Johnny Bravo wins the 2012 US Open (Open Division)
Posted: July 13, 2012 08:58 AM
There’s never very much time to stop and think once a tournament is over. Teammates dart off every which way in a scramble to make early afternoon flights, catch up with friends they won’t be seeing until the next tournament, or find a real meal after a weekend full of trail mix and bananas.
The end of the US Open was a little bit different for Truck Stop. Sure, there were guys that needed to make it to the airport sooner rather than later, but for the most part there wasn’t a huge rush. After a disappointing 15-6 semifinal loss to Johnny Bravo, the eventual champs, most of our squad got to do something rare: chill out together.
Truck Stop’s players are spread out around the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas, meaning that some of us live over two hours apart. Weekend practices are the only times some of us see each other, and those are often all business. The US Open gave us the much-needed opportunity to build identity. Players were able to try out new roles, captains were able to evaluate, and as Scandal and Riot took the field on the Women’s final, each Trucker met with the leadership to discuss.
The weekend had its highs and lows, but the quality time both on and off the field put us in a good position moving forward. Overall, the US Open provided a nice launching pad for our season.
As Truck’s team meetings continued, the Open final got underway.
PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Leclaire, Ultiphotos.com
Johnny Bravo and Chain Lightning provided just the right balance of similarities and differences. While the word "horsepower" comes to mind when describing both, they use their pieces differently. Bravo moves the disc at breakneck pace, their handlers cutting tirelessly while their cutters leave the middle of the field open and move once the disc gets into power position. All of this leads to hucks thrown flat and out in front of their receiver. Chain, on the other hand, stacks vertically, looks to break the mark early, and allows its cutters to move in an infinite loop of deep looks. The result is often big, soaring throws across the field that depend more on the receiver than the thrower.
To put that last paragraph more succinctly, both teams were looking to jack it.
Bravo was the more polished team, turning the disc over less on offense and often scoring in fewer throws, but Chain’s hucking strategy brought with it a strong offensive defense that kept them in the game. While Bravo took half 8-6, Chain tied it at 10s after a Frank Wooten layout block and a goal by his brother, Joel. Other noteworthy play included Chain’s Jay Clark, who caught four or five deep goals, a long layout score from Chain captain Mark Poole, and numerous break throws through fouls by Bravo’s Josh Ackley.
At 11-10, Bravo stepped it up. Hylke Sneider made an impressive grab amidst a three-way collision as Nick Lance layed out behind him and a poaching Jay Clark flew in from the side. A few throws later, Bravo’s Jimmy Mickle and Chain’s Nicky Spiva went at it in the air. While it looked as though Spiva made the better read and caught the disc first, both came down with a hand wrapped around plastic. The observer awarded the disc to Mickle and Bravo scored to break again. While Chain got as close at 13-12, Bravo held and broke to win, 15-12.
Johnny Bravo looked good all weekend. They moved the disc, spaced the field, and were physical on defense. The US Open win, especially in such commanding fashion (8-0 on the weekend, with the final being their smallest margin of victory) is a great start to what should be a strong season from them. Chain Lightning should also be happy with their result. The Altanta team was down to only fourteen healthy players for the final and was still in the game until the last few points. Add in their missing roster members and Chain is well on their way to championship contention.
Absent players aside, the US Open gave a nice look at where Bravo, Chain, Ring of Fire, and Truck Stop stand heading into the rest of the season. It’s tougher to say anything about Doublewide and GOAT, but lots of minutes for so few players has to be a good thing for the guys that made it to Colorado Springs.
Until the next tournament, it’s back to the grind for Truck Stop. The US Open let us know that we’ve got a lot of practicing to do.
1 - Johnny Bravo
2 - Chain Lightning
3T - Truck Stop
3T - Ring of Fire
5 - Doublewide
6 - GOAT
7 - Kie
8 - Inception
Team Spirit Standings:
4.89 - Chain Lightning
4.86 - Kie
4.86 - Inception
4.75 - Truck Stop
4.67 - Johnny Bravo
4.63 - Ring of Fire
4.43 - Doublewide
4.14 - GOAT
Sunday Photo Gallery by Ultiphotos.com
Images by Ultimate Photos