If you have played against or watched Woman Scorned in the past five years, then you are sure to know #23. It is a number that we all have burned into our brains from watching her bust deeper than us and beat us in sprints. 23 is held by the woman who has held our team together on the field and never failed to step up to the plate and crank one when we need her (is it wrong to use a baseball metaphor in ultimate?).
Some say she is all legs and flowing brown hair. Lauren and I once speculated that she will be the MILF one day, that causes all the husbands of her friends and fathers of her children's friends want to commit adultery. It has been stated that she is the fastest person on earth-and I'm 96% sure that is true. She can sky with the best, and no one has a chance running deep when she is last back. Every guy wants her and every girl wants to be her.
She is....Melissa Gibbs, and she just celebrated her 24th birthday!
...but mostly we just know her as Gibbs, Gibbler, Gibbles, MJG, and now Coach Gibbs. We don't call her Melissa. Ever. She is our awesome defense coach this year! The majority of us on WS have played with Gibbs, so when we heard she was going to stick around a coach for a season, we were delighted! We definitely knew that letting her go was going to be hard for our team, but having this last season to learn more from her is proving to be perfect!
This lady has been an awesome addition to the ultimate community since day 1. She has really gotten around, having played for all sorts of teams-POP, CLX, Small Rackages... But she has always held true to one team, Woman Scorned!
My first memories of frisbee include The Gibbler. At my first tournament, we got stuck in a car for about 5 hours longer than intended and she made me feel right at home while we sat in the front seat, island hopping, looking for our beach house, and talking about boys. That spring break brought on great memories of dance parties on the deck, an epic game of strip ping pong to set the week's theme, volley ball in the yard, and of course, some great games of b. pong.
In fact, there was one intense game of pong that sticks out well in my mind. It was Meghan Minner + Me vs. Gibbs + Annie G. Don't remember anything about the game or who won but there were distractions and trash talk through the whole thing. MJG attempts to throw off the rookie (me) with a moon, but I have her step left to line up the shot as I bank it into the cup. It was the perfect shot and a memory that will be in my mind forever. Another great fact I learned about Gibbs on that SB was the secret to how to get her to rally. On one late night, the dance party started to dwindle and Gibbs had retired to bed a few hours earlier. Someone finally noticed that she was not longer strutting her stuff so they decided to make one last effort to reignite the dance party and played "Man In The Mirror" by MJ. It worked, not more than a minute into the song we see Gibbs dancing her way down the stairs and the party was back on!
We all have great memories of Gibbs, and we know that even as life takes her in new directions, the name of Melissa Gibbs will live on as one of WS's greats. Gibbs led Woman Scorned from a savage team to the first ever nationals team. Her legacy will not soon be forgotten, and her influence will carry this team long after she has left.
So happy birthday Gibbs! I know 23 was a good one for you, I hope 24 is great too!