Chauncey is back!
It’s a new year, a new season, and a new chance to write a bunch of presumptuous nonsense! This year, I am resolving to make fun of more teams and talk more smack than in the fall. I hope you are looking forward to it. The Captains list hasn’t been released yet and the number of teams is still undisclosed, but I am reviewing 10 likely captains/co-captain duos and , as a favor, helping them make their own New Year’s resolutions.
Alek Hartzog- Captain Hartzog will probably be more concerned with what his team’s uniforms look like than what they play like. Will they make it to the champ bracket? Who cares?! Their 5ultimate shorts will all match! Actually, this is a pretty good strategy. Alek’s teams always seem to do better when expectations are low and little pressure is present. Alek’s strength lies in his ability to find steals late in the draft. He knows names in the last 5 rounds better than anyone and it’s mostly because he plays anywhere and everywhere. No game is too rookie or too elite for him and everyone seems to know who he is. It could have something to do with the cow print shorts and sailor’s cap…
Resolution: Get your team matching cleats, as well. It will really make them “next level”.
Evan Thatcher/Jim Davis- Evan is getting healthy again and is eager to remind everyone of the difference he makes on the field. Jim Davis opted to sit for a season but couldn’t restrain himself from coming out to watch for multiple weeks of Fall. Together, they probably exchange never-ending rounds of chest bumps and high fives in excitement at getting to finally play once again. Seriously, though, these two will be fired up to play. Evan has one of the keenest minds in the game and can coach the rookiest of players and Jim just makes you want to show up and play your ass off! This pairing should make waves and be able to command respect on the field by developing a great team, rather than trying to draft one.
Resolution: Stay healthy and keep your team happy with plenty of popsicles once it warms up.
Josh Layton- Josh is one of the red-hot players in league right now. His draft stock continues to rise and, with a championship disc to show for his first season as a captain, his seems like a bandwagon we should all jump on. Right? Not so fast. This season will be a whole new disc game for our little friend for a number of reasons. 1.) Mixed is night and day from men’s league. You have to be concerned with chemistry to a much greater degree and Josh is still learning to talk to girls after finally moving past chasing them around on the playground. If he is smart, he will draft a highly capable girl in the first round and let her do all the work after that. 2.) No co-captain. Maybe he will snag his on-field bestie, Kirchman, in the draft to reunite the Tropic dynamo, but Layton may have a bit of trouble commanding a team by himself. Josh is pure pep and that may make the task of being heard a tall one for him.
Resolution: Draft at least 5 non-Ocala players to your team.
Greathouse- Greathouse took the past couple seasons off. Or at least that is the message he would like everyone to believe. Has he actually lost his touch? Were the Dirty Paws the last hurrah of a sinking vessel doomed for Davy Jones’ Locker? Of course not. He isn’t called GREAThouse for nothing. Don’t count on him to go gentle into that good night. Not yet, at least. Methinks he is still good for a handful of discs before he retires on his vast league earnings. I, for one, had way too much fun rooting against him all those seasons to wish for anything other than a spectacular comeback season, followed by a collapse for the ages. The truth is, no one knows league like Michael Lionel Greathouse. He may be in over his head when club players flood the draft, but this winter, in a purist league, his knowledge will shine.
Resolution: Want to win again! Rage, rage against the dying of the light!
Nick McGrane/DDP- Nick needs help. His teams have always been about having fun, but it is hard to have fun when struggling to be relevant, as his teams have been for the past couple seasons. So he has enrolled the help of someone who knows how to win, while simultaneously snagging himself a Top Tier first-rounder… a rare commodity in this league. Smart. McGrane’s wheelings and dealings have begun before the draft board is even posted. We all know McGrane knows how to draft a team with the talent to win it all, but his ability to draw it out of them is in question, as of late. Cultivating talent is one of many things DDP excels at on the field (think Timmy).
Resolution: Make at least 2 apparently foolish trades at the draft, then make everyone question who in their right mind would have allowed you such a huge advantage as the season rolls on.
Switzer- Winter league is Switzer’s chance to shine again. In a league imbibed through and through with talent, his strategies (6 and 1/ full field hammers to the fastest guy on the team) get spat on by loaded teams who are happy to have their top guy double teamed or set up a competent zone defense. This is why his talents have become less appreciated as league has grown more formidable. However, with all the club players absent, resulting in the thinnest league we have seen in years, his strategies will be surprisingly effective, once again. Switzer will do his research and draft a loaded team, who will hopefully not finish the season in first place then choke on 3 losses in the postseason to finish 8th…
Resolution: Try something new.
Travis Tooke- Travis is about as go with the flow as they come. He is far more concerned about enjoying a game of ultimate with his family and friends than with what the score is. Oh, that we could all be more like Tooke. But last season, his team suffered an upset in the finale and was robbed of some shiny new discs. You can’t tell me that didn’t leave him hungry for blood! Actually, I fully believe he slept perfectly well the next night and is now simply excited to toss the ol’ disc once again. As usual, you would be lucky to be drafted onto his team. I expect a talented team who will always stay well clear of the basement from the veteran.
Resolution: Stop smoking. You know that stuff lowers your lung capacity, right? If you quit, you could start playing some endurance sports or something.
CVA/ Allen Lu- It may seem to have been a while since CVA solo captained, but not really. He has essentially been the captain of every team he has been on for the past year or so. You’d be hard pressed to find a guy with more knowledge of the game we all love in this town, even in the whole state. Will he even care? With college club coming into full swing and tournaments on multiple weekends, it seems unlikely league will be a priority. He will probably draft a potential-laden team, then mentally check out, leaving them them all with the guilt-bearing knowledge that they were designed for so much more than the basement bracket. That’s where Lu comes in. Allen has never been able to draft a top contender team, but he has done well with the guys and girls he picked. Maybe CVA’s ability to assemble a watertight squad combined with Lu Man’s dedication to league and his players, this duo could get somewhere.
Resolution: Care about league somewhere around half as much as club.
Drew Ward- Drew has succeeded as a captain by anyone’s standards the past few seasons. His teams always seem to remain relevant late into the season, but that disc has managed to elude him. There are 3 or 4 players you can always count on him to scramble for and I can’t fully disapprove of this strategy. However, if he wants to break his streak of almosts, he may have to reach outside of his box and take a chance with a few players who might not be his best friends. Can he do it? I doubt it. He will keep coming close and always have an ice cold beer to fall back on when they fall just short. But that is what league is all about, isn’t it? Yup. You’d be silly not to want to be drafted to a Ward team, because by the end of the season, you will have a whole new group of friends to party with.
Resolution: Don’t wait until playoffs to start playing penalty box.
JP- I’m not sure what to expect from JP as a captain. The guy has grown into an explosive player, capable of terrorizing the best players on a good day and being the guy the opposing team wants to have the disc on his bad days. I expect a similar make-up in a team he drafts. Count on JP to pick up gambles. When his team is all there and gelling, they could be champions, but when they start clashing and trying to be superstars, it could get ugly. Still 50/50 is a record you can work with going into the playoffs. Often, those teams who know what they are capable of (good and bad) are best able to pull it together when it matters.
Resolution: Throw more hammers.