EMERGENCY BREAKSIDE 5/28
Did Big Water cost Brown as shot at the national title?
The score is 12-12. The two best men’s programs of the past half-decade are fighting it out a little bit earlier in the bracket than we’re used to seeing, but the game is still delivering. There have been just three breaks, and UNC has just pulled ahead with a break at 11-10 before Brown steadied the ship again with holds on their last two offensive points. So it’s a game to three for a spot in the semi-finals. But then, tragedy.
Here we can see Brown’s two most important players, #7 Leo Gordon and #24 Jacques Nissen, running towards the hill behind the field. These two are incredibly talented players who have won at every level they have competed at. They hold multiple youth, college, club, and international titles between the two of them. What could possibly be so important for them to leave their team when they need a break the most?
Fortunately, yours truly was locked in this morning as much as any of these players competing at the highest level this morning were. I have done the research, and I have your answer. Here’s the most critical moment of the point.
Yes we can see a UNC huck go up to a reciever with steps going deep, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Can we change where those cirlces are?
Thank you very much. Now what is that I see back there? It looks like two Brown players exiting the bathroom? It couldn’t be…could it?
The Stunning Conclusion
Now that could be anyone coming out of the bathroom, how can we know if it really was them…oh no.
Here we see the heroes and protagonists of our story returning to the field, just seconds too late to impact the play but just in time to witness a UNC celebration and newly acquired 13-12 lead, with Brown now forced to finish the game 3-1 to secure a spot in the semifinals. But, alas, it would be a task too tall for Brown to handle, as they’d ultimately fall on double game point to UNC 15-14.
Picking Up the Pieces
Other, more “serious” analysis of the game might point to Brown’s turnover at 10-10 or inability to convert a break opportunity at 13-13 as the reasons they couldn’t pull off the upset. Some may even go so far as to say that there’s no shame in pushing the tournament favorites to the absolute brink and that these games sometimes don’t go your way.
But I’m here to ask the tough questions of Brown’s hydration and nutrition teams. What are you making them eat and drink that forces them to need the restroom at such a critical juncture?? Given these stunning revelations, I think, as a community, we should cut back on our water intake and how much we advocate our best players to drink. This would never have happened if Gordon and Nissen were rocking massive dehydration headaches this morning. I bet they could have played all 29 points of the game. But alas, our commitment to hydration has been Brown’s undoing. One can only hope that they will learn from this missed opportunity and prevent anyone on their team from drinking water ever again. #saynotowater
About The Breakside
The goal of this newsletter is to tackle what I see as a gap in the present coverage of Ultimate as a sport. I hope that this newsletter will provide an outlet for important, yet overlooked people and stories to receive the coverage and perspectives they deserve.
About the Author
My name is Noam Gumerman (he/him), and I am a senior at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. I am from Chapel Hill, NC, and am currently studying Journalism and American Studies at Brandeis University. I am one of the current captains of Brandeis TRON, our open division team. My claim to fame within the Ultimate community is running the @being_ulti account during the week of the 2022 WUCC tournament. Contact me for discussions, feedback, story suggestions and more on Twitter at @noamgum, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.