by | February 18, 2016, 5:05am 26

I just deleted about two pages worth of bitter brooding about random things going on in the ultimate community. Like how USA Ultimate had Titanic syndrome; they think they can do whatever they want because they are too big to sink. And how if they finally did sink I was going to have to shove Jimmy Mickle up onto a (barn) door to float away while I froze to death with the rest of the ultimate players.

There was an especially grumpy paragraph about how the MLU keeps getting sponsors and the AUDL doesn’t ever seem to get any, and I wanted to know who the heck was in charge of making things happen for the AUDL. I segued into a question about what it would take for USA Ultimate to realize the AUDL is here to stay and find a way to work together. I ended the whole tirade with how absurd it is that USA Ultimate refuses to work with E.R.I.C.

But, after rereading all my berating and thinking over what the common problem was, I came to the conclusion that it might be pride. Then I did as I often do: I tied it back to myself and it turns out that the issue wasn’t too hard to find, for it was large, with an even larger head.

Brodie Smith.

Like many, I don’t actually know him, but still harbor a certain resentment for him. I think my mildewy uncertainty for Brodie started back in college when his team cheated more than Bill Clinton in his prime.

“I did not have physical contact with that person,” Florida would say, right after destroying some player, then proceeding to call travel 12 times in a row because, back then, who needed observers?

Since then we have taken different paths in life: I set out to try and create the best ultimate teams in the world. He became the most well known frisbee person ever. Does this upset me? Yes. Of course. Every kids clinic we do, if they know one name associated with ultimate, it’s Brodie.

Why am I such a hater? I guess I have a vision of ultimate being a beautiful sport, not just a gimmick for ads or an activity involving another sports goal (basketball hoops), or my beloved disc ending up where garbage goes (trash cans). I have a dream that, on Bumble, when a beautiful woman asks why I moved Dallas and I say “because of pro ultimate frisbee”, the conversation won’t go silent. I envision little kids choosing ultimate over football to get college scholarships and then actually having fully functioning brains to go through college.

What I eventually had to accept is that Brodie is an entertainer; a personality that works for his demographic. We, the ultimate community, may not like his persona, but the truth is he brings people to our sport, and I believe we need to grow by any means necessary. If drug dealing movies have taught me anything, it’s all about getting people to try your product. If they get hooked on our pure fine grade sport because of some dealer known on the streets as brodiesmith21, then so be it.

“Haha, I will never let Brodie play on a team I make,” I would often say to my friends in San Francisco as we sipped our $9 coffee that took 20 minutes and a 8th grade science lab to make and nibbled on our $14 piece of toast with a butter derived from a free range platypus.

But why? Why did I say that? I think it was pride:

That I could heave this sport into the hearts of people without him.

That I could make it a sport, not a halftime show.

That I could show the world what a real pro ultimate player was.

Over the last 4 months I’ve wrestled, fought and tried to ignore the idea of Brodie playing on my team. I’ve listened to the players, the coaches, and the owners, as well as one particular loudmouth named Kurt Gibson.

It came down to 3 things:

A healthy Brodie is good enough to be on the team, and he can make the type of exciting highlight material plays we want. Besides, who doesn’t want to see Brodie try and out-throw me?

Brodie can help us reach outside of the ultimate community and help us become way better at social media. I want to believe that he wants to help the sport grow, not just his own brand.

I shouldn’t hate someone who creates, I should help him create new things. He is an artist, and he has matured significantly since college, both on and off the field.

We all should have pride in ourselves, it gives us strength. However too much pride can stop us from growing. So without further ado, I would like you all to witness me swallowing my pride and welcoming Brodie Smith to the 2016 Roughnecks (congratulations Jimmy Mickle on no longer being the fattest player on the team). I look forward to trying to get to know Brodie as a teammate and, who knows, maybe as a friend.

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  • Frisbee Lover

    Wait… Brodie hasn’t signed with Roughnecks? Tweet made it seem so (though didn’t see a social media explosion of it being announced). Would be cool to see Brodie competing with the Roughnecks this year. Lots of great players (and egos) already, would be interesting to see how they mesh. What ultimate player wouldn’t be envious (or resentful for some) of Brodie’s success. Regardless of throwing discs into trashcans, Brodie has done a great job inspiring the future generation of players to get into the sport and hopefully not just trickshotters (the number of young kids with terrible frisbee trick shot accounts is astounding and disgusting). Brodie said his goals are to get healthy and win a AUDL champtionship. Hopefully together with Beau, Mickle, Freechild, Gibson, Rasmussen and the other great players, Brodie can join them and accomplish this. Props to Beau for trying to grow the sport. We need star players to become leaders and social media icons to accomplish this (which it seems Beau is now trying to do with his social media accounts). Good read.

  • Jacob

    Well it will be interesting how far this team of plucky young upstarts can go.

  • Tim Anderson

    I think we can call that a backhand-ed compliment?

  • eighth man

    I was at regionals in Alabama a few years ago, and after games my teammates were explaining ultimate to a cook at a local bbq place. After 5-10 minutes of engaging in conversation of a sport he knows nothing about the cook ends the conversation with “so, y’all know dat der Brodie Smith?”

    His reach is vast.

    • Alex

      A small island boy in Guam asked me about him once – his reach is vast. I tried not to bash him to this little kid since I played against said Florida team in college. I also played against Beau’s team and his cameras that were following him everywhere for a documentary. Interesting article.

  • Dave Snoke

    I can relate. I have an unreasonable dislike for one of the best players to ever play the game based on a single incident. I’m sure pride is a big part of it.

  • Nate Simpson

    you’re associating “trick shots” with your sport. I have never seen brodie play ultimate, I had never heard of him until I saw his repetitive videos of shooting hoops with discs and after said videos I just thought he was a frat boy that threw a giant disc into things. ultimate isnt brodie and brodie isnt ultimate, please calm down.

    • Eh Eh Ron

      Cool story, Nate!

      I think you’re confusing the message being sent here. I believe that the author is aware that Brodie “isn’t ultimate”, though, he can correct me if I’m wrong. It’s kind of similar to how people used to equate “ultimate” with “dogs playing in the park”; however, I suppose it is a slight step forward. It’s frustrating to listen to youth (and there are a LOT of youth in this sport) relate their knowledge of frisbee to brodiesmith21 videos, and view him as a role model. Brodie has had a history of being a very terrible person to play against, not necessarily because of his ability with the disc, but because he can be a cheating, whiny equivalent of a certain gendered canine. At clinics when someone says “Oh man! You know Brodie Smith?! He’s soooooo good!”, and you sit there weighing your options of biting your tongue, or being honest. In these situations it is difficult to praise someone who has ruined something precious to you, but has inspired so many to dip their toes into the water of ultimate.

      Either way, I’m happy that after you viewed his videos, you left without the knowledge of Brodies past ultimate career. Unfortunately, you aren’t the majority, in fact, judging by your picture, you aren’t even in the demographic of people which Beau was referring to.

      I also now have the privilege of telling some other random dood on the internet that he should take his own advice and “please calm down”, despite knowing that both you and I are complete hypocrites for writing something in the first place.

      • Cris Shaikh

        To be fair, when healthy he’s also a Fantastic player. He’s not just trick shots; his on-field highlights before all the media exposure are as impressive as almost anyone in the game.
        Everyone knows about the Florida stuff, but he was a force on DW for a while.
        That first season in the AUDL he was pretty much unstoppable until he got hurt.

    • John

      Interesting. My first experience with him was playing UF at regionals and hating every minute of it because they were such terrible dicks. Definitely agree on the “not ultimate” front. Thank God we have observers now.

      • ResistanceIsOhm

        I played with the Dallas men’s team Grit (now known as Plex) against them at regionals in Atlanta and we had observers. Brodie drew a TMF due to a dangerous play where he injured one our players with a snake in the grass (Danimal, now also a Roughneck). Having observers did not help.

  • Patrick van der Valk

    Really great post! One question: did you delete that paragraph that talked about how awesome it would be for the global Ultimate community if the pro-leagues removed refs?

  • Amanda Karakoudas

    Free range platypus butter is all I got from this

  • David Barkan

    The guys we practice and play with know best – maybe one of his his former teammates will offer information to allay your fears?

  • David Barkan

    The guys we play and practice with know best. Maybe a former teammate of his will share information that will allay your fears?

    • Troy


  • ultimateoldie

    Well said and your stock just went up in my eyes. I am so excited about the partnership and the team you guys are building in Dallas … I frequently use video clips of Beau AND Brodie to get young kids excited about the sport I LOVE so much…. looking forward to a bright future for the Roughnecks and Ultimate.

  • ResistanceIsOhm

    I’m surprised Danimal agreed to be on his team. Back a few years at a club Regionals, we were playing against the Florida club team, and Brodie snake-in-the-grassed him, collided with him in the air with a recklass play, and gave Danimal the knee problems he still has. Did Big Jim ask Dan about this decision?

    p.s. Please move somewhere cool in Dallas, like lakewood or the bishop arts. Just not uptown. Uptown is the worst.

  • Luchito Ulloa

    I live and play in Argentina, started back in Colombia on the 2007. If i have learned something in both countries is that everyone wants the best as his own way. Lots of confrontations, different thinking but as you said always in pro of the beautiful sport, and sometimes those kind of people we don’t like too much starts making part of our life and suddenly everything is different and you see you can learn a lot from them, and you start like in it and building something instead of destroy each other. Here in the southern cone, most likely in Argentina, we experience an egos battle everyday and at that point is when you have to think, should we keep pulling to our side? or should we combine experiences and knowledge to generate amazing things in pro of the sport.
    Big Red #88

  • SC

    Sometimes life is all “I get to travel to sweet places with my two best friends and work out all the time” or “blue-steeling in a Team USA polo two sizes too small” or “sad that the professional team that I get the privilege of getting paid to play for with some amazing teammates is adding an annoying frat-bro who was a pretty big dick in college to its roster.” And sometimes life is much more along the lines of “drinking vodka and orange juice in your pajamas at 3pm on a random Tuesday afternoon” or “pretending that you can’t see through your shitty blinds that aren’t dark enough to prevent you from seeing your neighbor playing video games for 3 hours while you clean your room and rearrange all the furniture you found on the side of the road that is now yours.”

    Work has been pretty crazy lately…in that nothing about what I’ve been doing for the past year has changed at all. My official job title is “part time snackologist.” Yes. I went to a real university and got a degree and studied and worked and paid actual physical dollars in tuition to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a snackologist, part time. Although I guess not all is lost, since I have learned some things this past year and a half.

    Things I’ve learned:
    1. How to make the perfect avocado pyramid (4×8 on the bottom layer allows for a stable base and even allows you to add more along the sides depending on the tray)
    2. Pretending to care about the Bruins (Man, hockey! Amiright?)
    3. Knowing how many individual boxes of Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Peanut Bars can fit comfortably in 9 inch container (2.5, 3 if you dont mind the 4th row not going all the way to the back)
    4. How many packaged Milanos I can comfortably hold in one hand (4, 5 if i get the edge of the packaging juuust right with a finger)

    Maybe if I try particularly hard this next year I’ll perfect my ability to know how many jumbo bags of peanut m&ms can fit into one rosetto dispenser (my guy is saying 4, but it could be 5. Further research necessary).

    This weekend, while at a bar with a group of friends, some random girl decided we should be friends after we had only half shouted about four questions back and forth over some bumpin’ Flo Rida. Welcome to your house, indeed! Her awkward introduction of “Hey, I know we just met, and this might be weird, but we should be friends, I think” really won me over and warmed my heart more than I anticipated. It felt a little bit like Carly Rae Jepson was hitting on me, but hey, I might call her even though it is a little crazy. I gave her my number, which perhaps I should be slightly less cavalier about giving out, but when has that stopped me? She has just invited me to play trivia with her and her friends this upcoming week, so wish me luck. Maybe I’ll find a singular group of friends in my life who I didnt grow up with or meet playing frisbee. Instead I’ll have the honor of saying that we met at a sleazy nightclub dancing and yes, she has already felt my biceps to see if I’m strong–which now that I spell it out comes across as way weirder than it felt in the moment. I’m not super sure I’ll recognize her outside of the sweaty dancefloor, but a girl can dream.

    This past Tuesday a pipe burst next my kitchen at work, flooded an entire half of the floor, putting 90% of my kitchen underwater and about half of the individual offices on our floor under some amount of water. We had to bring up approximately 15 heavy duty fans, which we set up in a way that made it impossible to walk down any hallway without feeling like you have just entered an airplane hangar in which all the planes are gearing up to take off. The worst part, though, is not the noise, or the fact that the wind tunnel scatters the napkins that I’ve just neatly stacked all over the entire kitchen….its the fact that so many clients keep coming into the kitchen and asking me “Did something happen?” Did something happen? You ask. Oh, no, nothing at all happened here. I decided that my day was just too easy so I wanted to spice it up with 15 fans that I dragged from all over the building so I could have them constantly blow cold air into my face in the middle of February because the noise that they make is better than the 30 conversations I have about “the weather this time of year.” So just fuck off and let me stack the apples into their bamboo container and accidentally drop and explode an entire pint of half and half all over my pants in peace.

  • Eli

    He is a certain type of artist and he does bring people to ultimate. My question is, what will the ultimate community become?
    Lots of us started playing ultimate as outsiders and found a home. How can ultimate grow but still be a safe new space for the young “weird” kids?
    Spirit of the game and self refereeing ensured a lot of that safety. When people who make shitty calls and take advantage of sotg are accepted, can the sport stay safe? Tragedy of the commons here we come!

  • Feeling a Master Since My 20s

    I play in $small_european_club, no resources to develop and only 25yo+ beginners. We recently got a few 16yo because they “wanted to play the sport Brodie is talking about”. Thank you Brodie because It Works™!

  • John Gregory

    (Beau)tifully well put!

  • Theresa Diffendal

    Am I the only one who actually found this whole thing really rude? He calls Brodie fat, says his style of ultimate is ultimately self-serving and just to grow his ‘brand,’ and compares him to a drug dealer. Beau, you’re great and all but get off your super tall horse. Brodie brings a lot of people to this sport because he brings a level of fun that people crave. Frisbee, at its roots, is all about a bunch of wacky fun people getting together and having a great time. Plus, ultimate isn’t the only disc-sport out there. Sorry you’re bitter about not being the most recognized player, but I do think you need to swallow your pride and accept that Brodie does a hell of a lot for this sport and is a great individual, the latter of which I’m not getting from you right now.

    Also, don’t know why, but the part about a ‘beautiful woman’ really just rubbed me the wrong way.

  • smacdaddy

    I’ll never be able to get back the 5 minutes i wasted reading this ego maniacal drivel.

  • smacdaddy

    I can never get back the 3 minutes i wasted reading this ego maniacal drivel.