365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

T-shirt #58: Grey Area

Grey Area - 2005
T-shirt #58: Grey Area - It's an age-related joke

Time for another Ultimate shirt.

This time it's Master's Ultimate.

Master's Ultimate is for players 33 years old and up.

I helped form this team, which we called Grey Area,

I pushed to form this team after attending a Regionals Tournament in Columbus in 2001. UPDATE 1306.15: I verified my records, and I am now fairly certain that the Regionals I write of here was in 2001.

My friend the "The Brewmaster" and I (Greg Kormelink, the guy holding the beer on the left in the above photo) car pooled down to Columbus along with a few east siders to pick up with some guys from Minnesota who were short on players but wanted to play in the Master's division, which was only fielding five teams at Regionals with two teams advancing to Nationals. I had never played beyond Regionals before, and since I was still trying to run around like an idiot at the, then, age of forty, I figured I only had a few years to go to Nationals before I might have to give up the sport due to old age (BTW, still playing, if you can call it that).

Our rag tag almost took second place. We started with 13 players and ended the tournament with NINE. Somehow, we played seven or eight games in two days. I have rarely been so tired, but it was a good tired. Our final battle for second place and a bid to Nationals went into "overtime." We lost a close game 17-15 and took third place with a bunch of guys who had never played together before and two subs.

So, needless to say, we were encouraged that with a real team of experienced players and some actual practice, we should have no trouble going to Nationals the next year. Returning to Michigan, I worked together with a few friends to form a team we ended up calling Grey Area, for the double meaning of grey hair and the middle ground of complexities between the polar opposites of black and white thinking. We practiced. We went to Regionals, and so did a bunch of other old men. Our competition was suddenly much more fierce. Chicago's Chronic and some Ohio-Kentucky conglomeration each had about 40 players. We played well, but we did not advance to Nationals.

I played with Grey Area for a few years in the middle 2000s as we tried again and again to advance to Nationals, always falling a little short. There are many potential causes. For my part, I ran out of both money and means. I could not afford (more in time than money) to journey to a tournament for a whole weekend and play only a half dozen points. Meanwhile, more players were joining ranks in Kalamazoo because of our KALAMAZOO ULTIMATE DISC LEAGUE (see T-shirt #56), and, ultimately, we formed a Kalamazoo Master's Team (Senior Discount) to square off against the east side Master's team (whose name I forget but has something do with the Motor City). Grey Area disbanded.

I have fond memories of my years playing with Grey Area. I have many good friends from those years and that team. We had a great group of guys.

ABOUT THE SHIRT: This is one of my first ever moisture-wicking shirts. I love our logo. I chose the number three to acknowledge two of my favorite sports players Alan Trammel (who wore number three for the Detroit Tigers) and Ben Wallace (who wore #3 for the Detroit Pistons).

- chris tower - 1305.18 - 12:13