Friday, June 19, 2009


The rankings of the coolest Psychos has been in the works since Snow Trip '08. Since this blog is the authority on matters such as this, here is the official list:

Coolest Psychos 2009
1. Ultra (no explanation needed)
2. Penny (also obvious)
3. Piper (has a second year boyfriend with a car)
4. Guano (proposed to by a Charger)
5. Tidal (might kick my ass if I put her any lower)
6. Kroft (surfer chick)
7. Tira (cool tattoo)
8. Dada (artist)
9. Godiva (hangs out with sorority girls)
10. Beesly (has friends that don’t play ultimate)
11. Maytag (ass of steel)
12. Brass (wears pretty dresses during the week)
13. Kacto (went abroad like Ultra)
14. Ziggy (has lived all over the world)

**divide between cool and not cool**

15. Loryn (spends too much time on the internet)
16. Bonds (spends too much time in the library)
17. Meeko (engineer)
18. Ferris (engineer that had braces in college)
19. Austen (has a blog)
20. Joule (having the same name as Ultra is the only thing that keeps her above Sir Robin)
21. Sir Robin (thinks too much about the coolest Psycho rankings)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Trip Home

As some of you know, I finished finals ridiculously early this quarter. I really tried not to be annoying about it, but I probably still was. My only final was on the Friday before finals week and I had a paper due on Monday for an ethnic studies class, so I scheduled a flight home for that Tuesday. For some big, long, complicated reason involving a registration renewal for my car, a smog check, a check engine light, turning off my check engine light, having it come back on, and a $3000 estimate for a rebuilt transmission, a couple hours before my flight, I decided to fly home on Saturday night instead.

You probably have never been done with finals on the Monday of finals week, so let me tell you that hanging out all week and not studying isn't as fun as it might seem. I mostly sat around with Karishma while she studied, reading a book and gchatting. My life actually appeared to be so lame that I'm pretty sure all the guys living in our house thought I was still studying until Wednesday. It was still a nice week though. I got some throwing in with Katie on Monday, a Taco Tuesday, a grunion run and other shenanigans with Joule on Wednesday, Loryn's Thirsty Thursday, watching Jean slave away in her kitchen on Friday, followed by our newest roommate's lasagna and Cass St. I really can't complain.

By Wednesday, I'd decided that I would drive home instead of flying so I would be able to go to Joule's team's practice in Long Beach on Saturday on my way home and work on my car with my dad once I got home. I threw my cleats, some clothes, and my surfboard in my car and took off on Saturday afternoon. I lucked out and got Meeko's company for part of the way up, not to mention arriving in style with the girl that is friends with everybody that has ever touched a frisbee.

When we were introducing ourselves at the beginning of practice, I recognized a lot of the girls from teams all over So Cal. There were also a couple of players from Berkeley and some that were a little older and had gone to school farther away. I was most excited to play with Carny from Claremont because I'd been so impressed with her this past season. My first glimpse of her was in the Rookie Showcase Game at Centex, where she utterly dominated. We played Claremont five times this year, so that wasn't the last of her. Talking to her in the stretching circle, I tried to figure out how she'd picked up the game so fast. I already knew she was a graduate student, but it turns out she played basketball as an undergraduate at Puget Sound. That explains her athleticism and field sense somewhat, but I'm still in awe of how she made the transition between sports and developed into such a dominant ultimate player so quickly. I also recognized one girl that was an observer this year at Nationals and actually observed that dramatic Washington-Stanford semifinal game.

Practice was laid back and a lot of fun. We ran a few different offenses and I finally got some experience playing in a horizontal stack beyond doing a sloppy version of one at Lei Out earlier this year. I found myself getting open easier than I anticipated but had some trouble moving the disc upfield at first. I let a couple mistakes go without getting too frustrated and was able to play my game again after a few bad points. We were playing sixes and my team didn't have a sub, so when a player on my team twisted her ankle, an injured Meeko stepped in and picked up the disc on the endzone line. Most of the girls there didn't know much about her or what she was capable of, but I knew exactly what she wanted to do, so I busted deep to set up a huge forehand to the middle of the endzone. I showed that I was a little rusty and misread it, setting up a more difficult reception, and letting it slip out of my fingertips, but it felt really great to cut for Meeko again, knowing that I could go wherever I wanted (deep every time) and that she trusts me enough to send it my way (maybe she shouldn't). The other team played a really solid zone defense for a lot of the scrimmage that was shutting my team down, but we were able to break it down once we got more familiar with playing with each other.

By the time we finished scrimmaging, it was past five and I had a six hour drive ahead of me. Joule offered to let me stay at her house for the night and I always regret when I pass up chances to hang out with her, so I jumped on the opportunity. After we BBQ'd and ate dinner with her mom, Joule proceeded to dominate me in board game after board game, except Pretty Pretty Princess. I took her to beauty school in that game.

Since I stayed the night, I thought I might as well go to practice in the morning as well. This time, practice was more structured, as Joule set up a 1,2,3,4 drill to get a feel for a spread offense, in addition to other standard warm up drills. The crowd was a little different, and having a few UCLA girls there noticeably improved the dynamic of our warm up. A lot of good things happened in the scrimmage and there were much less drops than there were on Saturday. Both teams opted to run a spread offense for most of the day, but the field was really short, so neither team was able to establish much of a flow before scoring. I was stoked to get the chance to guard Hawkins and Boba from UCLA, both very athletic players. Also, after playing against Carny all day on Saturday, I finally got her on my team, which was fun because I knew I didn't have to give her that great of a throw for her to come down with it.

After practice, I hit the road (for real that time). My iPod tape adapter doesn't work, so I rocked out to country all up the 5. I made it home a little after 8:00, in pretty good time as long as you don't consider I was supposed to be home a little after 8:00 on Tuesday.

I've been working at a basketball camp this week, trying to convince the campers that I still know how to play basketball. I don't think I've blown my cover yet, but there's still tomorrow...

On Tuesday, I played in a casual pick up game with Karishma and a bunch of high school friends. I got skied by a guy in a cast up to his knee. Please don't cut me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sidal Toda

Next time you're trying to get the attention of two of your teammates at once, let this list save you some time:

Tira + Penny = tyranny
Dada + Piper = diaper
Meeko + Guano = mono
Tidal + Piper = typer
Ferris + Loryn = foreign
Brass + Tidal = bridal
Ferris + Joule = fool
Penny + Joule = pool
Tidal + Joule = tool
Penny + Ferris = Paris
Bonds + Austen = Boston
Tidal + Austen = tossed in
Snoop + Loryn = snorin’
Meeko + Loryn = more in
Penny + Loryn = pourin’
Snoop + Piper = sniper
Tidal + Dada = ta-da
Nala + Dada = nada
Bonds + Nala = balla
Kacto + Joule = cool
Kroft + Joule = cruel
Sir Robin + Kroft = soft
Kacto + Kroft = coughed
Dwade + Joule = duel
Dada + Ferris = dare us
Bonds + Ferris = bare ass
Ferris + Austen = frosting
Kacto + Loryn = corn
Tidal + Loryn = torn
Snoop + Brass = snazz
Quito + Beesly = queasy
Tira + Joule = to rule
Kacto + Ferris = carrots
Dada + Penny = Denny's
Piper + Brass = pass
Guano + Brass = gas
Loryn + Kroft = loft
Penny + Bonds = ponds
Sir Robin + Guano = Serrano
Sir Robin + Bonds = sarongs
Sir Robin + Penny = serenity

Monday, June 15, 2009


So I hear my blog is pretty dry. Well, you know what? I'm not j.wo. Your time would be better spent reading one of her blog posts twice than reading one of hers and one of mine.

I'll start writing about things other than college restructuring because obviously no one cares about that. I bet you will next year though. Hopefully the start of summer hasn't lowered your tolerance towards reading boring things and I can still sneak a comparison of the two proposals in here soon.

Also, if you don't want to read about Georgia, this blog isn't for you. Neither is Els' blog.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sorting out the College Restructuring Proposals (Part II: Conferences Plan)

If you thought Super-Regionals were confusing, just wait until you read this. The Super-Regionals Plan was a significant change to the current structure, but the Conferences Plan is almost a new system altogether.

Conferences Plan:

Regional lines will be redrawn to create six regions (Northwest, Southwest, North Central, South Central, Northeast, and Southeast). Within these regions will be conferences of 8-12 teams divided by qualities such as skill level, location, and willingness to travel. Regular season play will affect the number of bids a particular region will get to Nationals, and results of 24-team Regionals determine the number of bids each conference will get to Division I and Division II Nationals through a strength algorithm. Finally, Conference Championships, which will be played for the calculated number of bids to Nationals. Two bids to Division I Nationals would automatically go to each region and the remaining eight would be determined by an algorithm. The details of this algorithm haven't been worked out yet. Additional bids to Division II Nationals will we awarded based on results at Regionals as well.

Who it benefits:
1. Fans. The way this is structured would encourage meaningful games and overall excitement because the performance of teams in a given conference or region will affect the other teams in it.
2. Teams with lower budgets. They won't have to fly all over the country if they can't afford to.

Who it hurts:
1. North Central and Northeast Regions. The season matters much earlier than it has in the past and having meaningful games as early as January is a problem if you can't practice outside in the winter. The region will suffer if all the teams are performing poorly before spring rolls around.
2. Regions or conferences that get screwed by the strength algorithm. It just seems like a knowledgable committee would have a more valuable assessment of strength than an equation. This could go the other way and benefit certain regions or conferences that get lucky as well though.

The plan is still somewhat fluid, so it's hard to do much analysis, but one problem I have with it is that the incentive to perform well in the regular season is supposed to come from earning Nationals bids for your region (or for your conference at Regionals). Claiming to make the regular season more meaningful this way is saying a bit too much. Teams are supposed to get fired up to earn bids for what might not even be their team. However insignificant it seems, I do appreciate having something on the line during regular season play, which the current system lacks. The plan proposes that it will create rivalries between teams, but the change I see coming out of this would be a rise in conference pride. In terms of Nationals bids, a team in your conference winning a game would be as good for your team as winning yourself until the Conference Championships. Using power rankings instead of a committee also worries me a little, but I wont get into this because the strength algorithm hasn't been determined yet.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sorting out the College Restructuring Proposals (Part I: Super-Regional Plan)

There are considerable changes proposed by the two college restructuring plans, the Super-Regional Plan and the Conference Plan. Changes that could be put into effect as soon as the 2009-2010 season include implementing Division II Nationals, making pre-season tournaments more meaningful, and redrawing sectional and regional lines. There are a lot of differences that I’m not going to touch on here, as I’m going to focus on how the proposed changes will shape the post season in the women's division. The proposals are complex and sort of difficult to understand, but I’ll try to sort out the most important aspects and explain them without making it too confusing.

Super-Regional Plan:

This plan combines each of the eight current regions with another into four "Super-Regions" (Northwest and Southwest, Central and Great Lakes, South and Atlantic Coast, Northeast and Metro East), each of which will consist of six sections. Instead of Regionals, Super-Regionals will be played, with 12 teams competing in each Super-Region. The first six spots in each Super-Regional will be filled by six of 24 teams that are selected by a committee to advance straight to Super-Regionals. Then, the teams that weren’t selected as one of the top 24 play in their respective Sectionals, with the winner of each Section advancing to Super-Regionals. The top four finishers in each Super-Regional advance to Division I Nationals, and out of all the teams that fail to qualify, the top four are chosen by a Selection Committee to go to Division I Nationals as well, making a total of 20 teams. There will also be Division II Regionals and Nationals for teams that don’t win their sections and therefore don't qualify for Super-Regionals.

Who it benefits:
1. Top teams. They don’t have much pressure on them because if they screw up at Super-Regionals, they still have a really good shot at getting a bid to Nationals.
2. West Super-Region. They won't have to compete as much with each other to earn a spot at Nationals.
3. Weak sections. Winning one of the six sections guarantees a bid to Super-Regionals.

Who it hurts:
1. Weak Regions. They will no longer have the luxury of two guaranteed bids to Nationals.
2. Teams from cold climates. Teams that can't practice outside in the winter will be at a disadvantage because they tend to not perform as well in the early part of the season, but the selection committee will look at their results against other teams that have the luxury of practicing outside all year round over the course of the entire season, which begins in February.

Using the NUMP poll from the end of the season to predict the teams that would have been selected as the top 24 and results from Sectionals (not taking into account any redrawing of Sections) to fill the remaining spots, here's my estimation of how Super-Regionals would have looked this year:

1. UCSB*
2. Oregon*
3. Washington*
4. Stanford*
5. UBC*
6. UCLA*
7. Colorado St.
8. Claremont
9. Whitman
10. Humboldt St.
11. UCSC
12. New Mexico

1. Wisconsin*
2. Michigan*
3. Berkeley*
4. St. Louis*
5. Carleton*
6. Wisconsin- Eau Claire
7. Iowa St.
8. Northwestern
9. Case Western Reserve
10. Michigan St.
11. St. Olaf
12. Marquette

1. USC*
2. UNC*
3. UNC-W*
4. Wake Forest*
5. Colorado*
6. Texas
7. Wash U
8. Vanderbilt
9. Georgia
10. Davidson
11. Rice
12. Virginia

1. Ottawa*
2. Western Washington*
3. Maryland*
4. Pittsburg*
6. Dartmouth
7. UPenn
8. Cornell
9. Harvard
10. Middlebury
11. Georgetown
12. Wesleyan

*advance to Division I Nationals

Super-Region teams represented at Nationals:
West: 10
Central: 4
South: 3
Northeast: 3

The aspect of this plan I like the most is that it puts less emphasis on choosing teams that will result in a geographic diversity and more on choosing teams that are of higher quality. Top teams from the Northwest especially that didn’t make Nationals this year were obviously better than some of the teams from weaker regions that did because the way the system is set up now values geographic representation too much. I appreciate the Olympics-like feel of how teams at Nationals are from all over the country, but I think it’s more important to have the best teams competing for the title.

One facet of the proposal that doesn't seem right to me is how the top 24 teams are distributed throughout the Super-Regions. If there are more than six teams from one Super-Region that are selected to go on to Super-Regionals, the top six fill the spots in their own Super-Region, and then the remaining teams are distributed among other Super-Regions. If the team can afford to travel, this is almost definitely an advantage to them because they will be competing in a weaker Super-Region than they came from. I set up my mock-Super-Regionals like this, by putting the top seeds in their home Super-Region and then distributing the remaining teams to whichever Super-Regions were most convenient, giving priority to the higher seeds. This method left a large discrepancy in strengths of the Super-Regions. For example, the West is way stronger than any other Super-Region, so the sectional winners from the West would have to face much more difficult teams and have a slimmer chance at winning a bid to Nationals. More importantly, teams from the West that couldn't get a spot in the West Super-Regionals and had to travel to another Super-Region to play have the advantage of having less competition and a much easier ride to Nationals than teams from the West that are seeded higher. There doesn't seem to be a fair way to divide teams that wouldn't require a lot of traveling. Flying the top teams all over the country to even out the playing fields would make the system more fair but isn't logistically sound. Perhaps the idea behind the wildcard bids is that they would even this out.

I’ll research, try to explain, and analyze the Conference Plan next and decide which I like better.