#10 Brent Bellinger
Years w/ESN: A 2003-2007
E-mail: brentbellinger AT gmail.com
Brent is the player everyone wants on their team. An excellent athlete, knowledgable player, a calm mind amidst the storm, and very skilled…he brings it all to the table. One of the things that I admire most about Brent is his ability to simply be “in the moment.” During the most crucial times in a point or during the most crucial points in a game, Brent naturally allows the game to come to him. This has allowed him to turn in his greatest performances while playing at the highest stage last year in the game to go playing almost every point and to be our best player at nationals while most of the team was busy pissing their pants.
These results are not an accident. Lance Armstrong explains “No one could give confidence to an athlete except himself. You got it from everything you did leading up to the competition so that at the race itself you looked at all the other strong riders beside you and said ‘I’m ready. I’ve done more than they have. Bring it on.” Brent ran 3 miles prior to every practice during the Spring season. And it was this kind of confidence that spawned exceptional performances during competition.
While not the most vocal leader, Brent leads everyone on Pitt Ultimate by example.
*Bio courtesy of Sean McComb
I have had the pleasure of living with the majority of the most dedicated and hardened Sabah vets (Sean, Fraggle, Tallz, and Brody) at one point or another in my college career. Sharing a residence with these guys has taught me some valuable lessons about the character it takes to be a part of En Sabah Nur.
The first lesson I learned is this: Ultimate is an obsession. It is a disease. Once you catch the bug, it spreads through your body like cancer and is more addictive than crack. Since I have started playing this sport, the most time I have gone without throwing a disc has been three or four days (I am no exception – this is the rule). These guys will do anything to get their fix – whether it is going out and throwing a disc when the wind chill hovers around 0 degrees and there is snow on the ground or playing in three day tournaments in the summer with the heat in the upper nineties – nothing deters them. Weather is no object.
Bodily sacrifice is even less of an object. Playing on sprained ankles and with sprained wrists is considered healthy. Ignoring injuries (for better or for worse) has been the rule for this team. It is a matter of pride (admittedly, a trait which borders on stupidity) to go out and literally give your all to the team in the heat of competition. The best example I can think of is the time Brody could not even stand up straight, let alone walk properly, but he was one of seven guys who stepped onto the field two years ago and clinched Sabah’s first seed to regionals. And for that pride, we hold Brody in the highest regard.
This team is a brotherhood. Sacrificing time for each other has forced many of us to abandon our previous social lives. For many of us, Pitt Ultimate is our social life. There are more than a few players on this team who have lost significant others, and/or potential significant others because this sport was considered to be “too time consuming”. For this team, there is no off-season. Practicing/conditioning seven days a week is considered normal. Driving twelve hours for a tournament in South Carolina that spans only a day and a half is done without a bat of an eye. Pulling all-nighters trying to finish lab reports or term papers because one spent the weekend prior to finals week running around and chasing a piece of plastic is considered a matter of prioritizing.
The sacrifices we make are the result of the decisions made by a team of individuals united in a common goal: to push our physical and emotional limits to the brink so that we may do the best we can. How far we go is determined mostly by how far we push those limits. We all understand that Ultimate gives us the rare opportunity in life to be in so much control of our progress and our destinies – unified by the common destiny of the team. One may call the belief in the control of our fates idealistic, ignorant, or just plain delusional, but it is a belief shared by many who play for Pitt Ultimate (and many other Ultimate players for that matter). One can refuse to grant us the belief that we control our destinies, but they can never refute the belief that we have in each other; the belief in pushing oneself to the physical and emotional edge; or the belief in individual sacrifice for the greater good of a team – a brotherhood – known as En Sabah Nur.
2004 This is my second year of devoting 9/10 of my time, energy, and expenses towards Pitt Ultimate. All through elementary school up until college, I had played soccer, baseball, and basketball. I came to Pitt at the beginning of last year, picked up a disc, and learned the game of Ultimate from the likes of Brody, Sean, Blake, Phil, and Fraggle. Since that time, my life has revolved entirely around this sport, to the utter bemusement (and sometimes dismay) of my family and friends back home.
As for this year:
One of the main goals this season was recruiting freshman, and after several chaotic incidents involving a Pirate Party, Food Night, a University of Pittsburgh van, a Burger King microphone, and Josh’s Mom, Daycare was born, and I somehow became its unofficial leader.
Since the formation of Daycare, the team has learned some valuable lessons:
1. Sean’s a dick.
2003 When you haven’t had an off-season since the fifth grade, and then someone forces one upon you, it really sucks. The administrators at my high school managed to pull this one on me when they made me dress up in a stupid gown, gave me a piece of a paper (saying that I had “graduated” or something along those lines), and then kicked me out forever. No warning, no nothing. So I wandered off to Pitt without a sport, without a team, and basically, without a life. One fateful day, finding myself at the Pitt Activities Fair, I made my way to the Ultimate Frisbee table. After seeing the ultimate frisbee highlight reel they had playing, I said, “#%&@ baseball, basketball, and soccer, THAT is what I want to do”. So my sports career has been reduced to chasing around a 175 gram circular piece of plastic (I say chase because I can’t throw the damn thing for my life). And once again, I have a team (by far, the best group of guys I have ever met), I have a sport (that lets me fly), and I have a life that has never been better. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to throw and avoid that graduating thing again…
2007 Metro East All-Region
Off the field Brent is one of the nicest and most interesting people I have met, he was in charge of “Day Care” for our outstanding but slightly out of control group of rookies
entering the 2003-2004 year. He was Business manager in 2002-2003, and kept the team responsible, as much as he could, for the longest time. The stories that he can tell you will keep you entertained for days on end.
Currently he is working as a teacher in the same school as Sean, also plays with Truck Stop, and picked up such hobbies as body balancing and trapeze.
-Written by Eddie Peters