll vs. Brice “RSD, Please quit calling me and Ben Wiggins Fat, because we’re really not, but, thanks for the Ben Comparison” Dixon.  But this might be a good round to roam. 

You might want to watch the open division match up between UNCW vs Illinois on field 4, or watch womens teams Washington and Ottowa play.  You'll want to get a feel for the wind -- file forecasts are for light breezes, it might be a factor in the games later.  Will more goals be scored in the down wind endzone?  And you'll want to figure this out, because if you’re with the sporting press, you’re going to be spending a lot of time between fields 3 and 4 on Friday. 

The field layout isn’t set yet, but hopefully, you can get some prime seats between the two fields.

Down to Brass Tacks:  GAME TIME.

10:30 OPEN: A1 Oregon v A2 Colorado Field 3.  (Oregon by 2)
10:30 WOMEN Oregon v. Wisco at 10:30, field 4 (Oregon by 1)

Hopefully they’ve got the field layout with 3 and 4 next to each other.  Any morning Doldrums will end fast.

The men of Oregon and Colorado will reunite a few nexgen players, as Jimmy Mickle squares off against, well, the UO Offensive line (Spikezilla, Honn, and Allison-Hall).  

The home team Wisconsin Belladonna squares off against number one seed UO Fugue.  Travel and jet-lag could play a factor, as Wisconsin lost by only 2 at the Stanford invite.  Lou will have his team ready to gun it, but, travel takes it’s toll.  The home crowd will be loud, and rocking.  And as the game nears it’s end, fans arriving for the 12:30 wisconsin – Carleton boys game could give this game a championship feel – noise wise at least.

At 12:30 the Men’s action continues with B1 Wisco vs B2 Carleton on field 4.  The ranks will swell further. The 973rd playing of the competition they just call ‘the love fest’ will no doubt be slowed by pauses to spiritedly complement each other, share jokes with the other team, and laugh until they cry as they just try to out-nice each other like Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen Degeneres.  Oh.  No. Wait. 
There.  Will. Be. Blood.  (Wisconsin by 2, and someone’s breaking out a Trident.)

As that game is going on, Women’s Pool C teams #1 Carleton vs #2 UBC also square off at 12:30, field 3. These teams have not met up this year, but Both teams have close wins, and losses to tough competition.  (Carleton by 2)

2:30 Men’s teams C1 UNC Chapel Hill and C2 University of Central Florida square off on field 3, and  Iowa State v. Ohio state at 2:30, field 4.  The girls game has huge upset potential, at least by seeding.  Iowa state has lost to… Ohio state this year.  And Ohio State’s opponents at regionals scored an average of like 1.85 points per game.  One might suspect the Ohio Valley region is less competitive, but this game should be a fun one. (Ohio State by 1)

UCF has become a fixture in the past few years, and this year has wins over both Oregon and UNC, at easterns.  UNC will come out hard:  “Carolina Style” Ultimate doesn’t have the same meaning it used to have, but this will be some hard fought Frisbee. (UCF by 2)

430 in the Open division, D1 Pitt faces D2 Texas , and  Iowa takes on Tufts.  Callahan candidates, and bus riders Degirolamo and Driscoll will go at it (we hope),  and Iowa and tufts at 4:30 on  field 4 should also be a great one. 

These teams met at the Queen City Tune Up with Iowa taking the 13-11 win.  Their RRI’s are almost identical.   But Pitt by 3, and Iowa holds seed. 

WHEW.  What a Saturday.  And you’ve barely had to move.  Team Style, and who handles the spotlight better will be the story in these rounds.  Early rounds tend to give the underdogs a better shot, but the teams in all 8 of these games are so well matched, that no one upset would be a surprise.

Not worn out from spectating pool play Friday?

Then head over a few miles to catch the Madison Radicals of the AUDL at Breese Stevens field.  Kick off at 7:30 P.m. Friday, $5 if you order on line. Get there early to be safe, order some fries with “Radical” Sauce (I suspect that is like “Fry Sauce” but more extreme.  Here are some more reasons to go to the game, from the team.

Didn’t pig out on the Radical sauce?  Lots of restaurants in the neighborhood.  For sure, the Burrito Drive, and Roman Candle are open late.  Burrito Drive looks decent, local input?  If the game ends at 10:30, you probably just want something quick anyway.  Several places are in the neighborhood of the stadium.

Or pub fare may be more your thing, so follow the post game throngs a few blocks down the road to the Radicals sponsor Great Dane Pub, where your ticket stub will get you a free beer.''

Get a good night's Sleep.   Saturday is moving day, when dreams are fulfilled, or broken.

morison luke smith
(c) morrisonlukesmith


Martin said...

Sir, you are a scholar and a gentleman! You article may be a bit heavy on the local routes and a little light on indicating which division you are talking about, but it was a pleasure to read. Continue to bring excellent off-topic content to an ultimate world that is increasingly just interested is scores and analysis.

Luke said...

Thanks, I mean, if you're going, you either watch the team you came to support, or you watch the big game, or you go where the noise is. It ain't rocket surgery. I get that we all love the sport: But, yeah, things are getting a little to stiff for my taste. Skyd wouldn't even publish my callhan posts. I guess I need to have "Sail" playing in the back ground.... or some other dubstep drivel...