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]."

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