I played in a major ultimate disc charity event last weekend. It was killer cool.
The premise: Andy, a well liked kid, volunteer, and avid ultimate player died in a tragic hit and run incident approximately 9 years ago. After his death his mom needed to do something that would both keep Andy’s memory alive and help her deal with the intense emotions of loss she was suffering. So she created an event dubbed “Andy24.”
Andy 24 is a 24 hour game of ultimate starting Friday night at 7 pm and ending 7 pm Saturday night. You sign up for a 2-6 hour time slot and are assigned a team, either “dark” or “light.” Or as many of the players like to think good guys v bad guy or heroes and villains. I was a villain.
We showed up at 10 pm and it was absolutely magical. There where over 50 people there, so many in fact that from 11 pm-3 am there where two games going so people wouldn’t get bored.
A subculture was born in just one evening. Within an our of showing up there was Andy24 specific lingo, and everyone was powered by energy gracing meatballs of glory (Andy’s mom, who still runs the event, had cooked enough meatballs for everyone to eat free for all 24 hours).
We dinned on free fruit and devoured pickles to keep our muscles well salted. Discs flew in every corner of the massive Ohio state fields and everyone played as if there where no tomorrow. The games where good and by 4 am my caves where going to explode. Even at 5 am, there where lines of people waiting to get on for the next point. There was verve.
At midnight a native American man, a friend of Andy’s mother, came and we put the game on hold as he said some extremely wonderful words about how this game had grown beyond Andy’s scope. That we all played because we where full of life, and though most of us had never met Andy, we played with the life and verve he epitomized. He then blessed the fields and all of us, praying that none of us would get hurt.
Eric, Sam, Liz and I had planned to play until 3am, and then leave. But around leaving time a 60-70 year old man showed up and asked “has the game play slipped?” Confused, I discussed that the fields where a bit wet, but the disc wasn’t too slippery. “No, i mean, are you guys tired yet?” he went on to explain that he shows up late, when all the young invincible kids are getting exhausted so he has a chance to play competitively – because he isn’t as young as he used to be. He also noted that he likes to play as the sun comes up. We where inspired. And much to the chagrin of our female group mates, Eric and I decided that though we where cold, wet (they forgot to turn of the sprinkler system) and had already been playing for five hours, we needed to play until sunrise. The girls ran off the the hut to get warm, and Eric and I played until hour eight (6 am)
Chugging a volt Eric drove us to our place to stay as I passed out in the passenger seat of my own car. We showed up at 730am at the house of a kid named Joe. After saying hello to him for the second time ever, and meeting his parents in an exhausted stupor, I passed out on his couch. Seven hours later I had breakfast and we played bored games.
They began to watch a terribly unoriginal “slice of life” movie about a duggy mother and her road to redemption. I quickly snuck out of the house a skipped rocks in the nearby creek. Note: Napoleon used to skip rocks on the Island of Elba as he planned the revolution that would be come known as the 100 days. I too planned a French revolution, but settled for a 15 skip, creek clearing throw, and was satisfied. After climbing a tiny but formidable tree I want back to eat some frozen custard.
They day came to an end and we took our two hour drive home in stride with a feeling of fulfillment.