Sunday, August 21, 2005

Ultimate Injuries Actually Help the Sport?

Tell me im crazy, i can handle it. Conventional wisdom - injuries remove players from viable rosters, deplete the ranks of current players, hurt the performance of amazing athletes, and perhaps dissuade people from playing. So how would injuries help the spread of Ultimate? Its simple really...

What legitimizes a sport more than a solid broken bone? You go to the doctor to get your x-rays and MRIs and he asks you, what did you do? You now have the chance to explain to him not only how you laid out for a disc and consequently broke your wrist, but also the entire rules of the game of ultimate. You increase the name recognition of the sport itself by merely answering his question the first time as "i was playing ultimate".

What is his question? If hes not already in the know, "what is ultimate?" He's taken the bait. He's yours now, run with him. Explain to him there are more than 400 college teams, and more than 500 high school teams around the country. As well as tons of club teams etc.

Even if hes not that interested, after he sees his first few sprained ankles and broken arms from Ultimate players, he has to take some sort of notice to the sport as a whole. He then may discuss it with another doctor to compare treatment options etc. Now two people have learned about the sport from one injury. Also the nurses who seat you in the room, etc usually ask what happened as well. They may go back and talk to the other nurses about the injury, and of course what always comes up with injury? How did it happen.

Ok, so now you have a decent number of medical professionals who at least recognize the name Ultimate now. Thats not really doing that much for the spread of ultimate. But it doesnt exactly hurt it now doesnt it.

So now you have your xrays and lets say for the sake of argument a cast on your arm. Now anyone you are remotely friendly with asks you what? "What happened?"

Depending on how many people you know, or how many people feel bold enough to come up and ask you this also can up the name recognition of the sport. If its a particularly bad break, or something out of the ordinary or just something worth talking about in general then you may get a few more degrees of publicity for it. The guy who randomly just walked up to you and asked what happened, could possibly go back to a friend of his and tell him about this crazy injury a guy got from playing ultimate.

Relatively simple to see how it spreads right? Sure.

This is not to say i encourage people getting hurt. By all means, stay healthy and play ultimate. This line of reasoning though was just something i was thinking about recently, as someone who had to go through all the damn pain in the ass of xrays and MRIs and mds and orthopedic docs for them to tell me i bruised a bone in my wrist and tore my TFCC tendon/ligament cluster. Sounds cool doesnt it? Meh, i can still play just gotta wear a brace.

But having the brace on i cant tell you how many times people have come up to me at parties or just standing in line somewhere and asked, "What happened?"

and then a fun and enlightening conversation ensues.

well im enjoying it at least.

play ultimate.