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Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Commentary, Featured | 2 comments

120 by 40

120 by 40

I enjoyed reading Elliott Trotter’s thoughts in his ‘ultimate interview’ last week. In particular, I found him expressing a point I have been feeling since the pro leagues came onto the scene two years ago.

When discussing the changing scene of ultimate, Elliott said:

I’d like to see the powers that be in ultimate be a little more willing to risk keeping some of the uniqueness and formats intact rather than concern themselves with the views of minority report fans [def: fans that haven’t happened yet, but may one day. So sayeth the precogs…] Personally, I’ve never much cared about attracting the fans that didn’t already “get” ultimate. NASCAR fans are NASCAR fans for a reason (nothing against NASCAR, I really love the Speed Racer film).

I’ve had a similar feelings. I worry our sport (or some of its pioneers and leaders) is so desperate to draw eyeballs and make it on to Sportscenter that we risk losing some of the parts of our sport that make it most appealing. More so, I worry we will lose aspects that make the sport more then a ‘one hit wonder’. I have been thinking about an analogy to mixed martial arts. I would argue that MMA has succeeded not solely because of the knockout highlight, but because of the chess matches of jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Ultimate needs more then hucks and layout d’s long term, it needs strategy. Obviously, professional leagues will make many tweaks in attempts to get sponsors, eyeballs, and available field space. Highlight clips are definitely helping to break down perceived assumptions about our sport and garner attention. I just hope we don’t end up creating an MMA knockout dvd, because the marketplace for that has a short lifespan and is easily replaced by the next pop act.