With the Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance Fall 2011 season ending this weekend, and with my first post-grad-school job likely taking me out of Massachusetts, my time with BUDA is at an end.
Thanks are in order (specific players’ last names abbreviated for semi-privacy).
Shire Weed: You were my very first BUDA team, way back in summer 2004. I joined to improve my throws heading into my senior year at Wesleyan. Used to the intensive atmosphere of college Ultimate, I couldn’t quite buy into a team that only saw each other for two hours once a week. Not yet ensconced in the BUDA mentality – especially the team cheers at the end, something my college team patently rejected – I don’t think I even learned many of your names. I apologize: I was young, and I didn’t yet understand what BUDA was.
Greg S: You and I have played together more often than any other BUDA player I know. Shire Weed was our first team together, and I’ve enjoyed every point I’ve played with you. You anchored every offense you played in, and I was always in awe of your hucking ability.
Josh A.: I’ve lost track of how many times you and I have captained together. Three seasons? Four? In any event, I loved captaining with you. Our contrasting skill-sets and attitudes played off each other: You kept things light and fun, while I tried to help our teams improve without sounding overbearing. And occasionally, we switched! You have a fantastic sense of humor. Anyone who gets you as a captain should count himself or herself lucky.
Kate A. and Steve W.: I always thought of you two and Josh as a trio – if I captained with Josh, it meant I got you two as well. You both brought experience, skill and enthusiasm to every one of our games. I always felt confident when you were on the field.
Throwbots in Disguise: In Fall 2008, you became the first team with which I won a final tournament. Thank you so much for that first taste of glory. I had a blast captaining this team, and I don’t think any team before or since has had a better cheer than our “Transform and rooooooooll out!”
Kirk W. and Jeff S., you brought a fantastic attitude to each game. Talent and intensity don’t need to come at the expense of fun, and you always demonstrated that.
David K.: When I first met you at the beginning of the Spring 2009 season (Stackrobats), I’m wasn’t sure you’d ever played competitive Ultimate before. But you brought enthusiasm and a willingness to learn that I deeply admired. It has been an absolute joy to watch your development into a solid Ultimate player over the last two years, even when you weren’t on my team.
Stick with the sport – I think you have the skills and attitude to make a fantastic captain.
Nunhucks: You were another championship team, this time in the summer of 2009. This team had a more “professional” attitude than Throwbots. When it became clear early in the season we were good enough to win the tournament, we systematically began working towards that goal, always analyzing, always critiquing without insulting, always improving.
We lost the first game of the tournament, then rebounded to win every other, usually in convincing fashion. All while still having a great time.
Sky Supply: Of all the teams I’ve played on, overall you were the most talented. Facing your daunting skills, I had no choice but to get better, and quickly. You all forced me out of a slight complacency and contentment with my skill levels at the time.
I had always wanted to win the upper-most division of the tournament – both Throwbots and Nunhucks played in the lower division – and Sky Supply accomplished that. It was terrific coda to my BUDA career.
Bloody Hammers: I’m sorry work kept me away so much this season. If it’s any consolation, I think you got my single best point as a popper ever.
Tim C. and Jim D.: I’ve never seen two people have as much fun playing Ultimate as you two did every point of every game. That you’re as talented as you are carefree is downright unfair. You were fantastic teammates with Nunhucks, and you were fantastic captains. I pumped my fist every time I saw I was on your team.
Thank you, BUDA: wherever I wind up, whatever league I join next, it just won’t be the same.