Furious George is returning to the U.S.A. Ultimate Club Championships for the 12th time, a victory that brings extra sweetness for the Vancouver team because they knocked their Seattle Sockeye arch rival from contention.
"Sockeye has qualified for U.S. Championships for the last 11 years," team co-captain Nick Menzies told the Courier via email. "They will not have the opportunity to compete to represent the U.S. As far as getting a rival real good, this takes the cake."
Furious George won the U.S. championships three times in 2002, '03 and '05. They are undefeated at Canadian nationals. They dropped their first game-also a semifinal-against Rhino from Portland at the northwest regionals in Bellingham, Wash. this weekend. The 15-9 loss was shocking, Menzies said. "We came out flat and [lost], badly."
They capitalized on a backdoor bracket, winning once to meet Sockeye in what could have been the game of the tournament. "The grudge match is on, Furious vs. Sockeye [.] the best rivalry in the game," wrote Menzies, describing a couple hundred fans chanting "U-S-A" and casting the Canadians as the villainous spoilers.
Spoil they did. Furious George got off to a slow start but finished with a 15-13 win to defeat Sockeye and move on to compete against Rhino for the second berth to the championships in Sarasota, Fla. Against Portland's Rhino, Furious George met a well-rested and focused team. "They are set to knock us off and come out hard and fast." After a time out, "We dig deep into the angry monkey and come out swinging." Furious George won 15-12.