"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Beautiful Game

No, you Eurotrash, I'm talking about kickball.

kickball, you ask?
Actually, yes. That kickball. (artwork courtesy of Caleb, from Belle Sherman Elementary in Ithaca, NY.)

I play kickball. It's fantastic. In fact, I'm a kickball champion, as of 4 days ago. However, I'm somewhat ashamed of the way we won, and it's kind of an interesting story. I mean, come on, it's about kickball! (Cynics, and those not interested in long kickball stories, may escape by clicking HERE.)

On Saturday, June 24, 2006, the 10 teams of our San Francisco WAKA division (the city has four) took to the open fields of Golden Gate Park to determine its postseason champion in one day (something that took the NBA over two months to do). My team of incredibly awesome kickball champions was seeded 3rd overall going into "pool play," where each team played 3 games within its pool of 5 teams. The top two teams from each pool then advance. (You know, like the World Cup. But more arbitrary and complex. Don't ask.)

With the morning sun shining down on a perfect, so-hot-it-was-almost-75-degrees San Francisco summer day, we took to the field for our 11 a.m. game. To be discreet, my team's name below will appear as "We're So Awesome."

Game 1:
We're So Awesome 11, Juicy Victim the First 4.
Yours Truly: 2-2, double, 2 R, 2 RBI.

A win squared away in our opening match, and each of us a couple of beers deep, we reeked of confidence. Bag Lady Betty (he's 50) of Golden Gate Park reeked of worse.

Game 2:
We're So Awesome 6, Team We Actually Beat 6. (Umpire who can't add, -1,000,000.)
Yours Truly: 2-2, RBI, ridiculously awesome catch at shortstop.

We wailed with delight, until the umpire definitively ruled that the opposing team had scored one more run than the actual number of runners physically crossing home plate during their at-bats. But whatever. We were losing going into the last, and we'll take a tie.

Yes, there are ties in playoff kickball. At least the opening rounds. It's retarded, I know.

Game 3: We're So Awesome 1, Where'd Those Guys Go 0 (forfeit win).
Yours Truly: 4 beers.

The bottom-seeded team didn't even show up, so we got to hang out and get sunburned.

With 7 points in hand, we sheepishly found ourselves in the Semifinals, eventually winning our group after having spent the following two hours watching everyone else beat up on each other.

Semifinal Round:
We're So Awesome 9, Nice Guys Who Just Got In The Way 5
Yours Truly: 2-3, 3 RBI, one massive headache

Three games of kickball takes its toll on you physically. No, it really, really does. Cigarettes probably don't help.

In the finals, we were slotted to face a team I'll call "The Douchebaggy Assholes," who everyone, EVERYONE, in the league hated. They're just fratty douchebags who managed to go 8-1 in the regular season by bunting. Bunting?

The bunt, because of how small the field is (Little League-sized) and the fact that you can't play closer than about 30 feet at 3rd (rules), make the bunt extremely hard to defend, and generally considered "for girls." (Many are excellent kickballers, many are not.) Which is great, because it means most girls can get on base more easily. Girls on base are awesome. However, The Douchebaggy Assholes, male or female, bunted all the time. Don't you hate them too now? Man, what a bunch of Douchebaggy Assholes!

Cajoled by other managers, and familiar with the exacting bylaws of adult kickball (as league president), our manager put to us a proposition - The D.A.'s were ineligible, because they were playing with 4 girls (the minimum), none of whom were actually signed up on their team. This was something they had done all year long. Why not force them to forfeit?

Exhausted, giddy with the thought of sticking it to The D.A.'s, and freezing our asses off (it was 7 pm and about 50 degrees at this point), the team gave in to groupthink and elected to, well, stick it to them. Our captain, alone, walked over to inform our opponents of the ruling, which had now been at least tacitly supported by the remaining members of all other teams still in attendance.

What ensued could only be described as...awkward.

They yelled. We milled around. They yelled some more. We asked them to "play us anyway," in a game that deteriorated pretty quickly into sarcastic jawing and definitely almost came to blows, despite the best efforts of the 3 nonpartisan umpires in attendance.

Did I mention this is kickball?

The score when the game broke up early was something like 8-6, D.A.'s. So, while we won, and we're, like, champions and stuff, it was ugly. As a kid, I was on the receiving end of that kind of "you're-not-registered-you-forfeit" kind of crap, and I hated it. Even though the D.A.'s were in fact cheating all year, and weren't playing "in the spirit of kickball" -- the 8 registered girls on OUR team all played in the playoffs -- in retrospect, what our team did was probably ultimately wrong.

But hey! They're Douchebaggy Assholes, we won, and I'm still proud of my first ever kickball championship.

So there.

Oh, and hey, for those who actually read this whole thing, here's that Cats in Sinks link again. Man, Cats in Sinks.

Comments on "The Beautiful Game"


Anonymous Luke (fratty asshole #1 bitch) said ... (12:50 PM) : 


as one of the Douchbaggy Assholes that is the funniest thing (and actually the saddest thing) I have ever read.


Anonymous ben said ... (2:42 PM) : 

for someone who comes down on another team for getting fired up about kickball, you sure are fired up about kickball.

we're going to bunt you into the ground.


Anonymous D-bag bitch #2 said ... (3:24 PM) : 

Just want to set the record straight - Because of poor organization by your team captain, none of our girls were able to play in the tournament. Nice try. We did not cheat "all year." Stop trying to rationalize the situation. You should hate yourself for pulling such a pussy move.

See you on September 13th. Prepare to lose...


Anonymous A. Tremendous Douchebag said ... (6:10 PM) : 

As a true believer in sound and accurate journalism, I have to make a correction in your article. You see, when you said that your team tacitly supported your enormous assed captain, it was really more like vocal embarassment. From all the players I talked to on your team (that is, those who weren't too childish to speak to one of the opposite team members at this time), most were thoroughly embarassed by their teams actions. I mean, to reitterate--it's f@#$ing kickball. Maybe, captain, this is your first crack at anything competitive since OT on the JV football squad, and I'm glad to see you've still got heart. But heaven's sake man. It's just kickball. Would it really have been that fun if we didn't replace the girls (who were at a funeral, by the way), and there was no game at all? I guess you'd've had the win.


Anonymous anc said ... (8:01 PM) : 

hello, fellow best friend from rusty's team.

this is alissa, one of the captain's from traitor. just to let you know, traitor played with only registered girls during the regular season....AND it is 100% legal to bunt in the game of kickball! COOL! as for the playoffs, rusty let us know they would be a different weekend, so half of our girls made plans and were on vacation. the other half (myself included) were at a funeral, back on the east coast. thanks so much for understanding. can't we be best friends? yours truly, alissa.


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