The activity: Playing flag football The Place: A sports field
The Strain: Sour Willie (sativa) The Thought: How ultimate frisbee mimics life
Playing flag football the other night I was granted the ability to watch two other sports being played close-by, soccer and ultimate frisbee. The first was full of people grinding away and working furiously to score. They were fit and clearly eager to make hay of the challenge in front of them. The second group was quite the opposite. The group was hopeless and the playing field laden with mistakes. Yet, their side was also full of laughter, something devoid at the soccer game.
In that moment I thought about what ultimate frisbee was. An impossible game to control. Played with a disc that, no matter how perfectly you think you’ve thrown it as it leaves your hand, often won’t go where you expect it to. Plus it’s a game that allows defenders the ability to rant and scream in your face as you try and pass to your teammate. It’s unfair to everyone, simply in the way that it is set up. The way in which a player has no control over their outcome in ultimate frisbee is the same way an individual has no control over their lives. The soccer players think they do because they kick a round ball that always goes where they want it to unless interrupted. The football players think they do because they play with a ball that always gets to their teammate’s hands unless that player drops it or a defender gets it first.
The ultimate player, on the other hand, understands that they have no control; so why play for it when they could just play for fun? Unlike sports that showcase the illusion of control, and therefore attract players looking for self-attained glory or goal accomplishment, ultimate frisbee attracts only those so enlightened that they have forgone seeking these things in favour of that which they know they cannot pretend to control. And they do it with happy smiles and jovial laughs. To me, watching that game of ultimate frisbee was like the term “fuck it” visually represented.
And that was my thought brought to you on… Sour Willie.
Written by D.