Hello! I know many of you in a lot of different ways, maybe we are friends, maybe we have played on a team together for a hat league, maybe I have coached you, maybe you have seen me play and I have never met you before. No matter what the case is, I am excited to represent all of you on the stage that is the AUDL. However, I want to take this moment to thank the MLU and the Seattle Rainmakers organization for all they did for me. As a player under them I was appreciated, respected, and very much enjoyed my time playing with them. Similar to teams I have played for in the past, the Seattle Rainmakers will always be on my Ultimate Frisbee resume. #MakeItRain
What does it mean to me to play on the Cascades?
Well, on the one hand it’s just more Frisbee. I have been playing competitively since I was 13, so this is just more time warming up, throwing that plastic piece of my life, creating bonds with teammates and making sure I don’t get broken around. It’s just another opportunity to play, smile, yell and storm the field like I have been doing for the past 10 years.
But on the other hand, this is an opportunity to do something that 10 years ago wasn’t even imaginable. To play Cascades means walking out of the locker room into Memorial Stadium, looking behind me to fans ready to watch me work, sweat, and yell for them and my teammates, to throw a huck as the clock winds down and have it mean something so much more than it did before. To play Cascades means a level of respect that is given, not earned, which is probably the softest way to gain respect but here we are. To play Cascades means I wear the Sasquatch and with it comes a level of authority and unspoken assumptions about my play and where I have been. To play the Cascades means I am no longer playing for myself, I am no longer just playing for my teammates, I am now playing for Seattle. I am very excited to be on this team, to give my all to what it could be and embrace the opportunity head on. I don’t know how other people in the AUDL think about being a pro athlete, but I love it and take it seriously, and attempt to emulate what I think pro sports should look like and feel like.
How am I going to deal with being a rookie Cascade?
Well, it’s pretty simple, I am going to go to games, play against probably a higher level of competition on the pro stage than I have before and see how I measure up. With every goal I score, assist I throw, and block, I’ll get more comfortable, and soon I will break through into the bigger conversations. I will be scouted, I will be respected by my opponents and enjoy the challenge that is being a small fish in a big pond.
You play mixed ultimate? What are you doing here on a men’s team?
I would like for there there to be more opportunities for mixed ultimate to appear on the pro stage, and I am excited to see how myself along with many other mixed players in this league can make that push.
As a male, I have a level of unspoken, unearned, privilege, and whether or not I choose to take advantage of that privilege or not is my choice. Yes, in this situation I have chosen to take advantage of that privilege in order to play the sport I love in front of fans, friends and family who enjoy the sport and seeing me happy. However, I am forever in support of mixed-gender and women’s ultimate and work continuously to increase levels of equity in those aspects of our sport.
I have always been a mixed preference player, and playing Cascades doesn’t change that. So a huge shout out to all the mixed men in the AUDL! Don’t let the single gender bros think or act like they are better than you because of their division bias. We are athletes who can throw, jump and layout as well. Let them know using the sound of fans cheering when you make big plays.
What are you bringing from the Rainmakers to the Cascades?
I am bringing the celebrations and the fan interaction. The best thing for me off the field is creating excitement for the people who come watch and have them legitimately enjoy being at the games. Sitting there watching us catch the disc, drop it and high five our teammates can be fun sure, but nothing is more fun to watch then non spike celebrations IMO. In the past, I have played Rock, Paper, Scissors during a game, thrown discs into the crowd, and we all know I love a good synchronized handshake with teammates. Tell me what YOU want during games so when we score and need the crowd going wild, it will be there. When we are down and need a block, we can use the crowd’s energy, straight “Goku stealing energy for the Spirit Bomb” status.
I am excited and honored to be a ‘Scade. It’s going to be a amazing season and riddled with hard work, infused with a lot of bumps and bruises along the way but I am happy to strap in and start this rollercoaster. Hope to see you all out there!
Follow me on Twitter: @Khalifygreens
Tell me what would get you hyped during a game! What do you want to see and how you want us as Cascades to interact with you! Have any questions? Feel free to ask on twitter as well!