Friday, September 18, 2009

The World Games in Kaohsiung: Ultimate Frisbee

Apparently the Frisbie Pie Company of Connecticut sold their pies (in tins) to a lot of university campuses in New England and the students started throwing the tins around, and from this beginning we would eventually add the noun "frisbee" to our collective lexicon for describing a round plastic disc designed to be thrown through the air from person to person. Of course, "Frisbee" itself is now a trademarked brand name and the Wham-O company who own the trademark and sell the genuine Frisbee have long begrudged the use of their name without any input or return. The flying-disc game played as part of the World Games is generally called Ultimate Frisbee in informal settings. However, the calculated wrath of the Wham-O company has seen the trademarked appellation dropped from the title of the sport leaving the official title as "Ultimate".

Erin, Andrea, John, and Dan survey the scene just after we arrived at the Flying Dragon stadium.
I'm not sure which teams these are. Let's call them the red team and the white team.

The stadium continued to fill up as the Ultimate matches went on. Interestingly, the seats seemed to be filled by a wave of new spectators that slowly swept from the seats nearest to the entry gates to those at the far end of the stadium. We were sitting in an area all by ourselves for a while and then suddenly... we were surrounded. Are there cultural differences in stadium seat choice?

Almost nobody wanted to sit on the other side of the stadium near the sunlight. In fact, later as the sun crept around to the near side of the stadium, people got up and left to relocate themselves in the shade. That's normal I guess, but just a little more exaggerated in some Asian cultures.

Part of the backbone of the Flying Dragon above the main entry gates.

Wow. Stadium games like Ultimate Frisbee sure make interesting material for blogging about [sarcastic]. The red and white teams again. Unless these are two different red and white teams. I don't know.

In the distance the scoreboard hangs suspended in mid-air and time is distended by the space, the light, and the spectacle. To be honest, Ultimate Frisbee is something I'd rather play than watch. I think I spent a good deal of time reading the newspaper and listening to my mp3 player. I'm just not excited by a lot of spectator sports but it was nice to be out in a different city with friends. By the way, Edward "Steady Ed" Headrick, the "father of the modern frisbee", apparently wanted to be cremated and "to have his ashes molded into memorial flying discs and given to family and close friends" according to the San Francisco Chronicle. You might be tempted to think of his desire as a bit pie in the sky.


Juanito said...

Great post Ado! However, you forgot to mention your brief 'Beds are burning' performance, I think that was the peak of your excitement!

Oh and nice picture of us, I didn't realise how attractive we all looked with sweat patches on our backs!

Adrian Brown said...

If you look carefully you might just be able to make out the face of the Virgin Mary in the sweat stain on your back. I think Andrea has Tony Danza on hers.