Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's worth like 1,000,000 words.

Kickball is often about more than just playing the game, especially in North Hollywood's "Studio" division. We've got two videos to show just how theatrical and involved the pre-game shenanigans have become. The casting out of Satan and our celebration of mediocrity are this season's newest and most bestest videos. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Game 2 vs. Team Say Tan

I don't even know where to begin when talking about last night's game. Do we start with the pre-game tent revival/healing/casting-out-of-the-devil-himself? Do we begin with a rant on the "umpiring" from the game? Or that we beat Team Say Tan 6 (7?) to 0 in a game where just about everyone contributed in an awesome way?

I guess, because i'm BORING, we'll start with the pre-game shenanigans.

Tent Revival and Spiritual Healing


Preacher/Holy Man: Bill

Satan/Devil/The Dragon/Lucifer/The Morning Star/The Serpent from Below/Bielzebub: Michael

Scott opened up announcing Bill who was coming out to cleanse the field of all the unholyness, and to start blessing and baptizing our teammates. This goes on for a little bit. People start falling down "healed".

Suddenly, the gospel music changes to some rockin' tunes from Dio, and through a cloud of smoke (smoke bomb) The Devil makes an appearance, while humping a blow up doll clad like a ninja. This goes on for a little bit, before The Preacher realizes he's had enough, and starts kicking ass.

Satan begins to cower in shame, and is thrown down to the ground, healed by the Awesome Helicopter Ninja Kickball Gameplay Primer. Then the rest of the team begins to kick Satan's ass. Then Scott shot off the confetti gun.

Big cheers from everybody.

Eventually, we'll get to the start of the game. We shot all this on video, and people took pictures. I shaved my beard to a devil's goatee, and dressed all in red, had a pentagram and pitchfork and generally looked like an ass. It ruled.


The umpiring in the game set the tone. It wasn't just that it was exceptionally bad (it was) or that they had no idea what a strike or a ball was (it's true) or that we got boned on a variety of calls (which happens, but still, never fun). It was the game itself had no rhythm because of this. Every disputed call (and there were many) ate up a lot of time because of the constant discussion at home plate, in the field, wherever. No one wanted to stick to their calls, mostly I feel, because they didn't know the rules, or didn't want to face an argument from either team. So, it really suffered for both sides. And messed up the natural flow of a game. That being said, we still did very well, in spite of it.


This was a great game for everyone. We had a rocky start in the first inning. One of those aforementioned bad calls and the "strike zone" which needed major adjusting to kinda got in our heads. But by the 2nd inning, everything was humming.

Even when Team Say Tan threatened, the defense kept their heads in the game. Be it Bill running all over the field, trying to make every play. Or Sam and Kelly's brilliant game ending pickup at 2nd base that meant no runs scored, or the backup of our players from dropped fly balls, the defense was really present tonight. Adam J had the catch of the night, a diving catch along the left field line, that prevented a sure two runs from scoring.

Offensively, everyone was kicking on all cylinders. Once players adjusted to the strike zone, we had some great kicks. The gaps were found. All of our girls were on fire. Julie right now is 3 for 3. Melinda, with a little dunker down the first base line drove in two runs. A lot of that was great base running by Bill and Joe (a madman).

Adam G had a huge kick that brought in a couple of runs. Adam J (already mentioned) had a perfect kick right over 1st base that went to the outfield that allowed me to score from 1st (I ran like...I don't know what, but it was awesome).

Then we had a team photo thanks to Nathan from the Guy Fawkes Conservatory. ruled.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Winter 2008. Game 1 vs. Redrum

So, it was the first week of game. Oh, no! Another intense match up vs. Redrum. Yawn. We played. We lost. It's all cool, baby.
I'm over it. I'm sure they are over it. No one really cares about this anymore. The last few games have all been two run affairs. With less tension than Ahsley's weave.
First off, I'd like to welcome all the new Awesome Helicopter Ninjas to the team. Most of them were there last night, which was pretty boner-iffic, if you ask me.
Alicia - She played with me on the Cagey Bees and is Paul's (from the much hated Valley Girls) roommate. Paul also played with me on the Cagey Bees and is one of my closest friends, so yeah. Fuck that guy! Alicia likes pirates, but i'm ignoring that for now.
David - David is a transplant from a Studio team, the Mean Girls 'n Boys Next Door. He ALSO played with me on the Cagey Bees (see, I had a Monopoly going, which is ironic...when my team was Communist themed, but whatever). Dave is a fuckin' powerhouse. A damned dynamo! Dave is that guy who will kick the ball over the moon but can also bunt like a madman. This guy can do it all. His arm is a cannon, that is made of three cannons. I could go on all day.
James - James had a nickname before he was even on the team. It's a secret, so don't ask. He's a real cool dude who will get more tail than anyone in the division. He was super pissed off that he kicked two pop flys last night. As he should be. We expect AWESOME things from him.
Jenn - Already, guys are lining up to hit on her. And those guys are lining up to hit on each other (physically) to be in that line. She never played a game of kickball in her life and in the first game got on base with a beauty of a single, and advanced to 2nd.
Jeremy - Jeremy was the one no-show on Monday. He will be punished. Probably by having to kick first next week. We're not sure. Jeremy is one half of a set of twins, which means there may be some fucking awesome shenanigans if his brother shows up to the park. Oh, you know we will.
Joe - This guy played ball with Scott on the team, back in high-school. I have no doubts about him. You know those guys you look at and say "Yeah, I don't have to worry". That's the feeling I get from Joe.
Melanie - Another friend of Pauls. Mel did some Tripple A work up in San Fran before coming down to LA. I told her where to kick the ball on Monday and she said "I usually kick down the other base line". She ended up kicking it exactly where I told her to. She got out, but that's not the point. The point is, she is money!
Melinda - Like Jenn, another first timer. And another with a perfect on base percentage. What is it with these two?! Does being awesome only come in pairs? Oh, me thinks so.
So, yeah. Welcome to the team. You're Welcome.
As for Shenanigans, we had a bunch. First off was skipping the opening ceremonies to drink in the parking lot from Adam's magic punch. Things no one wanted to see included the Valley Girls giant cardboard trophy. Well, at least they've peaked. Enjoy fellas!
As WAKA now has an official sponsor, Jolt Energy Drink, which are advertising as...well, could you expect any a tramp stamp on the lower back of the t-shirt, we also felt that this needed addressing. The Awesome Helicopter Ninjas are now sponsored by a myriad of companies, including McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Wynn Hotels, Shell, Crown Royal, the Masons and about a dozen other companies that want to get in on some of the action. I don't blame 'em. Even if they didn't know about it.
Redrum got a bit of the action as well. Clark "The so-close-to-being-an-Awesome-Helicopter-Ninja-but-didn't-know-how-to-sign-up-two-or-so-years-ago-and-was-defaulted-to-a-team-that-would-eventually-become-Redrum" Hill is our friend and he sells homes. Go to if you don't believe me (See, Clark. Free advertising). Anyway, he's adorable and is always handing out business cards. So, we did too.
We handed out business cards. And clarksellshoes business cards. Richard created one for me which was It was pretty fun. I hope he kept them.
Finally, as we were playing Redrum, and as their infamously slow and methodical pitcher Dave Mauch had left the team to go home to Virginia, we had to pay some sort of tribute to their fallen time-waster. I removed the sleeves of my shirt, and purchased some of his trademark under-armor bodywear and enjoyed slowing down the game from the opening pitch. It was nice to see that Redrum got the joke, and that they played along by doing a traditional count, as I molested the ball in my hands on the mound.
Best night of Ninja kickball since I can't remember when. And that was with a loss! Fuck you, everybody!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Addition to the Enemies List

So many times I've mentioned the name of our kickball team, I've been asked "Have you seen 'Ask a Ninja'? For me this equates to, "Hi, I have terrible taste. Don't be my friend." If you haven't seen "Ask a Ninja" it's like Strong Bad answering his e-mail on the Homestar Runner website except not funny. They try to make up for it by editing really, really fast. The guy doesn't even have a cool voice for it.

"Ask a Ninja" is officially on the Awesome Helicopter Ninjas enemies list.

Go to the Homestar Runner website instead.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Can we be the Giants instead?

Remember when Richard Manfredi made the borderline arrogant post about the Awesome Helicopter Ninjas being the "New England Patriots of Kickball"? It made me uneasy, as most things do, but the parallel of 3 championships makes sense. Tonight though, I heard Michael Strahan speak after the New York Giants beat the nearly undefeated Patriots. First, did you realize Michael Strahan started playing in 1993? Clinton was in his first YEAR as president and I was a SOPHOMORE IN HIGH SCHOOL. But I digress.

Strahan said, "I look at us as a group of misfits who somehow came together and worked well." And who doesn't enjoy a jovial Micahel Strahan? So, yeah. Look at the Ninjas and you'll never see a group of super talented athletes. We're not even that athletic. The Patriots three years ago were similar as they were no-names who pulled it together. Of course now, they've become super stars. Super Duper even.

Anyway, my point. While last seasons Ninjas played like the Cincinnati Bengals of Kickball. I think overall considering the championship games, we played more like the Giants on February 3, 2008. They just went into the game, didn't expect to do anything and just had fun The comparison makes sense because really...the Giants? Who predicted that? (oh, and shut up if you're that guy who predicted the Patriots losing in like 10 other games, and is strutting around like "I told you!" today) But the Giants winning? I mean...come on. Wow.

OK, FAR more impressive. Richard Manfredi guessed IN ORDER, every song Tom Petty would play during the halftime show. The last 3 years now, we've collectively guessed WHAT songs would be played (3.5 for 4 on U2 and 4 for 4 with Prince). But this year, Richard Manfredi guessed what would make you about $10,000 on a $2 bet at any racetrack (It's called a "SUPERFECTA" and it's as insanely difficult as the name sounds).

Meanwhile, on February 3, 2008, I feel like Sofa King Good is the closest thing to the New England Patriots of Kickball. An undefeated season, followed by a championship loss. The only reason I won't draw the connection though is that the Patriots showed up and played in their championship game. Also, they were gracious in defeat.

We can compare all day, it's fun. Uno Mas and Guy Fawkes are the 1990s Kansas City Chiefs. Redum is the Tennessee Titans and let's call the Valley Girls the Denver Broncos of just fits. In the end though, the Awesome Helicopter Ninjas are mostly just the Awesome Helicopter Ninjas of kickball and I'm cool with that.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Excitement Is Returning

Is it palpable? No, not quite yet. But its getting there.

Right now I am in Awesome Helicopter Ninja mode. For the past few seasons there has been a lot of distraction. There have been a couple of teams i've ran in other divisions, and don't get me wrong, I love those teams and would say that I was in love with them as well, but the Awesome Helicopter Ninjas will always occupy the very center of my heart.

Hobolympians, baby. You're the best. Cagey Bees, you too sweetie-p, you are the bees knees.

But Ninjas? Wowie Zowie!

Its hard to describe to anyone who hasn't played on the team. And sometimes, its hard for someone who has played on the team to relate. I don't know if its because there is often a sense of inclusiveness within the team itself. I know a lot of what Scott and Richard and Ashley and I have tried to do often only involves Scott and Richard and Ashley and I.

BUT...we're trying to make some fun changes for next season.

"Oh, what kind of changes?"

We're trying to get more members of the team involved in everything from organization of more social events to having some that want to be more involved in trickery and tactics to step up and really be heard.

We are still a month or more out from playing our first game, but i'm excited about a lot of the changes. And i'm excited that i'm not sure how things are going to go. The unknown is awesome!