“I’m an Ultimate fan,” says Graham Poor. He proves it each time he and his son, Theo, make the trip up to San Francisco from Mountain View to watch the Dogfish play.
They didn’t start as season ticket holders, but they’ve made it to every home game. And for the past two games, Graham and Theo have brought friends along to introduce them to the sport. On Sunday, Theo’s friend Kyle (far left in the picture) was the latest convert, sporting his Dogfish gear and a lot of enthusiasm for what he had just seen.
Fish Faithful will remember Theo as “the kid in the red shorts” from the May 4 Rising Stars Halftime Game. He was energetic and frequently open, but didn’t have much disc time despite the crowd cheering for him to get it. Even so, it was a good experience and Theo said, “I had a really great time at the [pre-game] clinic.” He practiced his disc skills and enjoyed spending time with the players, “especially #14,” Alexander Brammer, who was “really nice.”
Theo caught the bug from dad Graham, who played some club Ultimate about 20 years ago. These days Graham spends his time on the field playing pickup. That’s how he first heard about the Dogfish—on a message board for a pickup game.
“It’s surreal” to watch professional disc, Graham said. “The level of play is amazing. I like seeing Ultimate with the trappings of other sports.”
He hopes the league continues to gain momentum and draws more people to experience high-level Ultimate. Graham does his part by posting about Dogfish games to Ultimate newsgroups. The challenge, he said, is enticing those players who are used to spending their time out on the field on the weekend to come out to sit on the sidelines.
“Watching professional Ultimate is like watching the highlight reel of another sport,” Graham asserted. He and a friend agreed that if they could have dreamed of the future of Ultimate back in the day, that future was being realized now. Looking still further ahead, Graham hopes the various Ultimate organizations at all levels can continue to cooperate for the good of the sport.
To the Dogfish players, Dougie, and the staff, Graham and Theo both say, “We love you guys—keep it up!”