Yesterday we played Troubled Past, the USA Masters champions who have re-christened themselves Czechered Past here in Prague. Since Nationals they've added a few more veterans with sketchy spirit careers to round out the roster.
I come from playing in New York, east coast, playing for Philly now, and I love myself a good character or two. This team has a few of them.
First of course is captain Mike O'Dowd. In the 1970s when he was in his early 20s, O'Dowd ran a numbers scheme in his native Chicago from his father's O'Dowd Bar on Milwaukee Avenue. If you're playing the numbers i can tell you right now: you aren't going to win. There's a reason it's called a numbers game. It's a fix and when the fix is in and you owe a few big ones, young man Mikey OD as they called him, would beat the shit out of you with his face. I mean, pummel you, more than KD beat Sanchez with his face. If you haven't seen a man pound another man's face with his own face then you haven't seen what brutality really is.
Forehead to jaw, ear to ear, cheek to jowl, a face attack from Mikey OD is like getting taken out back by the wood shed.
30 years later, that's pretty much what Troubled Past did to us in a game almost as fixed as the numbers. We weren't going to beat TP (as they call themselves) and we couldn't even wipe with it because it was already dirty -- they were the better team, deservedly so, but the game was still fixed.
Barry Switzer was there, Cooper, Sanchez, some cornhole with glasses, some redbeard hat-wearing typical call-making type -- just by writing this I can remember an old canuck friend of mine telling me about shooting pictures for the UPA at Nationals in San Diego and a team known as Blaze of Glory with a similar makeup threatened to fight him. I mean, fist fight, a face beatdown, the kind of cheek to jowl hurt that only guys who've had alcoholic fathers can relate too.
So I may run into my own Czechered Past later this tournament, who knows. I'm not a fighter, but I do have Italian blood so I get hot. I curse, yell, celebrate, taunt, throw the finger, i've gotten in pussy scraps before but never really a fight in a long time. I'm not above the Past, I would never claim to be holier than TP (but certainly cleaner) and I can make calls that are dicey -- but I won't generally.
Sanchez suggested I add a footnote to my book(s) about giving their team the finger after a pick call on a player not in the play negated one of our scores. Well, here it is, if it makes him or anyone else feel better: I'm no angel, none of us are, and angels I would tend to be a little suspicious of.
Furthermore, I don't mind playing these call-fest games and there's a part of me that kind of likes them. I don't mind controversy, i don't take offense at bad calls, I don't think negatively about the other team or player and I like the hot-bloodedness that courses through the body.
But the point is, if you want to see what ultimate and the Euforia-Doublewide game was all about at its core, you don't need to look to the future. You just need to look to the past.
As Mike O'Dowd said in last winter's UPA newsletter, and I quote, "We finally exercised the demons."