Thursday, February 28, 2013

Comparison: Social Media Popularity of Pro Ultimate Teams

Seeing the potential Olympic impact of social media on the sport, let's look at the social media outreach of the professional Ultimate teams in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) & Major League Ultimate (MLU).

Chart: Pro Ultimate Teams' Social Media Popularity
Notes: Data as of 2/26/2013
Total = Facebook Likes + twitter followers
AlleyCats, Spinners, Mechanix and Revolution* are 2nd-year teams; the rest are "new" teams.
The Buffalo Hunters (AUDL) became Rochester Dragons, but their social media started anew.
* After their move to Cincy, the Rev created a new Fb page.
  • Seven out of 12 AUDL teams are in the Top-10 (58% of their league)
  • Five out of 8 MLU teams are in the Bottom-10 (62% of their league)
  • Totals: Facebook likes = 27,260; twitter followers = 7,289
  • Averages: Facebook likes = 1363; twitter followers = 364
  • Revolution is the only pro team with more twitter followers than Facebook likes. Rev is 3rd on twitter, and last (20th) on Facebook. 
  • DC Breeze are in the bottom half of Facebook likes, but are Top-10 for twitter followers.
  • AlleyCats and Spinners played in the AUDL 2012 championship game.

Where's the Frisbee

Hobbes: Reading goes faster if you don't sweat comprehension.
Calvin: Where's the Frisbee?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eat More Beer

Finally! A chance to EAT MORE DRINK MORE BEER in 2013.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 27. 6:30/7-10pm ET

Meridian Pint
[3400 11th St NW; Washington, DC]

RSVP: To Joe

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Discoid Art

This abstract art looks so...disc...oidal. Yes, discoidal!

ASHKAHN Frisbee Print []

Info: Is it a vinyl record? Is it a booby? Is it a flying disc?
It's actually a visual metaphor designed to keep you guessing. This signed digital print by the LA-based graphic designer Ashkahn Shahparnia is printed on recycled paper and comes in a standard 12" x 16" size to save you the expense of custom framing.

Price: $35.00 . Buy

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ultimate Horsemeat Scandal

USAU Asks Discraft to Give Flying Disc Plastic Quality Guarantee

USA Ultimate may suspend the use of DISCRAFT Ultra-Star plastic discs in Ultimate games over the horsemeat scandal, USAU's chief sanitary official said Sunday. The official told a local internet radio station that they have asked the premier manufacturer of flying discs for a guarantee that DISCRAFT Ultimate discs don't contain horse. When asked to comment on this claim, DISCRAFT said "neigh."


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ultimate Sport Opinion

Ultimate Sport [NYTimes. Feb 23, 2013]

Founded in the late 1960s, in the heyday of hippiedom, ultimate Frisbee is often associated with pot smoking and people who don’t like rules. In college, ultimate is relegated to "club status," the stepchild of athletic departments.

Adult leagues and pickup games are often improvised amalgams of like-minded eccentrics, forever in search of adequate field space. The sport is very popular in Canada. You know something is misunderstood when you look to Canada for a sense of identity. I've been playing ultimate for 25 years.

Leave it to a bunch of weirdos to invent the perfect game. Ultimate is intensely physical, a mix of measured teamwork and bursts of individual athleticism.

It's like playing football if you played all the positions - quarterback, receiver and defensive back, and played them continually, without breaks. (We’ll rest when we’re dead.)

It's fluid in the way basketball and hockey are fluid — fast-paced and constantly evolving between offense and defense. But even in its most contested moments, the culture of the game requires civility. It's only a matter of time until professional football players carry handguns during games. In ultimate, there is no bullying — no hard fouls to earn respect, retaliatory fouls to show even less respect, none of it. We don’t have or need referees — we play with a commitment to fairness. Our hippie forefathers reasoned well: ultimate is a game; it should be fun and only fun. It is. 

You feel a play developing, see a momentary advantage. Your teammate sees you open and throws not to where you are, but to where you will be, but only if you sprint. (Playing well requires decisive choices on myriad hypothetical outcomes. Graduate students love the game.)

I look forward to playing this weekend. I'll see my friends, people I've been playing with for years, many of whom I know only in this context. Doctors, economists and firemen among us. Our day jobs have nothing to do with the game — if anything, ultimate offers respite from all that. We're here to lose ourselves in, and to, the game, and it works every time. 

Because Frisbees float as they arc through the air, the game feels as if it's playing out in slow motion. (How unexpected that we often experience this sensation only when moving at top speed.) You run down a long throw, catch it with your fingertips only inches before it touches the grass. Scoring yields a burst of elation, an instant of incontrovertible victory. This sense of glory lasts until play resumes. Once it does, the past is forgotten.

I'll play this weekend because the unique sense of exhilaration the game offers exists only in the present tense. I also need more glory. Come join us. You, too, can be a weirdo. We have the last laugh. In degrees of excellence only one word can aptly describe our game. Are you really going to make me say it?

[h/t Christy & David & Joe]

Friday, February 22, 2013

NetFlicks for Ultimate

With the popularity and stock of Ultimate game footage, it's great to be able to see video of Ultimate games. Skyd Magazine recently reported on a portal for Ultimate games called No Huck!  ("NetFlicks" seems like a better name!!)

Having more and more Ultimate games available is the result of the proliferation of camera owners. Many thanks not only to the people holding the camera, and being able to record the inevitable awesome Ultimate play(s). Moreover, a huge appreciation to the video editors! You can now efficiently watch an elite-level Ultimate game in about half the time it's played -- Ironside v. Sockeye (30 minutes; 2012), or Southpaw v. Truck Stop (40 minutes; 2012).

Some suggestions for any/all Ultimate frisbee video portal sites.

Group the games based on their genre (examples: suspense thriller, comedy, melodrama, war film, spaghetti western, etc.), so viewers can choose the type of competition they seek to watch.

Add a category for the video length, so viewers can choose a selection based on the amount of time they have available to watch. (20-30 minutes; 31-40 mins, etc.)

Add a rating system similar to film's 5-star rating or Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer. Ratings will help the viewer understand how good the game is based on criteria (examples: video footage, weather factors, game action, score-keeping, etc.).

Help dictate what the rating system should be called by completing the survey below or here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Gallon of Frisbees

Question: How much does 1 gallon of Ultimate discs costs? DISCRAFT could probably give a more definitive answer; instead, here's a chart.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In-Decision: Spring 2013

CH announced:
I'm not asking if we are joining, I'm announcing that we [Sludge (Clique B)] are going to go for another round.

Start Date: Saturday, March 16th through June

Games: 8-9 regular season games + the tournament

Game Dates: Saturdays

Game Locations: DC-area, mostly at Anacostia Park and in Montgomery County, MD

Register: Pay $30 to play in the WAFC spring clique season

Wedding Frisbees

As you may be aware, Ultimate is a hotbed for Ulti-mating. When/if that day comes when you're fortunate to find matrimony to your ultimate Ultimate partner, DISCRAFT has the most appropriate wedding gift for guests.
One of many disc design templates
Discs options: Discraft 175-gram Ultra-Star; White, nite-Glow, Ultra-Violet, Blue Sparkle

Art type: Hot foil stamp, or SuperColor

Qty options: 50 (white disc only, foil color = 1) or 100

View: Wedding templates discs

Delivery time: Most orders will ship within 4 - 6 weeks from receipt of order form, suitable artwork and payment.

Go to: Order Assistant. Price guide.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MLU 2013 Season Tickets

All of the Major League Ultimate teams are currently selling season tickets.

Compared to the AUDL's 42%, all 8 of MLU teams (100%) are selling pro Ultimate game tickets.
Average ticket price = $80. Quantity of home games = 5.

Ticket Sales: Go to the team's website under the Teams-tab on the MLU site, and then click "Tickets", or go directly to TicketLeap.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spelling 5 Ultimate

How can the number "5" spell Ultimate?
Five Ultimate is a company founded in 2006 in Seattle, Washington by 5 siblings who share a passion for the game of Ultimate. Their company mission: To serve Ultimate.

Here's an extended logo using the "5" logo. What's it spell??
Another rotation now shows the 5 as the first two letters of the word...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Frisbee Ad: You just can't do it alone

Valentine's Day was so yesterday! Love for Frisbee can be traced back to even farther...

"You just can't do it alone." [Wham-O Frisbee Television Ad (1980's)]
Screengrab from  80's Commercials Vol. 226

"You just can't do it alone." [Wham-O Frisbee Print Ad (1983)]
Frisbee Ad Lyrics:
I went to the beach one sunny day,
I saw a long-legged girl heading my way.
She was flipping a Frisbee and looking okay.
In one hot flash, she did a li'l spin.
She whipped me that Frisbee;
I whipped it back again because
you just can't do it alone!

You just can’t do it, you just can't do it alone. (Toss it to me)
OK, honey, give it to me again.
You just can’t do it, you just can't do it alone. (To me)
You just can’t do it, you just can't do it alone.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LOVE U,ltimate

Today's as good as any to show how much you love Ultimate!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

MLU's Moola

Major League Ultimate announced their player incentive program "MLU Award Money Breakdown". There are weekly prizes for individual players, and cash awards for being MVP of the Conference & Championship games. Playoff teams and the champ wins collective money, just like AUDL.

Here's the added bonus - an equivalent amount, or sometimes more, is "donated on behalf of the player to a charity or high school Ultimate program of the player's or team's choice". The real winner is the designated benefactors! By my calculations, there's $22,000 up for grabs.

The MLU's rationale is "Ultimate thrives on the support of a tight-knit group of people who will do anything for each other and the sport they love. We're confident that the players, staff, fans and the Ultimate community will favor this breakdown over the original plan." [original plan = give the winning team $25,000]

An individual player's take breaks down to:
A playoff appearance nets ~$46.87. [$1500 divided by 32 people (25 players + 7 staff)]

Winning the MLU Championship nets ~$156.25. [$5000 divided by 32 people (25 players + 7 staff)]

Total winnings per MLU professional player = $203.12

One amazing player could personally net $3200 if they sweep both the offensive & defensive weekly individual awards for all 10 weeks & in the playoff game [$100 each award x 2 for 11 weeks], PLUS wins MVP of both playoff games (conference & championships) [$500 per MVP x 2].
Breakdown of the MLU's $36,700 Award money

AUDL 2013 Season Tickets

With the AUDL season almost here, here's a look at the teams selling season tickets.

NOTES: Only 5 out of the 12 AUDL teams are current selling tickets.
Average ticket price = $60. Quantity of home games = 8.
Only one Eastern Conference team (Toronto Rush) has ticket sales yet.
Of the 7 teams without tickets sales, 2 have a home venue (Windy City Wildfire, DC Breeze)

Ticket Sales: Radicals . Rush . Wind Chill . AlleyCats . Mechanix

Remembering NexGen League

With cancellation of the proposed NexGen League for 2013, let's honor the ingenuity of its outspoken leader - Kevin Minderhout.

Kevin on the NexGen League:
"This proposal comes out of my dissatisfaction with the [Triple Crown Tour] and "pro" models and my belief that ultimate does not need to nor should strive to imitate today's model of professional sport. We need true innovation that upholds the values of the community, meets the needs of players, meets the needs of fans and allows ultimate to evolve and grow without finding itself beholden to sponsors or profit as its driving motive." ...

"What follows is a proposal for the formation of an 18-team elite open ultimate League founded on the principals of cooperation, revenue sharing and creating a kick ass product."

And, this one:
"I do what I do because I'm passionate about increasing access to elite ultimate."

Read other quotes from Kevin... on ESPN; on NexGen's mission.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

AUDL Season is 2 Months Away

In just two months, the 2013 American Ultimate Disc League season begins, again

The first game (Cincinnati Revolution vs. Windy City Wildfire) is scheduled for April 12, 2013. This is one of 5 games scheduled on a Friday for the entire 2013 AUDL season; the majority of games are on the weekend.

On the following day (Saturday, April 13), Indy AlleyCats play Detroit Mechanix.

MLU Team Logos Update

For those keeping track at home, the Philadelphia Spinners have had one league switch, one logo complete makeover & a recent logo facelift.

Philadelphia Spinners Logo transition

And, looks like other Major League Ultimate teams got touched up a bit, too.
San Fran Dogfish logos old (left) & new (right).
Seattle Rainmakers logos old (left) & new (right).
Vancouver NightHawks logos old (left) & new (right).

Monday, February 11, 2013

DiscPlay Disc Display

An alternative to a nail in the wall for showing all the Frisbees or flying discs you own is a wooden disc display with Ultimate panache.

DiscPlay [SAVAGEultimate]

Info: Want a better way to display your favorite discs? Patent-Pending engineered specifically to hold up a Discraft Ultrastar 175-gram disc.

Two pins on the back, secure the birch wood DISCPLAY to the wall in any configuration. Just push it on the wall and it's ready to hang. No more wall damage than a standard push pin. Designed by Jordan Long, an Appalachian State University ultimate player studying industrial engineering.

Color: Black

Price: $9.99 - $12.99

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Friday, February 08, 2013

Home Fields for Pro Ultimate Teams

Pro Ultimate tryouts continue as staffing hires are announced. Received an inquiry about where these teams plan to play games with the teams that they eventually roster. Good question!

[As of April 11, 2013]
All professional Ultimate teams now have a place to play their games.

[As of April 9, 2013]
For the AUDL, all 12 teams (100%) have a home to play their 2013 season.
For the MLU,  7 out of 8 teams (88%) have posted location of their home games.

Location Team Venue
Vancouver Nighthawks Thunderbird Stadium
San Fran Dogfish Kezar Stadium
Minnesota Wind Chill Bob Pates Stadium & Hopkins HS
Indianapolis AlleyCats Kuntz Memorial Stadium & Leighton Stadium
Madison Radicals Breese Stevens Field
Chicago Wildfire Lane Tech HS Stadium
Detroit Mechanix Ultimate Soccer Arenas
Toronto Rush Varsity Stadium
Washington, DC Breeze Anacostia HS
Philadelphia Spinners Plymouth Whitemarsh HS
New York Rumble Union City HS
Washington, DC Current Montgomery Blair HS
Philadelphia Phoenix O'Shields Stadium Cheney Univ
Cincinnati Revolution Sheakley Athletic Center
New Jersey Hammerheads Mercer County Community College
Rochester Dragons Webster Schroeder HS
New York Empire Empire Ultimate Park
Portland Stags Roosevelt HS & Griswold Stadium
Seattle Rainmakers Chief Sealth International HS
Boston Whitecaps Bowditch Field

[As of March 19, 2013; updated 3/21/13]
For the AUDL, 9 of 12 teams (75%) announced where they are playing in 2013.
For the MLU, 5 out of 8 teams (63%) have posted location of their home games.

[As of 2/8/2013]
Chart: Current status of pro Ulti League teams with a home field
For the AUDL, 7 of 12 teams (58%) have announced where they are playing in 2013.
For the MLU, 2 out of 8 teams (25%) have posted location of their home games.

NOTE: The 2 MLU teams (Vancouver & San Fran) have posted their home fields, but have NOT yet announced team tryouts.

Ultimate Player's Decalogue

Ultimate Player's Decalogue 

1. Open space is thy heritage, and the fields are sacred. See that thou leave them unlittered and undamaged.

2. Thou shalt use footwear that will not scar the grass, floor, turf, beach; lest thou slip and dash thyself against the ground.

3. Thy cleats and thy socks must fit, for blisters make playing a misery.

4. Thou shalt equip thyself against the worst weather the sky may produce, but shalt schlep spare garments until needed.

5. Thou shalt take with thee enough water & food to spare, for a hungry player is a tired player and thy play may last longer than didst plan.

6. Thou shall not omit thy field map and thy schedule.

7. Thou shalt not throw plastic discs atop concrete for damage is not reversible.

8. See that thou ford not a flow in flood, for that is a quick way to a sure break.

9. Thou shalt knoweth and understandeth the rules, and heed Spirit of the Game.

10. Thou shalt support companies who support thy game for which our affection hath an unknown bottom.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Pro Ultimate Treatment

In the evolving world of professional Ultimate, teams are changing locations and updating their image, while the "professional" aspect is still being figured out. For me, the game of Ultimate - regardless of level  - is still about respect. Players are the obvious intended target of Spirit of the Game. With professional team owners investing in the sport, this makes for a changing dynamic. Mixing $pirit may cause SOTG to be redefined; I just hope it's not at the expense of Ultimate players.

Just last month, two of the top 3 vote-getters in the 2012 AUDL MVP race - Jonathon "Goose" Helton & Brodie Smith - announced where they planned to play in the 2013 season. Both Goose & Brodie played for Indianapolis AlleyCats in 2012, and were free agents.

On January 18, Brodie Smith announced his intentions of playing the 2013 AUDL season in Chicago with Windy City Wildfire.

The next day (Jan 19), the AlleyCats posted a respectful response to Brodie's announcement.
"With the announcement yesterday that Brodie Smith has signed with the Windy City Wildfire we wish him nothing but success in the future..."
Screengrab of AlleyCats' Facebook post.
A few days later on January 22, Goose Helton announced on Facebook:
"Although the official announcement isn't until tomorrow, the 'Cat' is out of the bag. For the 2013 AUDL Season, I will be playing for the Windy City Wildfire!..."

AlleyCats' modus operandi has been to show respect for their players. For example: back in August 2012, after the MVP announcement, AlleysCats President Thom Held commented:
"Goose is so deserving of the award he's is a tremendous player, leader and teammate. Of all my experiences with the AUDL it is meeting people like Goose that make this such a great expereince [sic]."

Well, it has now been 16 days since Goose's announcement. Unlike their treatment of Brodie Smith, the AlleyCats have yet to publicly issue any well-wishes to the league's first MVP - Jonathan "Goose" Helton.

UPDATED (per Goose): "[Michael] Potter (2012 AlleyCat Head Coach) did wish me well as the first comment in my Page [announcment]."

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A Golden Rule for Ultimate

D unto others as others would play D unto you.
[Inspired by The Golden Rule & playing Ultimate.]

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Alternate DC Breeze Logo

The past two tryouts for the DC Breeze have conducted in snowy conditions, and in freezing temperatures. Based on their wintry tryouts, here's an alternate logo for the DC Brrreeze:

Alternate DC Current Logo

The past 2 combines for the DC Current pro Ultimate teams have been scheduled at 5am in the morning.

The 5am start - 2 hours before sunrise - makes for a very early morning. Here's a timely alternate logo for the DC Current:

Monday, February 04, 2013

Oh My Dog!

A dog should know better, but it's an honest mistake.
"That's not the Frisbee I tossed for you."

Now, this dog - with Ultimate Rob - really has a nose for the disc. And, a Guinness World Record for Distance to Canine Catch - 134 yards!

Super Odds

whatchaknow?Final results of your bold Super Bowl predictions are in:

Predicted Winning Team --- Qty
Ravens--- 6
49ers -- 4
Baltimore won 34-31 over San Francisco. Six (CHarlie, MicHael, Sarah, BUCCI-WHO-LOVES-TOM-BRADY, Joe & RacHel ) out of 10 predictors correctly selected the underdog. Bucci (35) was closest to the Raven's total; "Lady of the Lettuce" (31) was correct with the 49ers total; and "Punxatawney" Joe was most on-point with predicting the winner AND the actual score (28-24).

Congratulations! Thanks for playing.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Frisbee Now in Gun Control Debate

Somehow (ahem!), the Frisbee is now inexplicably (ahem!!) caught in the middle of the gun debate.

Dan Pfeiffer, Obama’s senior adviser, coined a term for those who didn't believe Obama had gone shooting: "skeeters." 

On the other side, Obama's critics in the gun-rights community were not impressed by the photo.

"One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun-control scheme imaginable," said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association.

Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, regarded the whole episode as a sideshow. "If that's something the president enjoys doing, God bless him," he said. "I'm no more offended by this photo than by one showing him throwing a Frisbee."

[h/t Bucci]
For the record, guns and Frisbees DO NOT MIX WELL...

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Obama Favs Frisbee

Knowing President Obama's history with acknowledging ultimate players, and then remarking about ultimate, this should not come as a surprise; yet, it absolutely is! A. Very. Believable. Surprise.

SOURCE: The Borowitz Report (Satire) [The New Yorker] February 2, 2013

The White House's attempt to portray President Obama as a gun user may have had unintended consequences today, as a newly released photo of Mr. Obama firing a rifle at Camp David set off a panic of gun buying across the US.

Right-wing opponents of Mr. Obama were behind the frenzied gun sales, saying that they were terrified by the image of an armed and shooting President. "I don't want to sound paranoid or anything, but now everything Obama has been doing makes sense," said Harland Dorrinson, who was waiting on a blocks-long line outside a West Virginia Wal-Mart. “He wants to take away all our guns and then he’s going to come shoot us."

Learning that Mr. Obama only uses his rifle for skeet-shooting did little to calm Mr. Dorrinson: "Somebody owning a gun just for sporting purposes? Yeah, right."

In an effort to stem the panic, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters today that skeet-shooting took up relatively little of the President’s time at Camp David, and that his favorite leisure activities were "actually badminton and frisbee." 

Friday, February 01, 2013

Do Over: January 2013

Wayback MachineCatch up on last month's noteworthy posts you may have missed...

  • Watch Craig Ferguson learn about Ultimate
  • Pre-Ultimate price of a Frisbee? $0.79
  • Compendium of Ultimate cities & teams
  • AUDL's $800 pro Ulti player award