Photo credit: SeattleSockeye.org
When you talk about Seattle Sports, teams like the Seahawks, Mariners and Huskies come up, and rightfully so. They are established, participate in popular American sports and are big money makers. But there’s one Seattle team out there that doesn’t get enough credit for being exciting, being masters of their craft and giving fans an all-around great time.
I’m talking about the Seattle Sockeye, Seattle’s most popular professional Ultimate Frisbee team.
I recently had a chance to attend a Sockeye game at Starfire Sports Complex against the San Francisco Revolver, another top-level Ultimate Frisbee team. Granted I knew how Ultimate Frisbee worked and enjoy playing it, but didn’t know how it would translate to a professional sporting event. It seemed like a sport only destined for family reunions and local city parks.
Turns out it translates seamlessly. Here are a couple observations I made about the event.
- The fans are into it. Roughly 600 people showed up to the game and were very enthusiastic. It was akin to a high school football game with little kids holding up signs and dads grunting every time the Sockeye committed a turnover. A lot of people were there for the social aspect but a good chunk of them paid attention to the game. All of that makes for a very fun atmosphere.
- The players are some of the best in the world. The Sockeye play in the top Ultimate Frisbee tournaments around the country and have consistently gone to the National Tournament. All the players can do every thing imaginable with a frisbee and work together as a well-oiled machine, making perfectly timed runs and knowing where teammates will be even before they make their breaks. It’s fun to watch someone do something better than anyone else in the world.
- There’s highlights every single play. At least for this game against the Revolver, the Sockeye would work their way up to midfield using short, efficient passes and then chuck the frisbee to the end zone once an attacking teammate saw an inch of daylight. All of those long throws led to amazing catches and dives literally every play, leading to continued interest from the fans with myself included.
- The game is fast paced. The nature of Ultimate Frisbee usually calls on the faster, more decisive team to win, so the game is usually fast paced. Add in the fact that all these guys are crazy conditioned and you get two roughly 40 minute halves of nonstop running and jumping.
- The players play because they love it. “I think it’s a sport untainted by money, by politics, by anything. It’s just a great, highlight filled display of athleticism.” Those are the words of Sockeye player Tyler Kinley after the game, which the Sockeye actually lost 13-15. These players obviously don’t get paid as well as professional baseball of football players might, so they truly do play because they love it.
All this isn’t to say professional Ultimate Frisbee doesn’t have its faults. It certainly does, and will never become as big or popular as the NFL, MLB, or NBA. But watching Ultimate Frisbee and really anything at the highest level is something we can all appreciate.
If you have a free night before the summer ends and want some entertainment I highly recommend going to a Sockeye game. They have a big game vs. a traveling college all-star team called “NextGen” on August 22 that should be highly entertaining and one of the best games of the year. Get more information about the game and the team through their facebook page and twitter account.
- Nathan Parsons (@nathanparsons98)