By: Jimmy Leppert
Hello and welcome to ‘The Spectator’. It’s the first weekend of August, and the Triple Crown Tour is starting a very busy month with the Pro-Elite Challenge on deck for many of the top contenders in each of the three divisions.
The next Triple Crown Tour event is upon us, the Pro-Elite Challenge (or, the Colorado Cup), taking place in Aurora, Colorado. Last weekend, the field site hosted the Master’s Championships, this weekend it hosts 16-teams from each of the Men’s, Mixed, and Women’s division. Plus in Denver on Friday night, the All-Star Ultimate Tour is in town!
While there isn’t any livestreaming, Ultiworld is on the ground reporting and with a film crew for their club video package. It’s a good thing too, it’s starting to hit crunch time in the regular season for teams hoping to grab their region an extra bid to the Club Championships in the early fall. If you can believe it too, there are teams that we haven’t gotten a good look at yet this season (Atlanta’s Chain Lightning, Portland’s Rhino, San Francisco’s Mischief travels out of state for the first time). Pay close attention to the results of this weekend.
In the Men’s division, all eyes are on Rhino and Chain Lightning who make their first appearance in the Triple Crown Tour since last season. Both teams had relatively successful seasons in their professional leagues (Portland in the MLU, Atlanta in the AUDL), and both come in with a different look to their rosters. Rhino with a group of Oregon Ego players fresh off of a 2nd-place finish at the D-I College Championships, and of course Cody Bjorklund and Dylan Freechild at the helm. Chain Lightning lost some of their mainstay players, who had become key contributors on the team, but still retain talent like Jay Clark, Jolian Dahl, and Bryon Liu. Team’s like High Five, Prairie Fire, Boost FC, and even Sub Zero will be fighting to prove they deserve to be there among this mix of teams (though, all for different reasons); while teams like Sockeye, Doublewide, and Machine will be fighting to prove they belong amongst the top of the division.
Over in the Mixed division, Mischief sitting atop everyone with only Cal States and Revolution 2015 on their schedule so far this season has to feel like a slight to the rest of the competition that has traveled throughout. But it is Mischief, they did finish fifth in the division last season, and are the highest finished from last year’s Club Championships at this event. This could be the perfect opening for their pool play opponents (NOISE, Bird, and Cahoots) to elevate their standing in the division, and ditto everyone else come bracket play. There are other teams that are coming into a Triple Crown Tour event for the first time this season too, but none have the target on their back like Mischief does.
Meanwhile in the Women’s division, Brute Squad is the clear favorite if they can start to repeat the success they had last season. No Fury and no Riot in attendance this weekend in Colorado to give trouble to Brute in the finals of the tournament, but throughout the tournament they are sure to be tested. It starts early with Texas Showdown, NC Phoenix, and the always gritty Seattle Underground in their pool. Should they lose a game, potentially crossing over with one of Denver Molly Brown, D.C. Scandal, or Portland Schwa could dampen their entire weekend.
An advantage of the Triple Crown Tour, unlike in some seasons before it was implemented, we know that each and every team is going to be well tested this weekend. Revolver may have the first overall seed in the tournament, but Chicago Machine, Pittsburgh Temper, and Vancouver’s Furious George won’t be an easy path to bracket play for them on Saturday either. With each division having the same bracket play setup, we’re likely to see a big name – perhaps a High Five or Doublewide in Men’s, Polar Bears in Mixed, Heist or Showdown in Women’s – find themselves outside of the championship bracket after Saturday play. Aside from taking favorites, it makes predictions on how each division will turn out at this tournament, and others, difficult.
It’s another exciting weekend of Triple Crown Tour ultimate, which is key with both the AUDL and MLU preparing for their championship weekends, and the ultimate schedule a little light.
- Continue to watch the All-Star Ultimate Tour! Tonight (Friday, 7/31) they take on Denver’s Molly Brown at 7pm MDT (that’s 9pm EST).
- Besides the Triple Crown Tour’s Pro-Elite Challenge there are a few other events taking place this weekend too: Chesapeake Open 2015 with Men’s, Mixed, and Women’s featuring some Select flight teams in each division, and there’s the LA Invitational featuring California’s Viva and Tempo Women’s teams.
- Ultiworld’s club video subscriptions is still for sale. They’ll be at the Pro-Elite Challenge this weekend filming games in all three divisions.
- You can still fund the All-Star Ultimate Tour on IndieGoGo by the way, and keep that number growing as they head into Denver and more stops on their tour.
- The 2015 Ultimate Results Coaching Academy returns for 2015 – from August 2nd thru the 7th – and you can purchase access to the videos for download, presentation notes, and more now. There’s a survey from presenter Alex Davis (of Furious George, Team Canada, and a brief streaming career with myself) that’s going around to fill out on player usage.
- Contributor by Google debuted this week. The service allows you to pay a monthly fee, skip some advertisements based on how much you pay, and contribute directly to the funds sent to certain Google advertisers. Interesting concept that helps support free-content all over the internet – check it out!
Listen to This
- Nothing else in music matters right now besides the Drake vs Meek Mill feud. This from Pitchfork has a basic overview of the events, starting from the most recent diss track. Seek out r/hiphopheads, or literally anywhere else on the internet for some in depth analysis of this whole affair. (PS: Drake is winning, he’s got White Castle and Whataburger on his side.)
- A very powerful piece from Noreen Malone of New York Magazine – ‘I’m No Longer Afraid’: 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Cosby, and the Culture That Wouldn’t Listen. From just looking at the picture that leads off the story, it becomes an extremely well-written piece, accompanied by essays from the women, that truly has you feeling the pain in their words.
- Another piece that I felt you could truly feel the pain from those involved, Potsdam’s Nightmare: What Happened to Garrett Phillips? by Jordan Ritter Conn of Grantland. A murder of a 12-year old boy, an arrest, and what many feel is wrongfully accused ex-boyfriend.
- If you use Windows, you may have noticed that Microsoft wants to update you to Windows 10 for free. The Story of Microsoft 10 from Inside Microsoft by Tom Warren at The Verge lays out what it was like to build Windows 10 from inside Microsoft, has some beautiful photography attached to it, and lays out their entire gameplan for the new OS.
- The Players Tribune is Derek Jeter’s sports website, with articles written primarily by athletes. They had athletes writing about the DeAndre Jordan to Dallas fiasco in the NBA, football players grading their seasons, and more. One of their latest releases was LA Kings (and Team USA) netminder Jonathan Quick with Elite Snipers 101. In it, he breaks down exactly what it means to be an NHL-level goaltender, and why some of his foes are among the most hockey players in the game today – really interesting stuff for any hockey fan, but also some insight into how athletes prepare for their games.
- The All-Star Ultimate Tour has been streaming their games on Youtube. Tonight (Friday, 7/31) they face off against Denver Molly Brown. With no more games until August 5th, you’ll have time to catch up if you missed the PST games. The Youtube page also has recaps, interviews, and more.
- Lisa P of the USA Mixed team and All-Star Ultimate Tour, has been putting up some great video journals of her experiences. Keep watching!
- Five Views of 2 World Trade Center is a cool interactive from The New York Times, with a whole bunch of different viewpoints of the new tower. It’s certainly an interesting looking building.
- Ever seen Wet Hot American Summer? Netflix produced a prequel series with a similar set-up to the final Arrested Development season that debuted a few years ago, with the best summer camp as the subject. And yes, you read that right… it is a prequel series, featuring much of the same cast from the original movie. Since it’s Netflix, it’s all available now for binge watching.
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