Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Simply awesome

At the bar, Doug from The Valley Girls was insistent on getting me to autograph his shirt. I couldn't figure out why, but now I know - he put it up for sale on eBay. While I don't condone getting an autograph from me for purely financial purposes, all I have to say is that it may be the most hilarious thing I've seen on eBay in a long time.

That thing we do at the start of every season

...which would be lose our Opening Night game, in this case by a score of 5-2 to Sofa King Good. Honestly, I knew this might be our toughest game all year anyway - they are a veteran, very good team from Hollywood, and they came ready to play. And despite any worries that might have been had, their deportment and sportsmanship throughout the game were first-rate. If I were wearing a hat, I would doff it to them.

However, the night was more success than failure. Michael and Ashley set up the Official Awesome Helicopter Ninjas Fan Club (tentatively called "The Army of Awesomeness" in between fields before the game, and put up 50 fliers promoting my autograph session. And there I was, ready to sign glossy headshots and team photos before the game for our adoring fans. And, as suspected, none showed up.

Therefore, comedy ensued. Lots of me (as the disgruntled, egotistical superstar) getting upset and blaming Michael (as the hapless promoter/manager) making excuses and apologizing. And the obligatory recreation of the "Artie Fufkin from Polymor Records" scene from "This is Spinal Tap".

But, by the end of the night, I think we had signed up at least 75 percent of our own team for the Fan Club, which may not sound like much, but you need to start with your local fan base. After all, Cheap Trick was big in Chicago before they became famous worldwide. (Also, they were famous in the Japan before they were famous anywhere else in the US...and we're the Ninjas. Coincidence?)

Good times were had by all. Exceot for that whole losing thing, which was kind of a downer.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Opening Night

There is nothing like the pageantry of opening night, especially with the Ninjas. But this Opening Night is extra special, because we're launching perhaps the largest fan outreach campaign in North American kickball history. Because Monday night marks the launch of The Official Awesome Helicopter Ninjas Fan Club.

You heard right - now is your chance to join Ninja Nation. When you join the AHN Fan Club, you'll receive exclusive news, entertainment and stuff directly from the Ninjas themselves. It's our way of "giving back" to the greatest fans in kickball by giving a little something of ourselves to you.

Keep checking back for more information on how to join the Fan Club. Or, you can show up on Monday for our Opening Night game against Sofa King Good at 7:15 p.m. Starting at around 6 p.m., yours truly (the Duke of Kickball) will be at the AHN Fan Club booth, meeting the fans and signing autographs. I'm really excited, since I don't get a lot of chances to interact with the public, and even though you all do kind of scare me a little bit (so many germs!), with the help of my handlers, I should have a "good" time.

See you there!

Season schedule announced!

Finally, the WAKA Studio Division has released the schedule for this season. So, mark your calendars with the games that you want to attend, although really, you should be coming to root on your Ninjas at every game, regardless of which opponent we're defeating. Seriously, true fans show up to every game.

Here's the schedule, with the first game starting tomorrow (Monday) night:

Feb. 26 - vs. Sofa King Good, 7:15 p.m.
March 5 - vs. Happy Endings, 8:05 p.m.
March 12 - vs. Ponies of Death, 8:05 p.m.
March 19 - vs. Warner Pros., 7:15 p. m.
March 26 - vs. Redrum, 7:15 p.m. (interconference game)
April 2 - vs. Mean Girls and Boys Next Door, 7:15 p.m.
April 9 - vs. Hype, 8:05 p.m.
April 16 - vs. Smurfageddon, 8:05 p.m.

Group and family packages are available. Tickets are now on sale at the North Hollywood Recreation Center box office and at all Ticketmaster locations.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Conference draft

The new season starts in a couple of weeks, and the Division is deciding to do something different this year. Because we are going to have a full 16 teams, Michael came up with the idea to split the teams into two conferences. Basically, you would play each team from your conference once in the regular season, as well as one "interconference" game against a team from the other conference. The playoffs would be like any pro sport - each conference has their own playoffs to determine a conference/league champion, with those two teams meeting in the finals (AFC vs. NFC, AL vs. NL, etc.) Basically, it was a way to do something different, and hopefully create some bonding between teams that play in the same conference (i.e. you would so up to the title game and root for the team from your conference.)

The "draft" was Monday night at the bar after the pick-up game: Michael and Alan from Redrum (the new Board President) randomly drew names from a hat, placing each team on the board to represent each conference. Now, for the record, I suggested having at least two pools of teams - one veteran teams and one new teams - and doing each separately, so that the veteran and new teams would be divided as easily as possible. But, everyone thought that was too complicated.

So what happened? As is usually the case when something is done "random", the results appeared none-to-random. All of the major veteran teams (Valley Girls, Redrum, Wonderballz, Uno Mas, Trey Stafford Explosion, Pregnant Cheerleaders, etc.) were placed in one conference...except for The Ninjas, who are in the other Division. Now, our Division does include the former Royal Blue Ballers (now called Happy Endings), who we beat in the semifinals our first championship year but have taken a few seasons off. There are also at least two teams coming over from Hollywood, and one (Sofa King Good) is a very good team. certainly looks like we got a ridiculously easy draw while the other veteran teams got shafted on an idea that a Ninja had. Since we're the big, bad bully in our Conference, I'm sure we're going to be the bad guys all season just because of certain perceptions. If that's what happens, so be it - we'll just play that up by being the best villains we can be.

Also, expect some BIG announcements in the coming weeks before the start of the season that will have a definite impact on you, the AHN fan.