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The Men of Bravo – Brett Matzuka, #45

Matzuka lays out for a catch in his new Bravo whites

Terrific pivoting ability.  Reverse spins, draws contact and buys time with the disc while continuing to scan the field — can still set his feet, alter his throwing motion and manipulate his arm and throwing platform. Houdini-like escapability (uses subtle, nifty sidestep moves) and improvisational ability to pull a rabbit out of his hat and create magic.  Sets quickly. Can sling it when he’s in rhythm and has a clean lane. Good zip short-to-intermediate. Can launch deep throws with ease and flashes a slight air bounce to drop it in the bucket. Shows composure in the face of a zone and is willing to put his body on the line to make a play. Makes plays with his feet, rolling downfield, extending plays or throwing on the move (left or right) to get the next pass. Slippery and elusive to escape physicality and is a threat to cut deep. Functional straight-line speed and run strength for a primary handler. Experienced, International player. Terrific character. Has a likable personality.  Relentlessly positive.  Only knock is he often uses his escapability to elude would-be Ultimate situations in order to engage in the Hangout, however Johnny Bravo GM Ryan Farrell stated this as a primary reason for signing him.

The Men of Bravo – Hidde Snieder, #7

Snieder catches one of his 12 goals

Exceptional Ultimate playing speed — can flat out fly and take the top off a defense. Has world-class track speed. Extends outside his frame and plucks the disc. Outstanding body control and agility. Tracks the disc well over his shoulder and is a natural hands-catcher who can make an average thrower look good. Possesses big-time playmaking ability and is very effective creating in the open field on isolation cuts and quick-hitting endzone strikes. Good burst out of his cuts to separate.  Detractors have called him a liability with the disc in the past but has stepped up his game in the past few seasons and really improved his throwing skills.  Showed incredible heart this past season playing with a debilitating foot injury.  Look for Mr 12 Goal, scoring and mumbling indignities that will have you questioning everything.  He’s the one with the sweet smile and sweeter buzz cut.

The Men of Bravo – Jimmy Mickle, #23

Mickle pulls down a big D in the Nationals Semifinals

Has big hands and grips the disc well in all facets. Dynamic athlete. Exceptional game-day competitor — rises to the occasion. Has a passion for the game. Played on the biggest of stages and revels in having his back against the wall. Stepped up against a national championship Pitt defense in 2012 and has proven he can command come-from-behind victories, as he capped his career in the USA Ultimate College National Finals with a superb come from in front victory over North Carolina. Sufficient timing, disc placement and accuracy. Has peripheral, wide-eyed cutting vision (sometimes appears to have eyes in back of his head) and a very good feel for spacing. Catches the disc with a fearless confidence that he will find a way to create and usually gains positive yardage on broken plays when he appears heavily marked. Is mentally and physically tough — will pop back up from hard collisions and respond to a challenge. Record-setting and award-winning production. Has a knack for sustaining possession and carries playmaking ability to create late in the count and in critical situations to keep the offense rolling. Exceptional combine performance, displaying much improved footwork on defense, superb deep-ball accuracy and arm strength and supreme confidence on the big stage.  Vacillates between clean cut and long locks, has been seen around town from time to time with facial hair, confusing fans who have come to fall in love with his boyish charm. Possibly the most deserving Callahan winner ever, and definitely the only athlete with 3 consecutive top 5 finishes.  The ladies love his winning smile and winning ways.

The Men of Bravo – Owen Westbrook, #26

Westbrook gets ready to pull down a swing

Possesses prototype size and outstanding stature in the handler set to brush off the mark and keep plays alive. Stands tall and delivers the ball in the face of heavy pressure. Good field vision and release point. Good zip and accuracy on short-to-intermediate throws — can fit the ball into tight windows. Fine touch to drop hammers in the bucket — delivers a catchable disc with good anticipation. Senses pressure and evades the mark. Doesn’t take many unnecessary risks. Can extend plays with his legs downfield when leaving the handler set. Carries a sense of calm in critical situations. Records an 12 inch vertical REDACTED, which can get in the way while running but more than makes up for it with sheer moxie.  A true master of pendulum moment, he displayed fine touch, timing, accuracy and anticipation in combine throwing drills.  He’ll find holes in the defense but there are no holes in his spirit game; find him running the center of the Spirit Wall and ripping the disc with ease into the future for Johnny Bravo.

The Men of Bravo – Henry Konker, #34

Konker gets up for a big break in the National Quarterfinals

Carries a swagger and plays with confidence. Runs cutting lanes, throwing his weight around. Physical, lights-out defender. Made a highlight-reel, one-handed catch over a tall Doublewide defender in the National Quarterfinals last season to go with his massive layout grab in the Regional Final. Instinctive and aggressive. Defensive tempo-setter. Good play recognition, makes adjustments. Can leverage the field on hucks and cover ground. Good zone recognition. Rangy and athletic enough to play center field.  Often carries a chip on his shoulder from his small-school beginnings and practice player background.  Will let you know when he has you beat.  Has been known to layout an offender with one breathe and layout a good financial plan with the next.  Signed a multi-hundred dollar sponsorship deal with Bruegger’s Bagels in his first year with Bravo; has been known to ensnare unwitting coffee enthusiasts with a sub par iced coffee from time to time.

The Men of Bravo – Sean Keegan, #2

Keegan squares up to unleash a forehand

Outstanding size and length. Functionally strong to power through physicality. Boxes out defenders and is a big endzone target. Outstanding leaper with “above-the-rim” skills to go over top of smaller defenders and highpoint throws. Creates late, subtle separation. Tracks and adjusts. Makes contested grabs — attacks throws and outmuscles defenders in a crowd. Nearly unstoppable executing midfield throws in the cutting lanes. Strong, reliable hands. Very strong after the catch – breaks the mark or continues to streaking secondary cutters. Productive playmaker out of Delaware.  When not climbing the ladder and sitting on defenders, you’ll find Sean using the ice water that flows through his veins to seek out and fill emotional cracks in the opponent’s psyche, freezing them out until they burst in spectacular fashion.

Bravo Sets 2014 Roster

While the big tournaments of this year’s club ultimate season are fast approaching, right now, it’s World Cup season. In a recent NY Times Magazine story, US Soccer Team President Jurgen Klinsmann bristled at the American habit of rewarding star players for their past achievements with big contracts. He even named names; Kobe disagrees.

Johnny Bravo has finalized it’s 2014 roster, and some of the sport’s onlookers are eager to issue this Bravo team a free pass to the finals against Revolver on the past achievements of it’s component parts. In fact, never mind the regular season, let’s get to work on abolishing every other team and turning nationals into a best-of-seven series between Boulder and the bay.

But I’m with Jurgen; Kobe’s contract is a joke and we deserve nothing that we don’t earn this year. Landon Donovan took three months off, part of it during the qualifying stages. Our out-of-region players will buy more flights to practices than to tournaments. And let’s not forget: it was Boston and Seattle who played the far more polished semi-final in 2013. Given Seattle’s trademark plasticity and Boston’s discipline, I’m not sure that isn’t the match-up we should all want to watch seven times.

All that said, it’d be pretty nice to slot Donovan into Jozi’s spot for 30 minutes a game right now…

Here’s the roster:

Coach: Bob Krier

Andrew Mangan
Austin Gregersen
Bart Watson
Brett Matzuka
Brodie Smith
Craig Forshee
Dennison Bechis
Evan Padget
Henry Konker
Hidde Snieder
Hylke Sneider
Ian Toner
Jack McShane (C)
Jackson Kloor
Jake Juszak*
Jesse Roehm
Jimmy Mickle
Joshua Ackley (C)
Kurt Gibson
Matt Farrell
Nick Lance
Owen Westbrook
Phil Sun*
Ryan Farrell (C)
Ryan Morgan
Sean Keegan
Stanley Peterson
Tim Morrissy
Will Lokke

*Worlds Roster only

Practice Players:
David Wheeler
Jeremy Harker
Mark Rauls
Matt Bubernak
Roy Matthews IV
Todd Wolma
Tristan Voss

Mel Piper on Jackson “The Show ShoTime ‘ol Show'” Kloor

‎”Jackson Kloor, a 4th year cutter out of Colorado has game changing speed and explosiveness. Showed inconsistent hands early in his career but has the upper body strength and quick feet to beat pressing man coverage. Will take advantage of a poaching defender, lose him for a second and he’s gone. Long strider with excellent top-end speed and it translates to film. Tracks the deep shot well and can adjust to it without taking his eyes off it. In recent years he’s shown the ability to elevate to get the disc with one hand. The use of gloves have greatly improved his confidence which has made him a very effective club player. He made waves at the Combine with exemplary showings in the 40 yard dash and broad jump as well as coach interviews where I’m told he showed tremendous character and love for the game. He’s truly lived up to his Showtime image, he’ll be that red flash blowing by defenders for the foreseeable future.“

Mel McMell gushes on McShane

‎”Jack McShane, a 6’0” 170 lb handler out of Colorado is a rare combination of brash confidence and humble play. One of the more talented players on exceptionally talented teams his entire career, Captain Jack never received the national talk of some of his teammates but quietly has earned enough respect to be named captain of Johnny Bravo in only his 3rd season, his 1st out of college. Intelligent, driven and grounded. Takes well to coaching. Outstanding work ethic. Has developed into a very good leader. Knows when to push teammates and knows when to protect. Well-respected by teammates and a proven winner. Rare grasp of the offense, both micro and macro. Ideal mental and physical toughness. Hangs tough in zone O and unfazed by defender physicality. Can bounce back from mistakes. McShane was named in a number of anonymous magazine polls asking current players for the most frustrating person to guard. On D, he has shown the ability to guard both tall and short, speed and savvy, and despite being relatively young in the sport, is one of the more cerebral players in the game. No significant off the field issues, was reportedly involved in an altercation in a dive bar where he allegedly told a rival pool player to “suck the [expletive]” a number of times. Was recently featured in the Us Weekly “Just Like Us” section wearing sweatpants in a local Boulder restaurant.”

Mel McTodd on J. Mickle: “Don’t sleep on this kid.”

‎”Jimmy Mickle, a 6’2” 195lb 3rd year handler for Colorado is one of the more versatile talents the program has ever produced. Mickle possesses elite top-end speed and agility for position. Height plays a significant factor in how teams should prepare for him, while he’s widely considered a handler, his speed and jumping ability make him a high end receiving option as well. Mickle carries an average amount of bulk and can continue to get stronger,which he has done every year on Mamabird. He carries a smooth delivery, little bit longer than ideal but not a wind-up delivery. Overall he’s very smooth and relaxed and the disc explodes off his hand. His length also allows him to generate tremendous torque which makes him quite possibly the most prolific puller in the sport. He was the top finisher in this year’s Combine in pull hang time, pull accuracy, and vertical leap and scored high on the Wonderlic. In addition to his tremendous field acumen, Mickle’s reputation in the community is top notch which along with his sure franchise player status, will add to any organizations profit margin through gear sales.”

Todd McKiper tells all on Ryan Farrell

‎”Ryan Farrell,a 5’10” handler out of William & Mary who’s been described as a “tweener” has strong passing skills,violent hands and a great motor. Battles and holds up well against physicality. In the Combine, Farrell shined in the 20-yard shuttle and 3 cone drill and his up and under move has been described by many as “ungodly”. After taking just 3 years to graduate, Farrell was drafted early by PoNY before leaving as a free agent to Johnny Bravo. In Farrell,Bravo picked up a dependable handler capable of hitting the big shot or using his superior quickness to weave the disc down the field. Scouts first picked up on Farrell as a freshman on a William & Mary team that made the semifinals in 2002. Farrell’s aggressiveness, which borders on overbearing at times,more than makes up for his small stature. In 2009, Farrell was involved in 2 separate incidents on Boulder’s Pearl Street that had scouts questioning his character, but in recent years, his many community service projects and recent engagement have rehabilitated his image. His teammates respect him enough to have voted him a unanimous captain for the 3rd straight year.”

Mel McShay Breaks Down Evan Padget

And we don’t mean “Breaks Down” in the way that Ryan Farrell once broke Evan Padget down during a Bravo vs. Bird scrimmage during Padget’s college days.

‎”Johnny Bravo selected New Jersey native, Evan El Greco Padget with a mid round pick last season after a compelling and often controversy-filled career at Colorado. Padget goes 5’10” and anywhere between 145 and 190 depending on the time of year. Padget, began his career as a shaky handler where early on, coaches classified him as a psychological enigma. In his latter seasons, he developed into a rock solid handler in the middle of an ever changing lineup of quality players. A foray with gloves and a penchant for ill-advised anti-prophetic statements earned him headlines in the news over his career but his physical measurements were the best we’ve seen from him at the Combine. Evan led the combine with a 75mph forehand toss and in true Padget style, made headlines over his 0 score on the Wonderlic. Details have since come out that he answered none of the questions and instead left somewhat troubling rebuttals of almost every question with a detailed account of how his [fl]ick and forehand would answer the questions. Despite the many controversies, teammates and coaches have gone out of their way to praise Padget’s leadership and work ethic. Bravo took a risk drafting him but they’ve already realized substantial dividends on their investment, both on and off the field”

Todd McKiper on Clark Bishop

‎”Clark Bishop, a 5’10” 170 lb cutter out of Colorado by way of Cherry Creek High School in Denver is an explosive deep with outstanding speed and great readability. Clark joined CU as a walk-on out of Cherry Creek and excelled as a defensive specialist before earning a spot as an O line cutter in his 3rd year alongside current and former Bravo greats Beau Kittredge, Jolian Dahl, and Josh Ackley. This coincided with a seemingly overnight increase in muscle mass which had detractors talking steroids, those charges haven’t been substantiated and Bishop supporters have pointed to the fact that his cranial size while big, hasn’t grown with his increased body mass. At the combine, Bishop ran a blazing 4.6 in the 40 and put up 31 reps on the press. Some teams balked at the opportunity to draft him because his unwillingness to participate in throwing drills or the vertical leap but Johnny Bravo jumped at the chance to take him and have been rewarded with a top 10 talent goal scorer as well as a player who can generate Ds and neutralize speedy opponents.”