David "Buddha" Meyer

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David L. "Buddha" Meyer CC '77 founded the Columbia University Ultimate Frisbee Team in the fall of 1974, during his sophomore year. Buddha was a graduate of Columbia High School in Orange, New Jersey, where the game of Ultimate originated in 1968. Many of Buddha's high school classmates had founded or were running other college teams on the East Coast, including Bob Evans at Princeton, Dave Leiwant at Yale and Jon (JC) Cohn at Cornell. The team's first shirt was a copy of the Columbia High School shirt stating Columbia Ultimate Frisbee in Columbia blue above concentric circles (supposed to be a Frisbee). In contrast, the Columbia High School shirt had black lettering and said C.H.S. Ultimate Frisbee [confirm]. The sport used a Master Frisbee (165s and 175s had not yet been invented). The Columbia University Ultimate Frisbee Team's first year was untarnished by victory.

Buddha spent his junior year at the London School of Economics and Larry Horlick and Jeff Birnbaum (sp?) captained the 1975-1976 squad that kept its losing streak alive. Ken Gary, a future legend joined the team during this season.

Buddha returned to Columbia in the fall of 1976 and the team achieved its first victory against Yale in September 1976, in Steve Kane's (and Chris Schmidt's(?)) first game. Ken Gary, Jerry McManus, Bob Jarrett (?), Larry Horlick also played in this game. In the spring of 1977, Buddha led the team to the Eastern Championship Play-offs. The Columbia squad lost to Penn State 15-13 and pennSate went on to win the East.

Buddha went on to Georgetown Law where in his second year he suffered a brain aneurysm on 9/29/78 and remained in a coma until his death in August 1983. As an early apostle of Ultimate, Buddha's biography and film of him playing in a high school game for Columbia High School is in the book/DVD compilation Ultimate, the First Four Decades. In the DVD Buddha is the player whose body type matches his name and he is wearing one black glove, years before Michael Jackson did.

External links

  • one of two references to buddha in the book "Ultimate: the first four decades" via google books
  • a thread about buddha on ultimatehistory.com
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