Photo by Pete Krautscheid – UltiPhotos.com
Continuation…100%…All your TpOP are belong to Portland and Philly…HoMedfielord…Shootout at the NY Corral…Wodatch for one, Wodatch for all…Chan vs. Sickles.
Short Sips of Hot Bitter Blackness. A hint of far-off stone-fruit sweetness. A smoky thickness lingers from the roast.
Continuation, continuation, continuation.
One of the keys to success in professional sports is the idea of playing through fouls such that the opponent is not rewarded merely for fouling if the foul is both illegal and ineffective. That is, if Shaq can dunk while two opponents are hanging on his arms, Shaq gets the bucket AND the free throw.
So too any time an ultimate player can get a throw off through or after a foul.
The comparison here is slightly different as I do not mean to speak about intentional fouling in ultimate, but rather the garden-variety fouls which inevitably occur during the course of play at every level. If the thrower can complete the throw off despite the foul, the completion should stand. If the thrower is bumped off-balance and still manages to quickly get an advantageous throw off, the throw must stand.
Not only is this just and fair, it is aesthetically more pleasing than the alternate. It is more throwing, more playing, more moving. It is less standing, resting and rearranging. It is live rather than dead. It is ultimate.
Tastes good so far. Future health consequences are sticky.
The 100% Club lost a the clubhouse leader this past weekend in Andrew Bosco (3 goals, 5 assists, 2 blocks, 132/133, 99.2%), proving that any thing observed is changed by the observation. Bosco is now simply the leader in completion percentage in the league. The only player with a case to make for a share of the title is the new leader of the 100% Club: Portland’s Steven Rice (4 goals, 8 assists, 5 blocks) who is a perfect 70 for 70 with zero drops. While there are 26 other players with neither an incompletion nor a drop to their names, the only other player with more than 20 throws is Sam Kittross-Schnell (16 goals, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 40/40).
Speaking of Kittross-Schnell, he has cast quite the threatening shadow over Boston’s opponents. Every time I notice him, he’s catching the disc over someone. Over the last three weeks, he has played no fewer than 10 points, recorded at least three goals and one assist in each game, and posted a TpOP (Throws per Offensive Possession) of between .933 and 1.167. In those three games, his OSE (Offensive Scoring Efficiency) has been 89.9, 72.7 and 100. While we don’t know if the Whitecaps or Portland will advance to face each other, a matchup between Kittross-Schnell and Peter Woodside seems like a win-win for everyone not in Philly or Seattle.
Ah, the core of the non-veganoid breakfast. Boiled. Scrambled. Poached. Fried. Loco Moco’d.
Another interesting comparison for which we can come up with another title to be won is to look at the TpOP of players league wide. TpOP is Throws per Offensive Possession, and there are only 18 players across the league who have have a TpOP of one or greater. Here are the top 10:
Notes from this list of players heavily involved on offense:
– All play primarily offense except for Baer.
– All have more assists than goals except for Rainwater.
– All have more throws than catches except for Rainwater.
– Only three players have a TpOP over 1.3. They are all Spinners and are all over 1.6.
– By team: Philly 5, Portland 3, Boston 1, Seattle 1.
That last one is truly curious. Surely a mere coincidence that the four teams to make the playoffs are the only teams represented on this list? I do know this: If I were playing Boston or Seattle I would be searching for a defender to limit Markette and Trytiak’s touches.
Stake with your eggs?
Home field for Boston or Philly. The last chance for Seattle, Vancouver and New York to put on a show for the home fans before 2016. The farewell game for New York City’s own Joe Anderson. This man could not have been formed anywhere on the planet other than New York, New York. I can only hope that the West is as good for him as he will be for it.
Waffles or Pancakes?
Choose… but choose wisely.
D.C. 30 @ New York 29
A good old-fashioned shootout! Markham Shofner and Chris Mazur unleashing throws. Lloyd Blake flummoxing defenders. Jeff Wodatch vs. John Wodatch. Alan Kolick…Kolicking. D.C. D getting run through blocks. D.C. side-stacking on O and attacking on the turn. New York taking big looks to their large receivers. Both of these teams are playing for the game itself rather than the implications for the playoffs. While I’m hoping it doesn’t take a careless turn, the best result for everyone is if the game opens up the offensive throttle and puts on a show. That said, if one team chooses to effectively grind it out, the win is likely theirs for the taking.
Philadelphia 20 @ Boston 21
The real question in this game is how much of their respective game plans will these two teams trot out this weekend? While home field advantage is a reward, both of these teams are in the playoffs already and will be facing each other in a couple of weeks to determine who gets a shot at the 2015 MLU title. Would it not behoove them to keep a couple of tricks up their sleeves for that game? I expect this to be a hotly contested yet strategically vanilla affair.
Portland 19 @ Vancouver 17
What evidence has Portland given to doubt them? What evidence has MLU given that teams can win games when playing two in a weekend? Vancouver has improved over the end of the season and settled into a recognizable style of play, but Portland has been playing on the same page all season long, if not longer. Nothing about Portland has led me to believe that they exist to do anything but kick ass and chew bubble gum. I expect the Stags to be all out of bubble gum.
Vancouver 19 @ Seattle 21
It would be great to see Vancouver be the first team to win during a two-game weekend, but I’m not picking it in Seattle’s final home game before they travel for the whole of the playoffs. I expect Vancouver will give a valiant effort in an attempt to pull even in the season series, and in so doing manage to drop a few beautiful throws over the top of the defense. However, Seattle has nearly their full roster and is playing host. Go wit the home team, youngster, go with the home team.
Beverage of Choice
Players or matchups to watch.
Wodatch vs. Wodatch
Particularly now that John Wodatch is playing more on defense for the Rumble while the Current’s Jeff Wodatch remains entrenched on the offensive line. Not only will they be playing on opposite lines, but their skill sets align such that they are likely to be matched up against each other in what I expect to be a loose, free game with opportunities for all involved (not just Wodatches) to make plays.
Chan vs. Sickles
While these two are far less likely to be in direct confrontation, their stories and roles over the season are comparable. Both are Rookie of the Year candidates who have found themselves at home as one of the first-rate cutters in their respective offenses. Both are threats with and without the disc and have earned respect from defenders league-wide.
Keep in mind that Chan has played 7 games and Sickles has played 9, so let’s look at the per-game averages:
Even more similar. Much of the difference in terms of throws per game can be attributed to the different styles of play of their respective teams as can the difference in their offensive scoring efficiency numbers. These two rookies have found ideal teams to be a part of in 2015. It will be telling to watch their performances over the two coming matchups between Boston and Philadelphia.
The Place to Be
Medford, Mass. There is one meaningful game this weekend from my perspective. There are three other games which could prove interesting and are still better than watching no ultimate at all. Especially as the season draws to a close and it becomes more difficult to get that weekly MLU fix.