Name That Flow Contest Judge Matt Striebel Sounds Off on the True Meaning of Flow

by 11 years ago

Editor’s Note: We’re about to announce the winners of the Name That Flow Contest, but before we do, we had to share with you part of judge Matt Striebel’s 2,000-word treatise on flow, this contest, and how he evaluated each flow. Our other judges, fellow Warrior Lacrosse ambassador Connor Martin and the guys at 90% of Lax is in the Flow, turned in their own detailed explanations for their picks, but not anywhere at the level of Striebel. As Connor wrote, “How much time does Striebel have on his hands? Striebel just demonstrated his Ivy League prowess all over my face and it felt great. My life has been changed, but I still feel like a dick for writing two paragraphs.” Added 90%’s Tommy Kehoe: “Striebel’s speech (I assume it was a speech because I gave a standing ovation after reading it) really touched upon the basis of the flow concept.” So without further ado, here’s Matt Striebel’s flow opus.

[inline:striebel] has roughly 23 definitions for the word flow. In its intransitive verb form, flow is defined: to move along or out steadily and in a current stream. It’s also defined: to proceed or be produced smoothly, continuously, and without effort. With adverbial direction: hang loosely in an easy and graceful manner. And, in terms of sick hair found on a lax field: to be available in copious quantities.

O.K., so here’s the thing about high-quality flow: it’s a little like 4.3 speed, a 46-inch vertical leap, and pyrokinesis. There are simply those who have it, and there are those who don’t. Now, of course, any fool with follicles, a requisite lack of self-respect, and a decent amount of time to kill can turn himself into Billy Ray Cyrus, but the question remains: Does having hair like Billy Ray Cyrus, by definition, make you the winner of a bad-ass Flow Contest, or do you end up looking more like a cheesy one-hit wonder who’s lasting claim to fame will probably be the fact that his daughter is Hannah Montana? I’m leaning toward the latter.

Which brings me to my second point: If you’re not born with flow, you can’t force it. I’m sorry. Think about one of those bad comb-overs you see every now and then in the line at the DMV. Who are these guys who stand in front of their mirrors and say, “You know what, I may be bald, but if I just take these three pieces of hair and stretch them across this vast expanse of cranial flesh, there’s a pretty good chance no one’s going to notice.” I’m reminded here of something I read recently about Andre Agassi, one of the supposed great flow-men of the eighties (or of any time for that matter).

[inline:ag]What can one say about Andre, except that the guy flat-out made a living out of and off of his hair. And can you blame him? He’s got the mud-flaps of an eighteen-wheeler. But the funny thing is, and as anyone who’s read his recent autobiography “Open” knows, the whole thing turned out to be a sham. Agassi’s the Milli Vanilli of flow. In one of the great blasphemous ironies in flow history, Agassi’s sick mullet (sickest of them all maybe) was a wig (at least for part of his career). During the 1990 French Open, the dude had to bobby-pin a hair piece to his dwindling flow, so people didn’t realize he was going Donald Trump on us. Eventually, of course, Andre achieved inner piece and shaved his head. But it was only after he embraced his inner cue ball that he turned into the Tennis juggernaut that we all know and love. Is there a moral here? I think so. You can’t force your hair, hair does what it wants. And anyone who’s ever battled a cowlick understands this. For better or worse, hair has a life of its own. It’s best to sit back and let your hair be who (and what) it wants to be. If you’ve got the stuff, let it flow, by all means, but if you don’t, don’t despair. There’s a hairstyle out there for everyone, so find the Caesar, the Christiano Rinaldo, or God forbid, the rat-tail that works for you. Because, as Shana Alexander once said (go ahead and look her up), “Hair brings one’s self-image into focus; it is vanity’s proving ground[a] terribly personal tangle of mysterious prejudices.”

And so, with that in mind, let’s get to the contest. First, a quick note about how I voted. My criteria, if you will.

[inline:stkjer]1. I didn’t vote (or flow-te) based purely on length or volume. Both are integral to quality flow, but as the Nelson’s and Phil Spector proved, too much of even a good thing is never a good thing.

2. I took into account the captions/names/titles, but only so far. Some impressed me more than others. Some I didn’t even understand. Chock it up to creative interpretations.

3. Given that this is a lacrosse-centric flow-contest, I wanted to make sure that the lacrosse was a part of it. Hence, my omission of “What’s Up Bro Flow” and my reluctance to give “Summer Flowcation” the top nod.

4. I’m all for rewarding thinking outside-of-the-box. “Flowmobile,” “Flowcovery,” “Old School Flow,” and “Poetry in Flowtion” were inspired idea-wise (was that old school dude from Portland actually wearing shades?), but when it came down to it the goods, the actual quality of the flow, just didn’t cut the mustard.

Stay tuned for the winners of the Name That Flow Contest…