Monday, January 02, 2006


Back and Blue?

[This letter is a duplicate of a post to, written in response to Ken Dobyn's post regarding the book, Ultimate: The First Four Decades, by Pasquale Anthony Leonardo and Adam Zagoria. Ken Dobyn's orginal message of 12/29/05 is the first of the thread "Ultimate-The First Forty-Four Skewering." (Sorry, I was unable to create a link.)]

Mr. Dobyns,

You created a dynasty and culture of athletic excellence by dint of the force of your will, skill, and your considerable charisma. Generations of ultimate players respect your personal accomplishments and what you have done for the game.
Your voice carries the weight of decades at the height of the sport. Your influence extends worldwide.

And THIS is how you choose to represent yourself? By a tirade against people who have devoted years to a project which may never break even? By initiating a spirit battle from a long-dead rivalry? By standing up for the disenfranchised "little people," i.e. the franchise known as Molly and Teens? By disparaging other styles of winning ultimate?

One is heartened that the sands of time have not dulled your passion. One can fondly imagine that your pedantry in trying to set the record straight is indicative of the perfectionism and expectations you brought to your teams -- something most of us did not experience first-hand. One can enjoy the armchair view of a heated exchange.

But for a man of such vision on the field, your literary view is verily myopic. In that great trove you deride is the collation of thousands of names, pictures, facts, statistics, rosters, stories, viewpoints and lore into ONE place. It is the first significant effort to record an oral history which would have died with age and fuzzy memories. It will give legions of players a sense of their sport and enrich their ultimate experience. It is a synthesis of different writing styles. It is a massive editing task. It is a rich visual presentation. You have belittled these accomplishments by overlooking them. The task of the writers need not have been "thankless."

Criticism IS easy, because perfection is so hard.

Your legacy, which clearly is still of great concern to you, includes the impressions of every person who ever played with, against, or near you -- those who remain in the game and those who do not. It also includes those whose introduction to a legend includes the bitter invective you just released. Would that you could have spared us, and yourself, that indiscretion!

-Eric Zaslow

Here's your post:

and here's KD's:
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