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.)

Monday, July 15, 2013

T-shirt #116: KUDL: Orange Team 2008

Pictured here Left to Right: Back Row: Derrick Rosenberg, Me, Cody Leonard, Pat Dingle, Ryan Walters, Nick Palfey.
Front: Chris "High School or Schoolie" Hayen, some guy we picked up for the tournament,
Diane Nguyen, Jamie Prouse, Kater Tots Lankford.
NOT PICTURED: Jen Blacker, Bill Brieger, Marc Korn, Jason Mirjah, Jessi Prouse, Darrough West, and Keith Wikle.

T-shirt #116: KUDL: Orange Team 2008

Welcome to the entry for T-shirt #116 and KUDL (Kalamazoo Ultimate Disc League) Monday.

I am a little late getting the blog up the last two days (not as late today actually) because things are a bit "kerflooey" here at good old Blog Central, located in Uncle Beaver's office in the palatial Eldorado Ranch and Hoosegow.

This shirt color looks orange but is officially tilted "Mandarin."

Today, I am featuring the shirt from our 2008 KUDL team, which, if memory serves, was named Orange-Handled Scissors. Design on the shirt by teammate Mr. Ryan Walters or better known to all of you haters as Touchdown Jesus.

I have listed the individual players as seen in the photo in the caption along with the players who could not attend the tournament and thus are not pictured. The dude in the center is unknown to me. We picked him up the day of the tournament. Also, note the cool haircut. Previous photos of my ultimate days (such as in T-shirt #88 from 2007 or better seen in T-shirt #106), I had the long hair up until the summer of 2008, when, upon losing my job in the Gender and Women's Studies department at WMU, I cut my hair. Luckily, just in time, as my wife likes the shorter hair better, and I met her not long after this picture was taken (if not not long, one means four and a half months).

This good looking and quite sexy crew of Ultimate players you see in the photo actually played in the finals that year after winning all the games up to the finals.

We won our place in the finals after a decisive and hotly contested game against the Canary team. Our teams were arguing calls back and forth throughout the game. It came down to a time cap and what is called a "universe point" in Ultimate. For Ultimate players, I need not explain the universe point concept. For others, it simply means the game is tied and whichever team wins the point, then, wins the game.

Both our team and the Canary team (whose name had something to do with urine, unfortunately) were very determined to win the point due to all the arguments and contesting of calls throughout the game. We had the disc or got the disc on D. I do not remember. Cody Leonard broke long, and Schoolie hucked it to him. The disc sailed toward the back corner of the end zone. Cody knew that there would be some question as to whether he caught it "in-bounds" or not. Since our teams had almost come to having a fist fight over calls (no kidding; it was this serious), Cody caught the disc, checked his feet, called himself "in," tapped the disc to the ground, and ran off the field.

As you can imagine, the Canary team erupted with protests, and I do not blame them. But Cody knew his status as "in-bounds" would be hotly contested. In the rules of Ultimate, he makes the call as to whether he is in or out. He called himself in, and before the arguments could begin, he ran off the field. 

Game over.

Cody's heart was in the right place, surely. He wanted to avoid conflict. But, unfortunately, what he did just made matters worse. Canary insisted that the point be re-played and that the game was not over. Canary wanted to determine if Cody was in or out with their own examinations but that was no longer possible. Given that fist fights almost happened already, the ensuing argument came very, very close to a fist fight situation. One of my players had to tell a Canary player to stop back, to "not do this," as blows were about to be thrown. 

Thankfully, the argument ended, but the Canary players were not happy, and they shared their unhappiness with the rest of KUDL. As our team tried to play in the Finals against the Black team led by Kent Elliot, we were booed and jeered and heckled mercilessly. The entire league joined in, which is part of the fun in watching the finals, and now they had an evil villain to root against. Every time one of our players made a catch or a good throw, and certainly a score, we were booed. As it was, the Canary game had wiped us out, and we had very little left in the tank. We lost, and the Black team won the game and the summer season. Kent Elliot--one of the original KUDL founders, though not one of the car poolers--won his championship to go with then winners Matt Frayer/Natalie Dale (year one-2006), and Ed Kenny (year two-2007) as original captains who won championships in our league. My turn to win would not come for another two years when my team won in 2010 as featured in T-shirt #74.

Tonight is costume night, an annual tradition at KUDL. The photo above is from last year's costume night when I was the Canary-colored team (turnabout is fairplay indeed), though you can only barely see my T-shirt under the yellow night gown. We're zombies, if that is not obvious from the look of line leader Josh Danks.

My post for T-shirt #106 also features a picture from a past KUDL costume night, and a hint for those reading about what I am going to wear THIS YEAR for costume night. I know you all have been following closely to catch my clues. :-)

Obviously, expect pictures of this year's costume night here and all over Facebook very soon.

Everything written here today, though especially costume night, are just a few of the reasons I love Ultimate and KUDL.

Cheers Orange Handled Scissors!! You were a super fun team.

If you are reading, and you are not KUDLer, do you play Ultimate?

Why not? Can't you see how fun it is? Does your sport have costume night?

- chris tower - 1307.15 - 16:01