Nuttin like Kickball on the National Mall
|All season I’ve played with this adhoc team, coming in next to last in the pre-championship standings, which really don’t matter. We’ve been making errors left and right this sudden death championship game, which if we loose, will be our last game, but I don’t care.
It’s the bottom of the last inning and my team is down by nine points, and I’m laughing. I’m on third with two outs and the batter is known to bunt, which means I’ll probably not score, but I’m more excited than depressed.
This, after all is the 2002 World Adult Kickball Championships, and I’m just happy to be here, playing my favorite schoolyard game with such a breathtaking backdrop. Behind us, the Washington Monument stands proud in the evening sky, which before us displays her amazing summer sunset colors. All around us, on this wonderful July afternoon are the sounds of kickball joy. Yes, kball, which is as great to play at 29 as it was at 9, for no matter how good you are, that big red ball always does its own thing.
And I love doing my own thing in kball, which is playing two positions at once: catcher and mascot. I have a tough job at each, for as the catcher I constantly am keeping Autumn, our great pitcher, concentrating on striking or fouling out the batters, and I am constantly alert to bunts and foul balls that I can play for an out.
As mascot, I have the equally challenging task of running my mouth nonstop to psych-out the other team. From teasing the other team’s sports-star guys when they mess up to hyping up one of our great plays, I’m always there with sas, backtalk, and lip. I’m so damn good, I’m in the lead to make my season goal: winning my division’s Loudmouth Award.
All that doesn’t matter right now, for its game time, and we’re easily loosing to TCOJ, the second-best team in the league thanks to our doings. We tied them in our very first game of the season, keeping them from a perfect record, and keeping us happy even if we loose today. There’s nothing like holding back a team that’s so over the top that they wear matching hats and outfits with a pitcher who likes to show up in a monkey suit.
Too bad TCOJ, while being great on the field, looses out where kball games count the most: at the post-game happy hour. While yours truly and most of my team always has a roaring time at Kelly’s Irish Times, chatting with everyone and making our mark, TCOJ is known to stand around talking in somber tones about how to improve their game. Yeah, some people just don’t know how to relax.