Spotlight on Sports: The Ultimate Commitment
Written by Bwog Staff
Last week, Bwog sat down with Dan Mullins, Florida native and member of Columbia’s Uptown Local, in the Butler lounge for some unconventional learning. Frisbee clutched faithfully in hand, he shared words of wisdom on one of the most parodied and misunderstood sports in modern culture. Endless mysteries surround Ultimate Frisbee: Is it great enough to be an Olympic sport? What, exactly, is a layout D, and is it as dirty as it sounds? Do freshmen really have to drink a frisbee full of beer? Find out these, and more, as Bwog shines a spotlight on Men’s Ultimate.
Ultimate Frisbee was reportedly invented by students of Columbia (High School, in New Jersey). The sport quickly developed from summer camp entertainment to international phenomenon, and is “probably the fastest growing sport,” with its own national presence. Columbia’s Ultimate team started in the 1980s, and is now one of the 90% of U.S. colleges that boast a team.
How it works:
7 players from each team face off on a 70×40 yard field. One member starts the game when he “pulls,” or throws the disc (“like kickoff in football”). As the players move through the field, each team attempts to reclaim the disc and make an eventual goal on their opponent’s side. A point is scored whenever a successful pass is made in the other team’s end zone. One caveat: the player holding the disc cannot move while in possession of it. “You have like three steps to slow down, then you have to pass it to another player,” clarifies Dan. There are two ways to reclaim the disc. A turnover is when one simply knocks it from the air. A “mark”—they shadow a particular player from the other team—has 10 seconds to stall the player who is holding the disc in order to repossess the coveted Frisbee. Another of Ultimate’s unique qualities is that there are no official referees. Players control all rules and foul calls in a policy known as Spirit of the Game.
Bwog: Describe your sport in 5 words.
Dan: Wow….fun. Athletic. This is hard. Aggressive…sportsmanship…
B: You have one more!
D: I know, there’s so much pressure. Um. Teamwork. I don’t know if that was lame.
B: Does the team have any good luck charms or rituals?
D: I dunno about good luck charms. We do watch Remember the Titans before a big game.
B: Will Ultimate be an Olympic sport one day?
D: I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be.
B: Is it true that freshmen Ultimate players have to drink a frisbee full of beer? And if so, how many beers fit into a frisbee?
D: (After some laughter, hesitation, and muttering that included the words “supposed to be a secret!”) This is my answer. Some schools have initiations where new kids do this. I don’t know personally about our school. However, I will say that 4 1/2 beers fit into your standard, regulation size frisbee.
B: How does a Frisbee bro compare to a lax bro?
D: Both types of bros are a good time.
B: Does the team have any greatest or most embarrassing moments you feel like sharing?
D: Greatest? When we scored 3rd place last year in regionals. Most embarrassing? Ahh, he’ll be really embarrassed when he reads this…a certain one of our members went out with a friend the night before a tournament, and during the first game the next morning, he goes running to catch the disc….and it just flies above him as he slams his hands shut.
B: How is life like Ultimate?
D: Life is like Ultimate….because we’re all just flying through it.
Finally, it was time to ask the inevitable: know of any Ultimate sex jokes? Upon hearing the question, Dan gave a surprised laugh, then proceeded to pull out his phone…which contained a compiled list of Ultimate sex jokes. We kid you not. Try these out with the ladies this weekend:
D: “She knows how to handle the disc…”
“Would you mind if I hucked it in your end zone?”
“Would you like to see my layout D?” [It was confirmed that a layout D is, in fact, merely a game maneuver, and just sounds really dirty.]
When asked if he considers himself a “chill bro,” Dan replied in the affirmative. “I’m a pretty chill guy. The sport draws similar people…many Ultimate players are relaxed in life.”
Columbia’s Ultimate team has two upcoming tournaments! Conference championships are this Saturday, April 14th, at which they have the opportunity to move on to Regionals. Check them out for some in-person layout Ds.