The Tuesday night league ultimate field is often justly considered the Theatre of Titans. Over the years, many teams have entered this arena of unbridled competition (or at least 8-9 a season) but only one emerges as champion each year. Biblical scholars have long considered this division to be the future battleground of Armageddon, and summer 2006 will undoubtedly do little to refute that theory.
Below is a team-by-team preview of the upcoming season. Please read on and then brace yourselves for the roller-coaster ride that is summer league. It will certainly be the competitive odyssey as often billed, for it truly is the glory of conquest in Tuesday league that gilds our sepulchres and embalms our names.
Spindrift The New York Yankees of HURL enter the 2006 season as the overwhelming favourites to walk away with victory. After an undefeated 2005 campaign followed by an off-season of raiding other teams’ leaders, the Yankees found themselves this spring in a position of not being "able" to develop new talent. Yankees General Manager Brian TeCashman puts it, "right on". When asked about this Evil Empire’s lack of using its own Little Drifters farm system, TeCashman replied, "right on". Some may also ask who the Georgie Porgie of this club is, but the answer likely lies not with one single person, but rather in the nebulous souls of a number of players. Pinstriped headbands have also been rumoured for this squad. Good luck Spindrift, and Godspeed.
Cherubini Group of Companies Another club (albeit a new one) that raided other teams’ skilled players for their own benefit, CGC enters 2006 as something of an enigma. Certainly stacked with a certain Teutonic flavour, CGC also has a collection of raw talent from off the streets, hockey rinks, and last year’s B League. Captain Mandy Wintink states, "our new players are really nice, but so are our ringers." Thank-you for the insight, Ms. Wintink, but it doesn’t underscore the vast collection of veteran leadership. Cherubini is a strong bet for second place in the Tuesday league this year.
Drastic Yellow Plastic This Dan Kehler vehicle is another new team in the Tuesday League. Made up of top players from now-defunct clubs and initially caught up in the rat race of trying to keep up with the Yankees, Drastic Plastic has since taken a proverbial breath and now looks to compete with the rest of the league instead. A collection of earnest and sensitive players, DP still has a few openings on their roster, left open in the hopes of picking up players like Alan Alda and Mike Farrell for the season. Of course, Kehler may not realize that old players like that is virtually the sole domain of Diablos Locos.
Diablos Locos The 2006 Diablos Locos Media Guide states that "an entire nation turns its lonely eyes to Diablos Locos". It is unclear just what nation that is, but most insiders speculate on the disreputable Djiboutian influences that were prevalent throughout the team’s spring training camp on the island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean. Once again returning a core group of established veterans (i.e. aging hacks), Diablos Locos hopes to return to past glory. Captain Peter Lewis notes, "sure, we lost a lot of games last year and I know we’re not getting any younger, but our new Djiboutian spread offense will far surpass other teams’ horizontal stacks -- HO is sooo 2004." One big question that must be answered this summer is whether or not Dan Rolfe can make it through the season without a moustache. Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson indeed.
Wabi Sabi With their captain Ed Fong sidelined for the summer with a crippling knee injury, Wabi Sabi will undoubtedly be looking for new leadership and rides to the fields to emerge. As free agent A.J. Sainsbury says: "[Fong] is now dead to me". With a loss of more than half their 2005 roster, Wabi Sabi comes in to the new season with an almost completely new face. Hopefully that new face is better looking than last year’s, but that is beside the point. A much taller team than in 2005, both through the addition of certain players and the loss of Fong, this unit may be even more predisposed to indiscriminate hucking than in past seasons. A solid finish in the middle of the league standings (yet again) is forecasted for Wabi Sabi.
Scruff How many people considered a "scruff" to be a shiftless individual with no style and no personality back they were a kid? Perhaps this is just the image that team captain Greg VanSlyke had in mind when he began creating this new club during the spring. With a roster that holds more than a few sad-sack teenagers, Scruff may just be aptly named. However, it is this youth that will likely put Scruff in a position of improving drastically over the course of the season -- unless of course the Yankees poach their players once they develop into stars.
STACKED After a successful season in HURL’s second division, Stacked accepted a promotion into the Premiereship for 2006. Holding spring practices on an elementary school field no bigger than the end zone of most Ultimate fields, Stacked certainly hopes to not fill out the Tuesday league basement since many of their players likely still live in the basements of their parents’ homes. Despite numerous calls to his parents’ home, team captain Dan Ellenberger was unavailable for comment.
The Angels Having shed the horrific "Rock ‘em Sock ‘em" part of their team name -- as well as more than half of last year’s team that went to the league final -- The Angels come into the 2006 season with only six players on their roster. Unless team captain Phil MacAulay can find a way to run around the field even more than he typically does, it will be difficult for the Angels to compete against teams that play 7-on-7, which currently includes all the clubs in the league.