Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finally, The Blueprint

Andrew's great idea began work August 2007.
It's now September 2010.


The BluePrint

I think this article fully captures the nature of Wisconsin vs. Florida rivalry.

Rivalries Renewed 2/4/2008

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2011 Hodag Captains

John "Berjerges" Bergen
Ben "Hollywood" Feldman

Zach "Tallter" Alter
Pat "Paaat" Donovan
Alex "Timmons" Simmons

Workout Coordinator
Jerry "Bombshell" McGinnis

Natural Born Killer Scotto
Colin Camp
Dan Park

2010 turned out to be a rebuilding season.
2011 will have more experience under their belt.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mardi Gras 7-Peat

The Wisconsin Hodags survive a lost chartered bus, a blizzard storm, ridiculously muddy fields, and a first round loss to North Park to earn their 7th straight Mardi Gras Championship complete with King Cake. The first round loss to North Park has been characterized as a Travel Coordinator snafu. The drive-through-the-night car made it to the fields about 30 minutes to game-time, while the charter bus went to the wrong field site (weather change). North Park, having played an entire game already, agreed with Crumbly not to assess points despite the Hodags arriving about 20 minutes after game time. They were even nice enough to let Wisconsin do an abbreviated dynamic and layout into a mud puddle drill - before the game began. One break was scored the entire game and North Park prevailed 11-12, dominating Hodag defenders in the muddy conditions.

Ben Feldman, best injured Hodag not in cleats, freaks out hardcore. Reliving the hate days of 2008 - Benji snaps on the team for playing so average. It was a spectacle, an explosion, a diabolical world domination plan set aflame. Crumbly responded by challenging the Hodags to have fun instead of seething with hate -- which worked as Wisconsin won the rest of their games for the day, finishing 2nd in the pool at 3-1. Not winning the pool was probably a good thing as it gave Wisco another game to play on Sunday morning, needing now 5 straight wins starting in pre-prequarterfinals to take the 7th straight Mardi Gras Title.

Wisconsin rolled the first two games easily and then controlled Minnesota in semifinals for a solid win. Illinois was over-matched in finals as the Hodags devoured the King Cake. Dave Wiseman finally played up to his potential, grabbing 9 D's on the weekend, 3 more than Zach Ehler's 6.
Next up: Stanford Invite in 11 days!

Stevinson Invite
Wisconsin rocks Texas to start the day, up 10-0 before winning 13-3.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Trouble in Vegas 2010

The Hodags have strong legs. It was 28 degrees and a little icy still. 18 college students linger at the bottom of Bascom hill, staring upward into 370 explosions of pain. 9 sprint races to the top later - and 4 kids had puked. Like I said, the Hodags have strong heart. Their ultimate skills are something to be desired yet this early in the season.

Wisconsin powers through shenanigans at the airport in which Jerry manages to earn 3 plane tickets by giving up his seat to a teammate.

Wisconsin plays Oregon first and loses 11-13 in a well played game. Eli Janin was dropping deep bombs to stationary targets. The Hodags had to fight through some awkward cutting at the beginning. Once the down field problems cleared up, Wisconsin was playing more confident and rolled Stanford 11-6 in the second game. Florida jumps out to 0-2 lead, Wisconsin responds to 5-2. It goes 6-6 before Florida takes half 6-7, and then oatbags for the win 6-13. It was described as fairly horrible to watch as Madison self-combusted down the stretch.

Rain postpones games for day 2. Party begins.

Wisconsin is scrimmaging Carleton. Bergen struggles early and Carleton takes a 1-4 lead. Wisconsin fights back a bit, but still down 5-8 at half. Wisconsin digs deep as Jerry McGinnis begins tormenting Grant Lindsley to tie the game at 11-11. Wisco then holds off several match point chances and comes back to win 17-16 on universe. Kanner was feeling the pressure.
The last mini game to 7 against Brown is won by the Hodags 7-5.
One week to Mardi Gras..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Work Ethic of Wisconsin Ultimate…

…is at an all time high. And this statement currently extends to all facets of the program.

Whatever you believe about the cycles of rest and recovery – Wisconsin has decimated through disregard.
In Madison, the only caliber for a successful workout is threshold of physical pain and how well one can push through that discomfort.
Last night was the fourth straight day of complete cardio and leg strength failure. Hitting the snooze button and falling out of bed was never so much fun.
Besides for the intrinsic fitness benefits (and setbacks) – the goal is to mentally “win” the workout.
Not to finish, but to win workouts that on average rated a 9/10 by 25 of the hardest dudes you see walking to class.
But the Hodags are not the only squad pushing. Bella Donna’s workout google-doc is getting lengthier by the day. Without fail, each player signs in to account for the work they put into the season, and every day the list grows. Last night for example, I saw the Pimpdags doing a running and agility workout. The Hodags were killing a long set of plyos and tabatas, while Bella Donna was running sprint intervals and lifting weights. Atropa girls were also seen on the track and in the weight room – putting the total number of ultimate players in the Shell at approximately 75 with the 4 teams combined. And that was just last night.
But that’s really the only alternative. Besides for once a week indoor practice for 2 hours, beginning maybe a week or two before the first big tournaments of the season; Wisconsin has no other way to prepare. It speaks volumes to the commitment level each player has individually invested into the season and the program. No other school has 80 college students busting their ass every single day of the week for the mere enjoyment and excitement of chasing a piece of plastic. But that’s the best part; it’s fun, it creates lifelong friendships, and it prepares an individual for future obstacles. Unlike most ultimate teams – Wisconsin has matured into a mentoring program. Your buddy not only runs sprints and lifts with you, but teaches and guides you. He is the second opinion, who has already experienced your struggle. Wisconsin’s success comes from the fact that being a part of the team is so much more than an athletic endeavor. It is an experience, a guiding force which teaches an individual to balance their time, activities, money, and life. It teaches a work ethic, a competitive drive, and the ability to succeed. When you have finished your time with the Hodags – you are a man’s man.
For all the glamor of being able to play ultimate outside year long – Wisconsin fights with discipline and delayed gratification. No one wants to sprint on the track, jump over hurdles, and touch backboards until they want to puke – but Madison player’s consistently do these activities with the final goal in mind.
Three days ago the Spring Season officially began as almost every player had fully returned from winter vacation. The first short 6 minutes of complete suffering was exactly to the point. But it was the post-running talk that seized my attention. Captain Matt Young began to speak of his goals for the team and his expectations from his teammates. He cemented the first building blocks of something great and took strides to imprinting the importance of this season on the 27 eager faces around him. Matt Young also spoke of his personal sacrifice to the team. As a medical student – Matt must complete several month long rotations as part of his school, which means Crumb is driving many hours on the road just to make it to Hodag functions. Soon I realized that Matt was not talking of sacrifices, but of opportunities. “Every day I drive to practice, I have to pass Breese Steven’s Stadium. That is four times a day I pass it, and every time I get so jacked up thinking that this is the location of National Finals.” In the loud and crowded Shell, I still felt the shiver of excitement roll through the tightly packed group of eager young men. I’m two years removed and even my heart quickened at that thought.
Then Jon Masler took front and center, making his first introduction to the 2010 team. Having been in Israel for the last 5 months, Jon had been waiting and stewing in the thoughts of his 5th year. With enthusiasm to spare, Masler stated his heart-felt commitment to the team and proved it with a quick flash of his freshly marked Hodag tattoo. The group hooted in approval as the first indoor Hodag Love roared and echoed throughout the Shell.
Wisconsin will have legs to spare this season and will most likely push another team's top player into total failure. Late in a hot tournament, he will bend over and put heat exhaustion in a big pile on the field. And the reason will be none other than the tenacity of the Hodags. Wisconsin will sprint you into the ground this season by throwing the fastest, most gritty, eager blanket defenders on you again and again.