“He moves in circles of friends who just pretend that they like him
He does the same to them and when you put it all together
There's the model of a charmless man” - Blur
There's the model of a charmless man” - Blur
“Put this on your blog. Put this on YouTube.”
I can’t say I’m proud of myself for barking a few expletives on my way out of the bar last night. As usual, cooler heads prevail but never in my house.
What I can say is that I’m proud of this team. We ran an amazing season, for sure, sailing a 9-0 record to lose in a tight game with some tight calls.
But what’s most heartening is the way we did it. This kickball thing is about so much more than a handful of at-bats. In those matters, The Team Your Team Could Smell Like has proved itself an able and inspiring leader.
I like this blog. I like our YouTube videos. Big’s weekly updates provide great positive reinforcement and solidify this team as a group. He often takes the time to include other teams and players in the fun. They usually appreciate it.
And say what you will about Brennan’s rants (and I have) but I’ll never dismiss earnest pursuit of the craft of writing. The world’s better for this stuff. History is littered with the corpses of humorless fascists terrified by their failure to comprehend any literature more challenging than a Teddy Ruxpin book.
The editing job on the team video? I know newspaper staffs that couldn’t pull that off. Well done, sir.
I’ve also never heard anyone on this team say anything cruel or condescending during line-up. Thankfully, our meaningful recitation of “Good game” is rarely a struggle. We’ve gained a reputation as a fun team to play, always giving a shout-out to our opponents and buying a pitcher for our refs. We’ve adopted players from teams along the way, like a snowballing foster family of kickball misfits.
The day is rare, then, that we arrive on the field and can’t honestly say we’re lining up against friends. I’m thinking back to the last game I left angry, a rather absurd 2008 match against Gettin’ Cider. These days, I look forward to playing that team both because they are really, really good and because they are our compatriots.
We’ve also shown the utmost respect for the safety of other players (I’m turning a blind eye to Tristan’s pre-season ways) and compassion for the injured ones. A few years ago, after great and reasoned discussion, this team went in favor of the extra-base rule. We’ve suffered significant injuries, going years back to BK’s busted shoulder. I didn’t even know the guy then. That’s how long this has been going on.
This year, we took an especially hard hit when Brow dislocated his shoulder. To watch a friend in that much pain, to know the long-term effects on his body and his pocketbook - and I do believe Brow carries a pocketbook – was a terrible feeling.
Because of these experiences, I can’t imagine anyone on this team ever starting a sentence “I know she’s hurt, but…” and I certainly can’t imagine anyone else on this team standing cowardly in the background using the words “I don’t care.”
I’m also proud of the support this team receives from our former players. Yuval and Rob both made showings last night because they care about this team. And we’ve had countless significant others and family members show up and join in the fun. That says so much about the constitution of our people.
Which brings me to a final word about that banner. Cap worked really hard on that out of a love for this team and the people on it. So forgive me if a lot of my bad attitude last night came out of the mocking of it by a member of the opposing team, complete with a cruel, disgusting and small crotch pump. Where I come from, you don’t speak ill of a person’s family or friends, even unknowingly. Responding to those who have has caused me to fight against reason and act like a grunt on a number of occasions.
So it was last night that I acted out when provoked about the banner on the way out the door. Sorry, but the only person I’m giving that thing to is Seamus, so he can take it to Vegas with him (a few turns of fate and I’ll be there too). “So what if all my heroes are the losing kind?” the phenomenal rock band Lucero once asked. “So what?” I say. “Let’s take the damn thing to Vegas anyway.”
Whatever good reasons for my anger, though, doesn't excuse my decision to drop to a combative level. That Blur quote back at the beginning is directed at myself just as much as anybody who upset me. Maintaining composure can be a challenge for me, so much so that my unofficial New Year’s resolution was to act more like a gentleman (the official and much more fun one was to become an expert on Peter Gabriel – success there, so far). I’ve got a ways to go, but with this team I know I’m in the right company to do that.