Photo by Kevin Leclaire – UltiPhotos.com
From a group of skeptical club players to professional playoff contenders, the D.C. Current have come a long way in one year.
“We had heard some rumblings from Jeff Snader…but the core guys who ended up being on the Current, we really didn’t know what it meant,” says Sean Keegan, the Current’s 2013 Captain. “We had seen how [professional Ultimate] had gone this past year , and none of us were really all that excited.”
Clearly, Snader was facing a less than auspicious situation. He persisted, however, calling up Keegan and company down in D.C.
“He was pitching the idea to us, saying how it would be a really unique opportunity. He said that they had learned from their mistakes, and they needed to get some good players on board,” says Keegan. “So we mulled it over. Obviously it’s nice to have somebody actively recruiting and pursuing you.”
To their credit, professional Ultimate remained a risky venture, and starting from scratch seemed preposterous. Snader decided to travel to D.C. for a face to face conversation.
Even after this meeting, where Snader and the D.C. players discussed travel expenses and other details, they were wary of joining up. “I remember sitting with Keegan, [Jeff] Wodatch and company and they were looking to me for answers as to how all of this would work,” says Snader. “I wanted to convey to them that this league was going to be for real and that we had a plan to make some waves. I told them that I wanted players who had a passion to see this sport raise above the ‘hippie’ tag that has stuck with it for over 40 years and will only change if people like us make a difference.”
Snader’s words helped, but they were still hesitant. “I don’t know what eventually got us all [to commit]. I think it was a big case of ‘If you do it, I’ll do it,'” Keegan remembers. “After a lengthy back and forth between the players, Keegan recalls, “Eventually we said, ‘Screw it. This sounds pretty fun.’ Some other players that are really good had signed up, and we thought it would be pretty competitive.”
“I knew they would be one of the teams that would lead the way,” Snader affirms.
And he was right. Almost eight months later, D.C. found themselves clawing back to the second place position in the Eastern Conference. Although they lost to the Boston Whitecaps in the playoff game, the Current distinguished themselves as one of the most explosive teams in the league.