Author: Jonathan Cousins, SEAS’14
Being on an intramural sports team at Penn is a unique experience. Last semester, I played intramural basketball, and while it was fun, we lost most of our games. It was also stressful to be the captain, and be responsible for a $100 performance bond if your team decided to not show up one day (this almost happened). But this fall I found a new group and a new sport – Ultimate Frisbee.
Ultimate Frisbee is interesting in its own right. There are no referees, and the game is completely self-policed by the two teams. The only outside intervention is from a Penn Rec employee calling out the end of each half. The objective is simple – catch the Frisbee in the end zone. But as the game plays out the intricacies present themselves – making a quick step to get open, diving to knock away a Frisbee and defending one side of the person throwing the Frisbee all become clear.
But this is not professional Frisbee, in fact far from it. We are a group of friends trying to have some fun. This attitude produces some memorable moments. Like the time we were winning by five points, and my roommate Surya called a time-out to set up a victory celebration. When we next scored, our team lined up like bowling pins and I “bowled” the Frisbee and knocked everyone down. Even the other team thought it was funny. We also have a pre-game chant involving group circle and much loud chanting of the word “WORK!” and our team name’s acronym (Discs of Glory – so DOG).
While much of the game is fun, there is a lot of intensity also. We have had multiple last-second catches to end either a half or the game, lots of diving, and even some more serious collisions. Last week, Surya and another teammate slid to the ground in the corner where there was dirt and came up bloody. A few weeks prior, Surya was hit with a shoulder the head on a contested catch that looked like a football highlight hit (he was ok).
Through all of this, we have had a great time and have grown closer as friends. We have out last regular season game on Tuesday, and then it is off to the playoffs. The season has been full of ups and downs so far, and I am sure that will continue. The game on Monday is a rematch against the only team we have lost to so far, and it is sure to be another close one. The first time we played this particular team, they won on a last-second catch in the end zone, and neither of us has lost since.
It seems only fitting that I end this piece the same way we end our pre-game chants. No matter what happens, at the end of the day, DOGS WORK!