Thursday, September 21, 2006

Just a little bit of history repeating

The Awesome Helicopter Ninjas opened our fourth season the same way we have opened our first three seasons: with a loss. And not a particularly pretty one, either - 8-2 to the Valley Girls. To paraphrase our team inspiration for this season, we've won two championships after losing our Opening Night game, so I'm not sweating it either.

Actually, we played OK for parts of the game (we led 2-0 after one inning). Basically, they made some really precise kicks, and we had some new players (and veterans) drop some balls that I don't think they'll drop again. Especially the new players - I think people either a) get really nervous the first week and make mistakes they eventually learn not to make or b) come in too cocky and think they should be able to be amazing from the start, and have to learn that you do in fact need to concentrate and take it somewhat seriously to do well.

However, despite the loss, I had a really good time. In fact, it was about as much fun as one could have while getting soundly beaten. The Max Fischer Players Edition got off to about as great of a start as I could have hoped for from a theme standpoint. First off, my uniform was top-notch:

- Red beret
- Black glasses
- Blue blazer
- Blue and red tie with dress shirt (with team T-shirt over the dress shirt but with the tie stick out over it)
- Khaki short

I played in everything except the blazer, which would have been a bit too restrictive in terms of making fielding plays. I can't say the uniform (comstume) hurt me at all, but I will say this: it was hot, even at 7:30 at night. It was even really hot at the bar after the game with everything on. I have a new appreciation for Jason Schwartzman and what he must have gone through while filming "Rushmore" while wearing that outfit and being under hot lights.

And the best part was that I wasn't the only person on my team to go with the theme! Of course Scott and Michael didn't get dressed up, but I didn't expect that because they are jerkburgers. But three of our female players did come in schoolgirl outfits (which, I'm sure some of my less classy readers would be very excited to hear about, and...yeah, it was pretty cool.) This included two of our new players, one of whom went the whole nine yards and was basically an exact replica of Margaret Yang. So much so that we kept referring to her as Margaret instead of by her real name all night.

(I had a single in my only AB - I would have had a better kick, but I was distracted by Michael dancing with Dre to "Oh Yoko" as the soundtrack from "Rushmore" was playing on our iPod boom box. Stupid sexy Michael and his sexy dancing.)

Of course, there were smoke bombs. Duh.

And, I have to compliment The Valley Girls on having the highest level of sportsmanship. I know I've ripped on them in the past, but that was before several of our players got to know several of their players really well, and it was actually a lot of fun to play against them, without the usual passive/aggressive BS that both teams usually bring to the game. So kudos to you, Valley Girls.

The bar was fun and really hectic. We now have 14 teams in the Division, which is five more than we've ever had. Unfortunately, that means that not every team is going to play against each other, which really sucks. But McWAKA (my new nickname for WAKA, since they are trying to franchise themselves as the McDonalds of kickball) likes to have 16 team Divisions instead of capping them at, say, eight and starting new Divisions in the area after that. I wouldn't do things that way, but I don't work there. (Thank God.)

So we play one of the new teams next week (Wonderballs), and I think that we'll be properly motivated by a) our poor performance last week and b) the fact that they have a terrible team name.

Oh yeah, we handed out championship rings in a brief pregame ceremony. I'll post pics later in the week - everyone seemed really happy to be rewarded for their hard work.

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