It is certainly true that there was no weak link on the Coloradical Freestyle team. And Doug “the Blur” Branigan is testimony to that. Strong, technical and incredibly quick, Doug used his quick cat like reflexes to create a strong foundation for his game to grow. And grow it did. As Doug and the ‘Rads burst on the scene winning the 1980 Rose Bowl in convincing fashion, they created a new standard for all other teams to be measured by. The intricacies of the “Coloradical Weave and the way they constructed and executed their Co-ops set them apart from any team that has ever played, even to this day. His influence on other players was also significant as players took elements of his game and used it as their own. Doug had a strong natural clock game that featured intricate delay passes, tips, kicks, swoops and big aerial catches. His highly dynamic style of play influenced everyone who came in contact with him. Doug also had a very effective Counter game which was used to advantage with the famed Coloradical Co-ops. He was also no stranger to playing the wind and using rolls as a tool towards his big catches. But of course, Doug was best known for his turbo-quick multiple spins giving him the apt nickname of the “Blur”.
When Doug Branigan came out of a high-pressure high school sports environment with one State High School wrestling championship and another second place finish, he did not lack drive and fortitude. Nestling into the casual yet competitive world of flying disc sports was second nature for him. Nothing rattled him. Confidence was a glove that fit him perfectly. When the pressure was at its greatest Doug would do seek an edge like warming up with a smaller disc in order to get into the heads of his competition. He was built for the competitive nature of Freestyle Disc in the early phase of the sports development.
“His roots in River Falls, Wisconsin were as rural and small town as it gets. Once we drove for 16 hours to his house in River Falls in advance of one our early Sky of 10,000 Frisbees events in Minnesota. Marcie Branigan (mom) put the brats in a pot when we left and then right onto to the grill when we arrived. It was home. As a traveling partner and friend he’d never leave you behind (well except that once…). There was a camaraderie between the early version of the Coloradicals that was unsurpassed. We were the outsiders. There was the East Coast players and West Coast players, each with their own styles and expertise. Doug and the Coloradicals were a blend of the two coasts. Within the team we each had our forte, but Doug was crescendo. Each routine had its highlights and the team work was what we prided ourselves on, but it was Doug’s quick spinning that was the emphasis for the crowd. The anticipation was felt each time we stepped on the field. They wanted to see Doug go off. Usually the disc was set barely at head level. There wasn’t much time to get around once let alone twice but he did. With sure hands and a moppy hairdo there was barely enough skin and bones to qualify for a 120 pound weight class. His prowess was not just in freestyle either. Finishing in the top 5 at many overall events, throwing incredible distance in those early days of the beveled edge and often dreaming of making the final foursome in some of the biggest disc golf events of his day. A class player and a class individual without whom The Coloradicals would never have made their mark”. (submitted by Bill Wright)