|Meanwhile, back in the Manor...
Back channel communications are flying. Two of these, only recently made public, are excerpted below:
"Shouldn't we have a practice day. You know, piped in crowd noise so we get used to the actual event. (It can be so loud at Memorial Field)., perhaps some cheerleaders, so we get all the big distractions out of the way, maybe some press (there are plenty of famous writers in Pelham.) so we get used to the interview frenzy. So many teams get to the big game and just aren't ready for it.
PS I'm not available for practice."
and, from the Manor's leading loudmouth:
"RESTRICTED HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL EYES ONLY FOR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PM CORE GROUP EXCULSIVELY!
I haven't just been stirring up animosity, I've also been recruiting. The big news is that Scott Lieberman is likely to make a long-awaited return from obscurity to play for the manor team this Sunday. In all that soft powdery snow, we anticipate some spectacular laying-out on his part as those rustics from the "village" look on in amazement. According to the rules, people from south of Colonial, which would include Einstein, generally join the good guys, as do relatives of people otherwise on the Manor team. You can help the effort in two ways. The obvious one is to recruit eligible and talented players for our side. As far as this goes, I think we should restrict ourselves to people who have previously played in our game lest things become completely farcical. The more subtle, and nefarious, form of "recruiting" is to exhort incompetents to turn out on behalf of the oppoisition. Without naming names, were you to see any of the likely candidates at, say, the train station, it would be remiss not to stress how much fun can be expected on Sunday. A modest financial emolument, if dictated by circumstances, might be warranted.
We didn't start this, we're just going to finish it.
Not that I'm competitive or anything... "
5. The big day dawns
In view of the excitement which precceded it, the first Ultimate Bowl must be frankly described as an artistic disaster. Adhering to a highly disciplined game plan which was about as much fun as root-canal, the villagers "triumphed" over beauty, joy, creativity and, only incidentally, the Manor. An account of the fiasco is set forth below. It was published in a bowdlerized form in the Pelham Weekly dated February 13, 2004:
"Sunday February 1, just hours before the kickoff of the Super Bowl, a crowd estimated at five people witnessed another titanic battle for athletic supremacy: the Ultimate Bowl - an Ultimate Frisbee faceoff between the villages of Pelham and Pelham Manor.
The brainchild of Pelham resident Bill Love, UB I was contested in cold and windy conditions on 8 inches of snow. Featured on the Pelham team were Love, Josh Kapp, Hugh Osborn, Ben Weiser, Tom Darbyshire, TK Chang, James Kleiner, Jeremy Driesen, Tom and Luke Phillips, Roger Evans and AJ Jawanda. In a crushing blow, the Manor team was without the leadership of its Captain and leading light, Gregg Hano. In his absence, John Kiernan, Andy Johnson, Albert Hsu, Steve Hall, Matt Jones, Dean Robinson, Scott Lieberman, Guian Heintzen (seconded to the Manor in the interests of team balance), Clarissa Cylich, Cooper Milledge and Peter Collery carried on as best they could.
Following a stirring pre-game ceremony which included a precision fly-over by several Canadian Geese, the game itself was, in a word, anticlimactic. Eschewing beauty and joy, the Village opted for a highly disciplined strategy which was reminiscent of hockey’s “neutral zone trap”, except not as creative. Eventually, like a willow tree before a bulldozer, the Manor succumbed 11-8. Halftime, incidentally, was uneventful.
Post-game festivities included the sipping of champagne from a Frisbee by the victors and a presentation of the Ultimate Bowl trophy. The trophy, which was subsequently inscribed with the score of the match, will be on display for the next few weeks at the local café Steam, where its presence will be welcomed by only those Manor residents who like their coffee bitter."