But . . . her mustache

Long couple of days for me, but I need to get something out of my head. So – warning – rage blogging to follow . . . .

On Sunday morning of nationals last week I saw a series of tweets from Jesse Shofner that began here:

If you don’t know the story probably better to check out the twitter thread before reading any more. This tweet from the thread has especially stuck with me:

Jess.jpg

I just can’t even begin to process that idea – and believe me, I’ve been trying all week.

I cannot fucking believe that I have to write this post, but for all the future broadcasters, national governing body-types, tournament organizers, spectators, announcers, and anyone else who – try as they might – can’t find a single good story line with Molly Brown, here are some places to look.  It is such a shame that Molly Brown kept all of these secrets . . . .
(1) Sally Lambert

One of the great deep cutting and defensive threats of the last 10 years. Also won worlds with the 2016 USA Masters team.

Sally.jpg

And, oh yeah, she got an MBA from MIT in her spare time between tournaments.

But . . . her mustache.

(2) Claire McKeever

One of the best defensive players in ultimate and a fantastic success story as a Molly Brown rookie this year. I was so impressed watching her guard World Games player after World Games player after World Games player during the season.  She never backed down once:

My biggest wow of the US Open was Molly Brow’s Claire McKeever

Here’s a clip  from that post of her guarding Opi Payne and also poaching in the lane when Alex Snyder has the disc.

If you want a story for a Molly Brown game, ask Anna Nazarov, or Opi Payne, or Carolyn Finney about McKeever as a defender.

But . . . her mustache

(3) Megan Cousins

The way games are filmed from the middle of the field with the camera following the disc doesn’t highlight Megan Cousins’s game very well, unfortunately. All you end up seeing is her catching the disc – seemingly unguarded – again and again and again. No one – and I mean no one – understands downfield spacing better than Cousins. It is pure joy watching her play.

She’s can also fly:

img_2031

But . . . her mustache

(4) Lisa Pitcaithley

One of the most exciting play makers in the sport:

You can’t find a story line about her? Really???  . . . . Wait, what did I write about her this year . . . oh yeah:

Lisa Pitcaithley is a total badass

But . . . her mustache

(5) Paige Applegate

I’ve really enjoyed watching Applegate play over the last several years. This year I think she found a terrific balance between moving the disc and taking some aggressive shots. I love her attacking style of play:

Paige Applegate’s game is for real

But . . . her mustache.

(6) Carolyn Matthews

She’s coached Team USA in the past and returned to coach and play for Molly Brown this year. She also won a gold medal with the Team USA masters team last year and pulled out this block on the final point:

I also gave her the 2016 “True Veteran” award last year – it was a really great to meet her in Sarasota this year:

Announcing the 2016 True Veteran and the Michelle Ng Inspiration awards

But . . . her mustache.

(7) Kirstin Johnson

I first saw Johnson play with Molly Brown two years ago. I was so excited about Johnson’s play that I wrote to Opi to find out who she was!

Molly Brown vs Capitals part 5: Rebecca Miller and Kirstin Johnson

Since then she’s gone on to become an elite club handler . . . and she’s just out of college!

But . . . her mustache.

(8) Liza Minor

Liza

I was discussing Minor’s amazing play in the film study group earlier in the year and finally got to see her play in person at nationals. She an incredible downfield cutter and seeing her run free down the field was phenomenal.

Robyn Wiseman weighed in with this comment about Minor’s play in our film study group:

Minor

But . . . her mustache.

(9) Hannah Leathers

After the 2015 All-Star tour I was watching an Ozone game and hoping to write a blog post about Leathers’s outstanding defense. The problem I had was that it was a hard to find good examples from the film because the various players she was guarding didn’t touch the disc the entire game!

Instead of a blog post, take a listen to what Miranda Roth Knowles and Qxhna Titcomb think of her:

But . . . her mustache.

(10) Claire Chastain

img_2667

Team USA gold at Worlds in 2016. Gold at U23 worlds in 2012 completely controlling the game. Plus a Callahan award, plus coaching the University of Colorado team and also a coach at CUT Camp.

Also probably the most fundamentally sound player in the game.

And Athleticism. For. Days:

But . . . her mustache.

(11) Jesse Shofner

College national champion, endless promoter of ultimate, an absolute game changer on the field, and a heart that doesn’t quit:

But . . . her mustache.

(12) Manuela Cardenas

Instead of trying to understand how someone who is part of the ultimate community could walk over to a field where Manuela Cardenas is playing and wonder, even for a second, what the story might be, I’ll just suggest going to support the Cardenas sisters in their quest to get to Perth next year:

Please support the Cardenas sisters

Because if you watch this could even theoretically be distracted by a mustache I will never understand . . . .

So, that’s almost enough of rage blogging. I’ve only written about half of the team, but there are as many amazing stories from the players I’ve not written about as there are from the ones that I have. Also. their coach rescued a toad at regionals.

The last thing I’d say, though, is that I have no connection to Molly Brown. Never coached them, never lived in Denver, never played for them. I know the players from being around ultimate and know how hard they work for themselves and for the game. I hate that someone with power in ultimate can dictate to anyone what an ultimate player should look like, and I hate it 10x more for happening before the start of the semis of club nationals. The players on Molly Brown are incredible role models in ultimate and anyone watching them play or learning their stories will be drawn to the sport at light speed.

They are what makes ultimate great.

They are the story.

One thought on “But . . . her mustache

  1. Sigh. This article popped up on my Facebook feed and it reminded all too much about an experience my team had in 2007 at College Nationals. It triggered some internal rage that I thought I had long since buried. Back then Truman State was (and still is) a tiny school in the middle of no-where Missouri. Our women’s team had only officially existed since 2004. Yet somehow, against all odds, we ended up with this bad ass team of women during the 2006-2007 season. Our team was young and hardworking but extremely disadvantaged. We had around 7,000 students at Truman so the days we had enough girls for practice were rare as the pool we had to draw from was pretty small. Christina Wirkus was our captain and she thought that having fun, being silly some times, and embracing the fact that we were girls playing a sport was important. When the team formed, they decided that Tsunami should wear skirts. It was more popular back in the early 2000’s than it is now, but it also allowed us to save some money. By wearing skirts, we could make our own! And we did. Many nights were spent sewing skirts to wear for tournaments, practice, etc. Everyone made their skirt however they wanted – any color, pattern, etc.

    We never anticipated making it to nationals but when we beat Melee at Regionals that year the realization slowly sunk in. Suddenly there were standards and guidelines about our uniforms that we had to adhere to. So we got the information we needed and the rules seemed fair and simple. Really we just needed our numbers on the front and back of our uniforms. So we made more skirts, this time with numbers on the front! We decided it would be best if the skirts were just a solid yellow or pink (everyone had a say on the colors – but like I said, we were proud that we were girls in sport).

    So we go and we get our booklet with all the information about 2007 College Nationals. In the booklet there was a little write up about each team. In our write up they called us “colorful” and literally called us “clowns” because of what we wore – our signature “look” was the take away from our write up. Not our players or our story.

    This was a Cinderella story. The focus of our write up should have been about how this middle of nowhere tiny school fielded a team that made it to College Nationals. It should have been about our amazing women athletes. Or about Christina who literally founded the team with a handful of other women – then took that team to College Nationals during her final year at Truman State.

    But….their skirts.

    #overit

    Like

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