I was there Gandalf...
I was there 3000 years ago when Tony Johnson, Tabitha Mixon (and a crew that Weirdly resembled a certain unnamed Florida mixed team) struck down the Mischler armies and took the summer league championship ring for themselves. I begged them to cast the ring into the fires of Mt. Doom and destroy it, but alas, the strength of men failed that day...
Now a new threat rises. With the return of Kody Cotton to a captain position, a darkness spreads across the fields and clouds the championship dreams of every team. Draft wizard Kody has allied with professional ultimate player Julia Gregory to amass a formidable force that aims to take back the championship ring this season. To address this threat, a fellowship of captains met Monday night in Rivenda--Ology to draft several teams:
Cardinal - Scordor
Team Scordor is led by soon-to-be Dr. Makenna and all-around good guy Jose Ramirez. This pair got in some reps with local club team Big Bend this summer and I’m excited to see how they apply that experience this season. Makenna will be joining the FSU Seminole Ladies (SLadies) team this year, so expect her to make great strides in her game. New to the captain role, Jose is one of the most friendly guys I know and someone I'd absolutely trust to carry me up Mt. Doom. I’ve also heard Jose owns a movie theater and may or may not be able to get us a private LOTR screening.
Retired MLB pitcher Scott Robertson brings some huge throws to the squad, along with former FSU Men’s B-team coach Mimmo Alfano aka “Ole Grease”. Mimmo has been following a strict regimen of patented Full Body Workouts™ in the offseason, so prepare for a level of unbridled athleticism that we haven’t seen before. Christy returns to league with solid handler skills and a new-found mom strength after increasing the population of Middle Earth +1 (Congrats!). Cam Curvey had a breakout freshman season with SLadies last year and Big Bend this summer; look for her to make some big plays this season. Cheyenne Alderson brings a +5 morale bonus to the team for coming up with a FANTASTIC league theme this season. Current FSU men’s B-team coach Peter Backhaus is another strong handler and will no doubt be instrumental in helping get any rookies up to speed.
Gold - Smeagoals/Fiona
Returning champs Tabitha Mixon and Tony Johnson look to defend the ring with Team Smeagle. Relative newcomer to TUL, Tabs already has one championship title under her belt and, after putting in some time handling with Florida Weird this summer, looks hungry to add another. Rising TUL star Tony Johnson has been working hard as well, playing with Big Bend and attending more pickup games/conditioning workouts than anyone I know. Tony was also the recipient of the illustrious 2019 Golden Protractor Award for having 90-degree elbows and impeccable running form at all times.
My sources tell me Zach Good is pretty good, so look for him to do some good things that will be good for the team. Drew Magee started his trickery early this season by registering himself under the pseudonym “Andreas Maji”, thoroughly confusing all of the captains and bringing the draft to a grinding halt. Drew Magee has subsequently been deemed a “Disturber of the Peace”. Shout out to Max Bangs, who has done an excellent job recruiting some new players to both pickup and league. Team Smeagle also brandishes the speedy skills of Ben Bayzler, the wisdom of Dan Khan, organizational talents of Will Reynolds, and experience of returning Sladies alumni Bretania Forbes. Rookie alert: I saw Hannah Grimes make some great grabs at kickoff, look for her to only get better as she continues her first college season with the SLadies.
Blue - Oliphant
Blue digs deeper into the LOTR references with a team name I can respect. The Oliphants are led by Sladies baller Courtney Read and DUF alumni Carlo Que. Courtney broke her hand at 12 days but don’t expect that to slow her down. This woman is FIERCE. I heard Courtney once gave an adversary “the look” and all her hair fell out on the spot. There was definitely no Nair involved in any way... Carlo and his “brother” Chris are on the same team, which is just unfair for the rest of us. I’m not convinced they aren’t the same person and it’s really just Carlo running back and forth really really fast. I suspect some sort of elvish magic is at play here.
Renowned alchemist Michael Green brings a unique level of grit to the team which should come in handy if Blue ever finds itself battling out of a Helms Deep situation. Green is also known for physically lifting up his teammates, so +10 morale bonus there. Emma Kyes and Megan Randell are two solid additions to the team as well, with several seasons of league and SLadies respectively. Twilight star Oscar Patterson was aptly named, as his ability to find the endzone on a deep shot is definitely OP. Props to Liz Bergeron who joins us all the way from PCB. You gotta respect that kind of determination. Blue also sees the welcome return of esteemed TUL veterans Hank Bass, Daniel Hooker and Matt Boler. Happy to have you back, gang!
White - Return of the Swing/Gandalf the White
White is led by former Olympic swimmer/two-time gold medalist Bill Myrazek and retired Kpop sensation Stacey Younkyung Jang. I don’t know why they call Bill “Boot” but I do know that he’s personally roasted me several times while wearing sneakers, so this name is fitting. Stacey is a certified SCUBA divemaster trained under Jean Cousteau, so expect to see some excellent buoyancy control and deep bids. Bradley Patterson aka “Patty Melt” joins the squad with a diet consisting of pure sugar, which his body then somehow converts into buttery smooth hucks. Keven Ziegler has been crushing the pickup scene for a while now and is finally ready to make his debut on the big stage at league. He gets the nod for sleeper pick of the season.
High school phenom Alex Butler has been making enormous improvements in his last few seasons at league. Last time I talked with his dad he told me that Alex’s throws were getting “too long for the backyard”. I hope he busts these throws out in a game, definitely a player to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. SLadies captain and geode enthusiast Lindsi Jane Allman aka “Bud” is a rock-solid addition to White’s handler core. Someone taught Bud how to throw an around backhand over the summer and this could spell disaster for us all. Her inside flick is already deadly enough, good luck stopping her now. Things are now in motion which cannot be undone.
Black - Nazgoal
Kody Cotton and Julia Gregory voluntarily painted their team as league “villains” by choosing Nazgoals/black. Julia aka “Potato” spent the summer crushing it with professional ultimate team Atlanta Soul and Florida Weird. Don’t be surprised if you hear her yell some unconventional phrases such as “Boogers Alive!” or “Mother Russia!” while she blazes past you for the score. Girl is good. Kody Cotton tempted Haley Plants with his own ring of power this summer and she accepted (Whoo!). Do not hand block either one of them or you won’t get invited to the wedding. SLadies alumni and current B-team coach Haley Plants Cotton works with natural disaster relief by day but will have no qualms shredding your zone defense like a tornado by night. League rookie Daniel Scott hails from the land down under (I think). I once saw this man layout with a broken rib and KEEP GOING. Crikey. Note, I've heard Potato mention on multiple occasions that she “doesn’t like Australian accents”. I’m curious how the dynamic between these two will play out.
League mechanic Patrick Cox adds an extra gear of speed for black’s downfield cutting, and future Nobel Laureate Dr. Scott Stagg has been collecting data on us all with his surveys during the offseason. Only time will tell if he uses this big data for good or evil. I’d like to point out that three league players with knee injuries, Lauren Bosche, Scotty Moore and Brennan K, all ended up on the same team. Maybe the trio will be able to exchange rehab techniques and collectively speed up their recovery. Maybe they’re going to band together to form some sort of transformer super player. All I know is that if any of them reach full strength by the end of the season we’re all gonna kneed some help.
Green - Second Breakfast
Second Breakfast takes the cake for best team name by far. Green is led by America’s 28th president and current SLadies captain Natalie Wilson and retired NHL defenceman, Brian Campbell. Natalie aka “Willy” is one of the quickest ladies to ever play league and would surely give Shadowfax a run for his money. Teams struggling to cover Willy might consider exploiting her one fatal flaw: peanuts. (Don’t actually do this) Over the summer Brian Campbell broke his back. TUL urban legend Joshua Boyd sat Brian down to watch The Dark Knight Rises, where he learned how to climb out of a well and stand again. Just don’t expect him to put the team on his back anytime soon. Andrew Cherepon finally finished building a house with his own bare hands and is now ready to build a championship.
I saw Rachel Pruitt play pickup awhile back and after she scored on my team repeatedly I thought to myself “if she ever plays league, I’m gonna draft her”. And here we are. Neil Patrick Harris look-alike Dalton Carter returns to league after trying to throw his shoulder instead of the disc. Dalton’s shoulder is now rumored to be 85% machine parts. Promising Sladies freshman Lily Gullett joins league for the first time after crushing it at kickoff. Bud really wants the nickname “seagull” to stick, so maybe try calling her that. At an impressive 8ft 5in tall, human tower Ben Griffith will have no problem tracking down some jump balls for Green. Relatively unknown Michael Cortez mysteriously joins league from Utah. I think he told me that he used to coach a college B-team somewhere, which would bring TUL to a total of seven B-team coaches (Michael, Mimmo, Peter, Green, Brian, Kody, Plants). It’s gonna B a great season!
Will Kody/Julia and the Nazgoals reclaim the championship ring and reinstate their dominance over Middle Earth? Will Tony/Tabs and Smeagoals hold on to their precious till the end of days? Will Potato fight the Australian man? Who can say? Either way, I think Fall League is going to be quite the adventure.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” - J.R.R. Tolkien
Most likely to be tempted by the power of the ring: Tony
Most likely to boil em mash em stick em in a stew: Potato
Most likely to put meat back on the menu: Green
Most likely to come between a Nazgul and its prey: Courtney
Most likely to light off Gandalf’s fireworks at Bilbo’s 111th birthday party: Drew Magee
Most likely to dig too deep and awaken the Balrog: Lindsi
Most likely to be the reincarnation of Tom Bombadil: Drew Magee
Hey everyone! One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about TUL over the years is the sense of community. I’ve had a lot of good times and met many of my best friends through this community, so I wanted to do something to give back to it. I decided to run with the LOTR theme and create a league write-up/narrative to frame the season in a fun way. This is less actual ultimate analysis and more hyperbole/fiction/jokes that I hope will get some laughs and highlight many of the great people in this league. This is not meant to be taken seriously! If you’re not mentioned in this it might be because I don’t know you that well, but I hope you stick around long enough to join our story. Enjoy!