Friday, June 15, 2012

Old Fart Eye for the Ultimate Guy

A good friend of mine has just passed away this week. On the blogosphere, he was known as Unsubcultured. He was funny, creative, witty, loved life, an avid sponger, a retired Ultimate player, and an all-around nice guy.

I met him almost 10 years ago while I was just starting to play Ultimate. He was a big fixture in the Ulty scene in Manila and was also considered one of the founding fathers of Manila Ultimate. According to stories of several people, he would always stick around even if it meant multiple hot boxes or savage pickup games. I will forever be thankful to him and to the other expats because they never gave up trying to make people come out to Just Put It In. If not for Ulty, I wouldn't have known the friends I have today.

Like I mentioned, Unsubcultured was one talented bloke. In the earlier years of Philippine Ultimate, some old-timers, in the hopes of promoting the sport, were asked to contribute write-ups to be posted on the website. In honor of my dear friend, I am reposting an article he wrote many many years ago.

Words are not enough to express the sadness I feel. You will forever be remembered. Wherever you are, continue to Just Put It In! These were the last words you told me when I left Asia: "See you whenever, Chief!". Indeed, see you whenever, Chief.  

Raise Your Game
[2004, No. 11]

Old Fart Eye for the Ultimate Guy
(A guide on how to survive the game when you’re NOT young, fast or athletic...)

by Gabby "Old Fart" Gaskell
The sport/game/cult of Ultimate is continually evolving in Manila. “Back in the day” it was played by a small group of expats and a few Pinoy weekend warriors who wanted to sweat and have ultimate fun on Sunday afternoons. Today, whether you like it or not, disc is more competitive – with more athletic types ruling the field. So how does a 36-year old keep up with 20-something legs in every pick up, hat tourney and league game? Read on.   

Of course we all know it’s wise to bring a light and dark shirt. This will keep you from going skins or shirtless - because no one wants to see a flabby tummy bouncing around when you run. It’s also wise to wear a bandana, a visor or a cap in case you are balding. And most important of all, never ever wear short shorts… unless your name is Danny and you play for Sunken Pleasure.

Come about 1-2 hours before start of pick up or a league game. That way you get a chance to throw, warm up, stretch and work up a bit of sweat. This is important because you may go for just 1 point and leave the rest of the afternoon to drinking beer and eating those damn cookies.
But if and when you play…

Chances are, the person guarding you will be faster. So how do you outwit, outplay and outlast your defender? Simple, take him out of the play by taking yourself out. In other words, get out of the way. Let your faster teammates do the cutting and catching and just give everyone a high five when your team scores. 

Most likely, the person you are assigned to will be quicker than you. So when you get beat, run after him or her like hell. Only two things can happen anyway: [1] you can earn the ire of your teammates [#$^##&$*#, WHO’S ON THAT GUY/GIRL?] or [2] get a cheesy cheer like NICE TRY [now sit your butt down on the sidelines]. 
Also, when choosing a person to guard, always pick a guy extremely better than you. At least you have an excuse when he when he burns you.
Lastly, never ever pick a woman to defend against because we all know how hard it is to chase women.  

Two words. Ben Gay.

I’ve been burned by 20-somethings, 30-somethings and women a lot of times. I’ve lost count of how many times the person I am guarding has eluded me and scored. I’ve eaten so much pride while playing disc that I think I’m gaining weight. I have accepted the fact that there will always be someone faster, more talented than me. But that doesn’t stop me from putting on my cleats any chance I get and try to hold my own against 20-something athletic legs. Hey, I’ve scored, cut and made great plays a lot of times too. 
Now that we’re done with the basics of playing the game, here comes the harder part - HOW TO SURVIVE PARTIES AND NIGHTS OUT. But that’s another story.

A true living legend, Gabby Gaskell a.k.a. "Old Fart" is one of the few original Manila Vicers still around in the PUA today. He was around when disc was still being played on Tuesdays and Sundays only, and that was if they had enough players to form a game. At one point, his lengthy disc career made him a formidable captain, leading more than 1 hat team to victory during Vice/PUA's many, many hat tournaments. Gabby has played for various Manila Ultimate teams (he was on the original Askal squad in Boracay '03) before finally donning his pink skirt and coming home to the Breakfast Club.

1 comment:

  1. I am sorry for your lost beib. He will be missed!