Friday, April 4, 2008

Ultimate Frisbee

Recently I seem to have quite a few students in my classes who play Ultimate Frisbee. I've seen frisbee-golf played on the campus for years, and I'd heard the term, "Ultimate Frisbee," but I didn't know the extent to which it's a widely played organized sport until I asked a student last semester. He happens to be a good poet, fiction-writer, and blogger, as well. He's so active and accomplished at the sport of UF that he even traveled to Brazil recently to compete. I confess I don't know what the rules are, and I've yet so see the sport played--although I have seen photos of people in the midst of U.F. I think there are some rough parallels to football, soccer, and rugby. I should probably just look up the rules on the web, but so far I've been too lazy to do so, or perhaps I just like thinking about the sport from a distance that exoticizes it. As far as I know, all that members of my generation did with a frisbee was toss it back and forth or have dogs go after it. I remember getting bored with the tossing pretty quickly, much faster than I did with "playing catch" with a baseball, for some reason.

I wonder what Penultimate Frisbee would look like. Maybe it's the equivalent of AAA baseball, or maybe its rules are different, making for a slightly less interesting or competitive game. Another possibility: the rules of PF are the same as those of UF, but the frisbees that are used have manufacturers' flaws, so they wobble, careen, and crash, and the PF players simply have to bear that burden. I suppose people would be reluctant to admit they played Penultimate Frisbee.

Clearly, from my point of view, at least, Ultimate Frisbee is better for civilization in the long run than Ultimate Fighting, which I gather is quite popular. Surfing through the channels, I can't bear to watch more than about 5 seconds of ultimate fighting, partly because I suspect all the participants will suffer head-trauma and brain damage. It's just a matter of evolution; the head wasn't "designed" to get beaten on. It was "designed" to hold our organic version of the hard drive; it's a casing, among other things.

I think Penultimate Fighting would be more entertaining than Ultimate Fighting, certainly less degrading (to contestants and audience alike) and injurious. Contestants would move out into the ring or cage and demonstrate clearly that they were in a bad mood--miffed. They'd shove each other and trade insults, perhaps denigrate one another's fashion-choices or coiffures. If either tried to land a serious blow, he or she would be disqualified. After each round, the "corner men" would suggest additional insults or encourage their charge to go out and try to tie the other contestant's shoe-laces together. The crowd, reading paperback novels, would look up occasionally and cheer if one contestant made the "rabbit-ears" sign behind the other person's head. The "loser" would be the first one to get fed up and say, "I have better things to do than to tussle with you, you insufferable fool!" Penultimate Fighting: I think there are some real possibilities here.
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