Veteran Richmond newsman Gene Cox said today that he is attempting to organize an “absolutely wicked” Ultimate Frisbee team for the summer, with the hopes of playing one game a week before his nightly newscast on NBC12.
Similar to football and played heavily in college circles, “Ultimate,” as it is known, is a seven-on-seven game that involves passing a 175-gram flying disc to a teammate in the opposing end zone to score points. Players who are holding the disc may not run while holding it and have 10 seconds to throw to teammates, creating a game that Cox calls “pretty much the reason I live for the summers, and perhaps why God even put me on this Earth.”
The 68-year-old began recruiting coworkers and friends for a team earlier last week.
“We need at least ten, both guys and girls, just in case a few of us of us can’t make it to a game for some reason,” Cox told fellow news staffers, noting he is “one hell of a hucker,” having played Ultimate since the sport’s initial days in the early 1970s. “Besides that, all we need is a disc and a field and we’ll be locked, cocked, and ready to rock.”
So far, Cox has recruited two players for his team, tentatively named the Coxhounds.
The 31-year NBC veteran touts the pros of Ultimate as great for camaraderie and perfect for “blowing off steam” after work – as well as a great way to work the quads, arms and back.
“It’s intense. You’re constantly moving, pivoting, diving. And you don’t want to pull anything out there, so I’d recommend anyone who wants to ride this train do some standing lunges with a medball, and maybe even pop off some Bulgarian squats,” Cox said, jogging in place in the middle of the NBC newsroom, then pointing to county and crime reporter Andy Jenks. “What about you, kid? You up for some man-to-man D? Winds are changing out there, son, better be ready to play some zone. Can you cut and flick?”
Added Cox, breaking into a sweat: “Because if you’re being covered and the stall count is down, you best be prepared to toss a scoober and dump it when you can’t complete, know what I’m saying?”
Cox also noted that, after each game, players from both teams typically go out for drinks at a local bar.
“Part of Ultimate is the spirit of the game, so you’re out there playing as friends and making friends and encouraging one another, no matter which team, to give it their best,” he said. “Plus, there are so many hot girls who play Ultimate, and they all go to the bars, too.”
NBC12 anchor and reporter Ryan Nobles said he was “intrigued” by the prospect of joining Cox’s Ultimate team, but had to make sure he’d have enough time to monitor his fantasy intramural kickball team first.