Photo by Scobel Wiggins –

These Don’t Lie

Tannor Johnson Puts Numbers on the Boards
13 Goals and 2 Assists = 15 points
. The New York Rumble had 15 points between them and had 12 with 51 seconds remaining.

A huge performance by Johnson as you can tell by checking the rewritten per-game record book.

The question, to some degree, becomes one of sportsmanship in a game like this as Boston was winning by more than three goals from the end of the first quarter on. First, I think this is foolish on its face. The teams are there to score and prevent goals from being scored. Second, the other option is to play catch and not try to score. Which seems more insulting to me.

Some would counter with, “Well stop him from scoring.” To this, New York says, “We’re not really interested.” No Rumble players are interested or capable in stopping Johnson from scoring (and his field awareness did give him a nice head start) on this fast break.

However, if you watch this game in general (and this clip specifically), the issue is not actually New York’s defense, but rather their offense. Johnson scored nine of his 13 goals in the second half. Six of those were break goals. Of those six break goals four of the points took under 30 seconds. That is, the entire defensive point (one possession for each team) took under 30 seconds. Most one-possession offensive scores take longer than 30 seconds!

In ultimate, more than in many sports, the best defense can be a good offense.

Speaking of fast breaks, there is no rest against the Stags. Here the Stags play decent goal line defense and the Rainmakers make an execution error. Then the Stags go 80 yards for the score in two passes. This is what the Rainmakers need to fear from the deer this upcoming weekend. Sure, the goal didn’t count as the clock had expired, but the Stags are always dangerous. 

Kickblocks Never Lie (Part 1)
Thank you Mr., Lassetter. 

Great Chasedown into a Scorpion Skid, Justin Chan!
However, you may want to ponder the meaning of the classic ultimate trope “Conservation of Greatness” considering your ensuing throwaway.

Excellent Pull Play Design and Execution
Basic Sidestack, action to open side. Isaiah Bryant to David Brandolph to Michael Panna to Greg Martin. That this goal goes past double coverage indicates that on some level, even the Current knew what was coming. The simple play design is effective as the stack is on the low side of the field and the isolation play is on the high side. 

Sidestack Counter, Action Back to Stack Side
Norrbom to Blake to Norrbom to Flores to Johnson. This is also a simple play design, but with an element of misdirection in that the stack clears to center of field as the disc swings back to the stack side so that Flores can cut into the newly open space up the high sideline.

Kickblocks Never Lie (Part 2)
Thank you, Mr. Cascino (who eventually gets the goal).

Might Well Be the Last Time…
…that we see an undershirt used in celebration, but I like the style from Startzell.

Reydams Up in the Sky
vs. Davis
vs. Johnson

Wanting the Timeout So Badly…
…you cannot help but sprint all the way across the field while wildly gesticulating as your team pops a hammer over the top for the goal! Coaching is tough, just ask Patrick Gatien. Oh, and note the apparent glee of Gabe Saunkeah as he delivers the news to all within earshot.

The Shining Disc of Light from Katz to Whitehead!
I know full well that this is a trick of light and reflection, but I enjoy this every single time it happens.

These Do Lie

DiPaula’s Defense
A) Caught looking at the thrower and losing track of his matchup.
B) Lack of hip discipline in committing wholly to the underneath.
C) Arcata turns the corner and is open by eight yards!
D) No over-the-top help.

What we’re looking at here are a handful of individual errors compounded by the speed of Arcata and a failure of any team-level help for the defender (DiPaula) who was left on an island to fend for himself.

Current on Kerrent Violence
Davis, in making a half-ending block, completely cleans out John Kerr. Kerr seemed incredibly amenable to this turn of events and quickly turned jovial afterward.

Ben Katz attempting to Tannor Johnson the Rumble and take them on all by his onesies:
Poach block, Ben Katz!
Throwaway, Ben Katz.
Poach block, Ben Katz!
Drop, Ben Katz.

Lack of Scoring Is Not Necessarily Evidence of Good Defense
From 2:49 remaining in first quarter to 6:45 in the second quarter neither San Francisco nor Vancouver scored. Ew. I’d link to the video, but that seems cruel.

Neither the players nor the refs know the rules here.
The disc is not centered in this scenario.
The players ask for it, the ref accedes.
Not good for anyone.

That’s not where the disc went out.
That’s a travel and the refs should call it.

The two Nighthawks defenders are running to where the disc should be brought into play. Lasseter instead brings it in next to where the disc has hit the screen which provides him with more space as a thrower. Intentional or not, this is a violation of the rules. 

If Khalifa is on the field, he wants to convince you of one thing and then do something else:
Cutting across the face of Lindsey
Accelerating past Michaelson

Don’t Ever Let Anyone Tell You Reffing Is Easy
Johnson cutting, Dunn getting in the way
One of the two toughest calls during this game. 

I’m not a ref and I don’t have to rule on these. I am happy for it as I have no ironclad answer for either. I submit them here as moments to ponder in the sport of ultimate.

That Said, Sometimes Reffing Is Easy
That’s a textbook pick.

Midfield Heave(s) as Time Expires

We’ll start with the ending to a compelling game between the Dogfish and the Nighthawks:

32 seconds to go, and the Nighthawks work for the goal (too) quickly through the break side for the goal and leave 25 seconds on the clock!

Under Pressure, the Dogfish work it up in five passes (a couple of which are questionable including the very first pass from Saunkeah) and garner the game-winner.

However, the Nighthawks seem to get a throw off which flies into the end zone which is impressive but not enough to result in bonus frisbee.

What a close to the season for the Nighthawks and the Dogfish! That said, we shall close as we began with the player of the week, Tannor Johnson. In this case we see Chan loft some oddly powerful high release flick to Johnson which Marques Brownlee deflects but cannot render harmless as it flutters to the waiting Johnson.