The following is a guest post by Montana "Noodles" Roberts, of the Claremont Greenshirts. Noodles served as one of two Directors of Outrageous Affairs for the Greenshirts, one of the top Funbassador teams last year. Not only does she bring spirit, unique songs, and awesome swag to every team she plays, but she is also highly invested in spreading ultimate’s values of inclusion and mutual respect.
This post was written after the 2016 Funbassador season.
When I applied to represent the Claremont Greenshirts as the Director of Outrageous Affairs last fall, all I knew was that it was a sponsorship from Five Ultimate, and that I’d be tasked with giving free swag out to other teams and “keeping spirit high”.
While all of that is technically true, this description barely begins to describe what it meant to be a Funbassador team. Being a Funbassador was much more rewarding, both on and off the field, than I ever could have imagined.
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I built solid friendships with people I never would have met IRL.
The Directors-Only GroupMe was one of my favorite perks of being a Director of Outrageous Affairs.
It was a baller group chat full of the most spirited, ridiculous, down-for-anything college ultimate players from around the country. That’s what we have in the Funbassador GroupMe.
This past semester, that group chat was one of the few constants in my life. Even before any official contests had started, people were using it daily, if not hourly.
I genuinely got to know awesome ultimate players on teams around the country, even ones that I never got the opportunity to meet in person. I also learned a lot about training, team bonding, and spirit strategies that I was able to take back to the Greenshirts.
The best part of the group chat was that I could be as active as I wanted to be and still enjoy the ridiculousness that erupted from putting 30+ crazy college ultimate players in a virtual room together and tell them to go wild.
Funbassador Love is real
There are few things more exciting than finding out that you’ll be attending the same tournament as another Funbassador team!
After bonding with fellow Directors of Outrageous Affairs in the group chat for months, meeting up in person for the first time was a mind-blowing experience.
It was kind of like going on a blind friend date (which I personally think of as fun and adventurous), especially when I ended up wandering around during byes, asking around for a man named Grandma West or a woman that I knew only as HULK.
The first meeting typically included lots of hugs and an entire phone’s-storage-worth of photos to flood the group chat with later, to make the other teams jealous.
Then we’d cheer on each others’ teams, and if we were lucky, we’d even get to play each other.
Some of the most fun, most spirited games I’ve played were against other Funbassador teams.
Side Note: Funbassador Love extends to the team at Five, who are wonderful, cool people and might require a pizza bribe at some point in the year.
I got to participate in hella games and challenges
Some took less than an hour, and some were as long as a week. Some could be completed alone, some required the help of my fellow Greenshirts Director of Outrageous Affairs, and many could be done with my entire team (can you say bonding?).
Most were optional, and all were fun.
I’m not sure what challenges are on the docket for this year, but I will say that some of the things my partner Dags and I did last year included cheering teams with ultimate-themed Taylor Swift parodies, turning one of our rookies into a meme, and dressing up as Nicolas Cage and his pet dinosaur.
You may not have known that Nic has a pet dinosaur. That’s okay. I won’t hold that against you.
I learned to play better sideline
This may be surprising, but it’s absolutely true.
Giving out swag to teams meant that I had to figure out who among the other team’s players was the most spirited, who brought the best energy, who really worked hard.
In short, I had to pay attention, especially when the Limited Edition Dino Compression Tights were on the line! I became more attentive both on the field and on the sideline, and naturally became more attuned to when my teammates needed my voice and how to direct them.
And most, importantly…
My whole team’s spirit game got stronger
Giving swag to our opponents after each game, and representing the most spirited teams in ultimate is a lot more important than it seems.
Being a Funbassador made me and my teammates acknowledge and reward our opponents’ strengths, and gave me a really good excuse to hang out with them after the game. Spirit circles and games became part of the norm.
Additionally, all the challenges that my team participated in for the season-long Funbassador contest made me feel like I was a part of a united, countrywide ultimate community, which affected how I perceived and interacted with other teams.
Although this aspect of Funbassadorship is most apparent at tournaments, I also noticed it in my team’s practices and scrimmages.
Our involvement with the program continues to help us keep things light and fun, incorporating games into our training and spending more time together outside of ultimate. It’s helped us refrain from taking ourselves too seriously, and focus more on enjoying the game.