- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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All day the audience thrilled to parachutists, disc-playing humans and disc-fetching dogs. After eating wedges of the monster sandwich, many were considering a nap, when nervous riffs of electric piano began to spill from the loudspeakers—the intro to the Who's Eminence Front. The crowd perked up. Necks strained. Crazy John and his freestyle partner Chip Bell appeared at the park's perimeter.
"There are better technical freestylers," said Schot of Brooks. "Chip, for one. But as far as just sensing what a crowd wants and giving it to them, he's way out on his own."
Brooks was at the crowd's edge, clapping, whipping his audience into a more vocal state. Electric bass walloped everyone and naps were postponed. Brooks chased down a high throw, went way up to make a backward, between-the-legs grab and got good hangtime. People began oohing and ahhing as though they were in an evangelist's thrall. Bell skyed, took a high throw behind his back and landed, twisting like a drill bit, into a split worthy of a Solid Gold dancer. Feverish applause. Crazy worked the amazing Toothbrush—keeping the disc spinning on its edge, on his front teeth—for half a minute. Jaws dropped.
Was this really happening?
Bell and Brooks's score for difficulty in Freestyle was 9.94, the highest anyone had ever heard of. Brooks won the men's overall title flying away.
As folks made ready to go, the popular salute was "See ya next year!"—music to Schot's ears, you can be sure.
Crazy John dedicated his freestyle routine to the injured Miss Hart and offered to help with her rental car. She was going to Santa Barbara, right? Well, he lives there, too. Brooks, though crazy, is not stupid.