Recently I had the fortune of attending a wedding between two ultimate players. The bride and groom came from different schools, which lead to an eclectic array of personality. What was most interesting about the night, besides the overt display of homo-eroticism, was how the two different schools most represented each had their own “moment” during the night. All the men from the groom’s side converged on the dance floor as soon the Venga Boy’s “We Like to Party” blasted through the speakers. Having been a part of this silly tradition, I wasn’t surprised. But then the same happened for the women on the bride’s side as Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” came on. All the girls flocked to the floor, and had their own dance. The display of tradition made me realize two things; that “We Like to Party” is terrible song, and that every ultimate team is the same, in that they all have their own peculiarities
Coming from college, I always just assumed that the group I played with was weird, and that’s why we did things like take our shirts off for competitive drinking, walk in to parties in conga lines, and try to blow up apples on our foreheads. But then I realized that my club team has its own odd qualities. After the end of every game, no matter if we win or lose, we converge in what is called the “bro line.” Where we, like baseball, fist bump everyone on our team and say “bro” to each other. It doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just something we do, and will continue to do.
My schools program was relatively young when I joined, so we learned traditions from some other schools. One of our teammates learned about the game “detonator” from some Wisconsin players. If you don’t know this game, you shake a beer can, and then try to blow it up on your head. Needless to say, we embraced it and still love playing it, even if we’re sober.. This shows that even if another tradition is adopted, it doesn’t mean it’s not our own. Though we learned it from another program, we’ve adopted it into our canon of idiocy.
Some of the things that we do are just downright embarrassing. I’ve told some of my non-Frisbee friends about how we’ll walk into a party without our shirts on and scream at the top of the lungs. They look at me like I am a buffoon, which is apt, because we are buffoons. But I wouldn’t act any differently, buying into the tradition is what makes it that much more fun.
So what does buying into the tradition mean? Is it just weird people acting strangely? The eccentricities that each team showcases are actually an important part of the sport. I realized that in order for a team to be good, it needs to be cohesive and form its own identity. What better way to form an identity, than by creating something that is uniquely yours. I could tell other teams about our “bro-line” but it wouldn’t be the same, it will forever be something my club team did, and no one else.
Actually, I tried the “bro line” at work, turns out it’s NOT something you’re supposed to after a conference call…
Congratulations again to Dan and Emily.