The "Little Jimmies" battle CUT's tryout squad in the semi finals of the Eau Claire Invite 2007, October 20-21. Central region dominance, baby! There is some language in the Wisconsin vs. Carleton video, but just remember that these are excitable and emotional college kids in a rivalry game beyond the usual realms of hate and loathing. You must win Central Regionals to win Nationals... well usually, but not so much in 2003, but definitely in 2006... so sometimes you must win Central Regionals to win Nationals.
Sunday morning came early and without a continental breakfast, which made snacks and red bull an absolute necessity. Breakfast was quickly purchased from a shady convenience store which had a police officer on duty at like 7:30 am and a wide array of hard liquor… that’s the South for y’all. However, it was much nicer than Saturday with warmer weather and a bit closer to crosswind rather than an upwind-downwind game. Luther came out tough and definitely wanted to make a game of it as they broke upwind to lead 1-0. The Wisconsin Offense would be so much more than Luther was used to as Foster would hit Mabrowald for the goal 1-1. At this point – Muffin entered the game and was as merciless as the army in 300. The first huck was hauled in by Cullen for the break and 2-1 lead. The second bomb went to Skywalker for the break 3-1 and Muffin’s beer pong partner called, “He’s heating up” from the sideline. At this point, Muffin went NBA JAM on Luther and hucked deep to Matt Young for the break, 4-1 lead, and “He’s on FIRE!” announcement. Malecek was determined to shoulder the early burden for Wisconsin, but was not ready for the Dill factor as Luther went deep and skied for a goal 4-2. Muffin was devastated and sulked to the sideline as Evan Klane found James Foster for the goal now 5-2 Wisconsin. Given new life, Muffin immediately jacks deep to Seth Meyer for the break now 6-2. At this point, Dan “Ill-D” McAdam was dominating the cutting for Sub Zero, but you can only do so much as a receiver of Luther. Dill would probably score again to tighten the game to 6-3, but Gaynor would find Foster for the 7-3 halftime lead. Wisconsin was ready to ride and ready to roll as they gathered some intensity in the huddle and vowed to end Luther once and for all. Muffin would continue his dominance and spotlights didn’t do him justice as Malecek hit Jon Marshall twice deep and even the C-Monster once en route to a second half OATBAG and 13-3 win. Let’s recap quickly; Muffin threw 7 breaks in the game. Coincidence that Terrell Owens and Randy Moss both wear Muffin’s #81? I think not. Other Sub Zero cutters J-Fo and Skywalker collected 3 goals each. The music from the sideline was keeping the Hodags excited as Michigan requested observers for our quarterfinals game. Magnum warmed up and looked pretty young as the Hodags were taking the full maximum time of leisure allowed between games. However, Wisconsin started hot as Animal hit Seth Meyer for the first point break, 1-0. Michigan would tie it at 1-1 before Feldman went deep and hit Mahowald for the score 2-1. The Wisconsin defense was not comfortable and would turn up the pressure on Michigan as Tom Animal collected 2 straight D’s. Malecek would connect on both occasions to Matt Young and The C-Monster respectively for a 4-1 lead. Will Neff would rally the troops and break upwind with a big backhand as the game evened at 5-5. Foster would collect 3 goals in the first half as Wisconsin played to 6-6 tie. However, the Hodags would stack the final line of the half, putting in all players associable with the Universe Line. However, GAYNAH would take home the cash and prizes, hauling in the final break to take the half 7-6. The Hodags were growing tired of the weariness that Blue Steel put upon Madison. Out of half, Michigan would punch in the first O point on the fifth try as the defense of Wisconsin was straight up lil’ choir girls about punching breaks in. With the game tightening late, Wisconsin needed a boost – who else to put in the game? Give me a Muffin going upwind on O-face, and 4 passes later it would be a Mabrowald skying bitches for the 8-7 lead. Animal would again dominate his defender and find Cullen for the break to 9-7. At this point, the flood gates had opened and The Golden Hand would seek the coveted “Bookends” symbol as Muffin continued to throw substance up and Skywalker would bring it down now 10-7. Michigan would fight to the bitter death and eventually Wisconsin would win the game 11-8 after using both time caps. As Madison took a seat and dug the red bulls out of the backpacks, CUT trotted up looking like an unknowing 7-year-old-boy trick-or-treating at Michael Jackson’s mansion. They had just given Whitewater the central region experience and were feeling frisky after the 13-6 win. As Wisconsin prepared to play in 7 minutes, the tired team of 15 looked vulnerable in semifinals. However, as the observers called for the game to start, I had a distant flashback… *cloud smoke* … it was cold, windy, early, and rainy, but 9 Hodags prepared to battle tryout team CUT at a fateful Exit 69 weekend. Evan Klane and German Glutin were going to be pivotal as the Hodags battled for a 7-6 halftime lead. The split squad was getting desperate as the Sub Zero practice would be ending and waves of stud reinforcements would fall from the sky. It would turn sour when Kanner and Muffin started guarding each other. Jerome was teaching proper cheating principles for arguing, as Shane started putting ball stains everywhere as Wisconsin battled to 15-12 win. Is if ironic that Carleton and Wisconsin hung out later evening and did some neighborhood remodeling? Probably not, but back to the present scenario – we have Carleton coming in “fresh” and Wisconsin looking susceptible for the first time in 2 years.
However, the game would start without incident as the Wisconsin offense began going downwind. James Foster would break huck to Andrew Mahowald for the 1-0 lead. The Carleton Cheaters would move the disc quickly and efficiently to score primarily using flat flick breaks 1-1. The Hodags would waste no time as Animal hits Foster for the score 2-1. The Wisconsin n00bs would be giving the under and Carleton would play it fast as they scored 2-2. With the game tight, Wisconsin would start bringing Muffin off the bench to play offense and Muffin wasted no time hitting Mabrowald deep on an unsuspecting Baylis 3-2. This would actually be the initial unveiling of the coveted “Golden Hand,” which has in instinctive ability to catch any plastic floating near it. CUT would waste little time to put the game at 3-3 as deep shots were finding open receivers downwind. Evan Klane would take some responsibility as he hit Gaynor for the lead 4-3. The Cheaters eventually became concerned and put together some intensity to score on strip upheld by the observer and break upwind to 5-4 despite their lack of versatility. Wisconsin desperately needed to regroup and the lines instantly tightened. The Hodags would fire deep upwind and Gaynor would hit Drew Mahowaldy for his third goal of the game and 5-5 tie. The CUT Cheaters would score and this opened the door for Muffin to make a Pontiac Game Changing Nominee – as he hucked sonic boom to a floating Skywalker who would put nut sacks on foreheads for the sky 6-6. Wisconsin would stack the last line before half – needing a break to stay on serve. Taking advantage of the last timeout, Madison broke CUT as Rebholz hit Gaynor for his third goal of the game 7-6 half. Wisconsin would faint on the way to the sideline, scrounging for Chex Mix and Ibuprofen. The Cheaters would be decorating their sideline with garland and streamers and giving spirited pep talks about positivity. It would be a jolly old time and Carleton would respond using love techniques and to hold on offense and break again to lead 8-7. Muffin would only sigh as he staggered back to the offensive line – Malecek had played the last 5 points and staved off a break twice before half. It would be all out from here and with the Hodag Offense continually giving up breaks, the lines further tightened to players of only purestud status. The halfstuds were left in the wake and Jake was so enthralled with the action that he abandoned the video camera to yell for his bros. Muffin would come to play and found his roommate Andrew “The Golden Hand” Skywalker Mabrowald for the brutal catch in space 8-8. The Cheaters would begin an age old Carleton tradition of using the rules to their advantage. They couldn’t help it, with an education from Carleton, you are just plain smarter than your opponent. And these state school boys from Wisconsin are no different as James Foster’s D on Tony was sent back as the observer might have “not exactly seen the play” and Carleton would stave off a break. CUT would actually do some damage and break to take the lead 10-8. The Hodags would call a timeout and discuss the logistics of losing. Excuses were thought about, but Rebholz held the team to a higher standard. He asked for effort and some pride to not lose to these punks. Muffin would head to forefront as he again found Mahowald for the sky 9-10 and then Mahowald again who finished to Seth Meyer for the 10-10 tie. The Cheaters would hold one last time and the hard cap would sound. It basically changed nothing so Wisconsin trotted back to the line going upwind on offense with the game on the line. Rebholz would let the disc fly deep and Mabrowald would sky the pile before resetting to Muffin. Malecek would throw a ballsy stall 9 hammer in Kanner’s eyeball deep into the end zone to Gaynor for the goal and tie the game 11-11. It would be universe point and the sidelines closed in on the field. Wisconsin would call its universe line – Rebholz, Muffin, Animal, Mahowald, Foster, Gaynor, Meyer. Carleton would play it chill on offense as they methodically worked under, under, O2 on the open side all the way to the goal line before winning the race to the cone 12-11. Carleton had done the unimaginable – they had beaten the defending champions, their regional rival in the fall season. Wisconsin cried to sleep that night, knowing we had them, they are who we thought they were, and we let them off the hook. That realization was terrible until the Andrew Mahowald went +9 with 6 goals, 1 assist, and 2 D’s. Muffin’s 5 goals and Gaynor’s 3 goals were no match for the Chevrolet player of the game Drew Mabrowald. The purestuds would falter in the end, probably because Animal was forced to play 12 of the last 15 points as well as Muffin and Mabrowald playing 12+ of the last 14. In retrospect, it wasn’t the end of the world, but losing to CUT, even with the team Wisconsin had, was motivating. Wisconsin would watch some of the final as Carleton played a rematch against Mamabird. CUT take their momentum and become too much as they beat National Finalist Colorado on their way to a MLC tournament title with a 15-10 victory.
With that early season wakeup call, Wisconsin will go back to the basics and prepare to win the Classic City Classic in Chattanooga, TN. Highlight videos will likely ensue from Ben Feldman and Hodag jerseys are being ordered. A big thanks to Madison’s MUFA who primarily started the team jersey fund raising. Colors are black, white, and baby blue with both long sleeve and short sleeve options. Stop fantasizing about good it will look and just decide on how many to order. Email to HodagNation@gmail.com