Kiss your sister

Hold your breath, here comes a kickball update. In week three, we played a team called Sand.

I’ll begin this week’s recap with a story about the first CompuCredit softball team. We were the worst softball team in the history of softball teams. We couldn’t hit, pitch, or field. Other than that, we were all right. What made the entire season so frustrating was the experience we had in the opening week. I was our first pitcher and couldn’t finish the first inning because there’s a league rule that states that no team can score more than ten runs in an inning. I did get two outs for those ten runs. We were getting obliterated early, but we rallied. In the top of the final inning we tied the game. The other team had runners at second and third with no outs. It’s almost impossible to not give up a run at that point. Somehow we managed out one, two, and three. The game was over. We tied, and it felt like a win.

Last night, we tied and it felt like a loss. I felt like our three and four kickers were solid, but I didn’t have anyone behind them to knock these runners in. After working what I thought was a good lineup, we struggled. In the first inning we pushed one run across the plate. After that, it was a pitchers, or rollers, duel. Our opponent must have had some kind of internal rule. Each player had to be a maximum of 24 inches from their beer at all times. One team member wore a chicken suit. The chicken had a pretty solid leg. There was timeless music from Guns and Roses and the “You’re the Best” from the Karate Kid soundtrack. It was like they were at a party and a kickball game broke out. As the innings progressed and the field got more chopped up and the egg-shaped overinflated ball yielded few solid kicks, it was obvious that scoring would be at a premium. Every ball kicked to the Reject outfield was caught. When it comes to having any kind of work/social team, you have to trust in players who may or may not be top performers. There were some standout defensive plays from people who I did not expect to do so.

The easiest and best way to get on base when the bases are empty is the bunt. All you have to do is aim your foot toward the third-base line. After suffering through a spring cold, I put myself at the bottom of our order. That’s 18 in your kicking order, folks. I was up with one out in the fifth. I knew this was my only at-kick. I was mocked by the opposition for a “man bunt,” which apparently is more shameful than owning a “man bag.” I thought that we could manufacture a run and frankly I knew I wasn’t going to get another chance. I was stranded at second and mocked by our opponents, especially the bastion of self-esteem wearing the yellow chicken suit.

In the sixth Sand got a runner to second with one out, usually a tough spot. The runner prematurely took off and a hard kick to our third baseman led to an easy out. The meat of our order failed to produce another run.

We bring you to the bottom of the seventh inning. It’s getting dark and the field between the pitching mound and the plate resembles the surface of the moon. I can throw the ball straight and it might hit a pothole and end up three feet outside. We got the first out. We made the “strategic” move of placing a guy behind the plate to trail anyone who bunts. The woman at the plate bunted, and our guy made a great pickup, throwing to Mr. Funk at first for the out. The ref at first, holding a beer provided by the other team and not looking, calls her safe. Ouch. The next kicker gets on base. We’re able to get out number two. It’s now or never. A woman starts to move to the plate but she’s pulled back and replaced by a guy. Interesting. There is no pinch hitting in kickball. He blasts a line drive between first and second and we’re tied. The second runner tries to score, and as she’s sliding into home our catcher makes the tag for the final out. Due to time and darkness we have to call a tie. Sand wants to play more but we’re done.

It was a tough, hard-fought game. I really feel like it was a team effort and we deserved better. In kickball, you never know how the ball is going to bounce, especially when it’s shaped like a football.

After the game, I needed some kind of victory. I joined my buddy Mr. Funk at Mellow Mushroom. It’s probably the first time we went to this Emory University pizza joint without ordering a beer. I was still getting over my cold and Mr. Funk is on an alcohol sabbatical. I came three strikes from getting a 300. My 277 was a personal record (yes, I took a camera phone picture of it) and I got my initials on the game. We finished with a three-game Space Invaders series. I beat Mr. Funk, who played Space Invaders in high school. I was a Super Nintendo guy in high school.

I can see why college football went to an overtime system. The “kiss your sister” tie is not satisfying no matter what.

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