Week 9 Preview; or, Just Another Day

It’s about that time of the year when shit starts to get real. Like, really real.

It’s hot out. People are moving in and out and in. Drivers get worse. Long-time Lawrencians start to bail. College basketball is nearing its triumphant return. The Royals are vying for a World Series. I can finally write that without laughing. The kickball season is nearing its end.

Yes. It’s time for some Real Talk.

Das Boot plays Red Lyon for the first time in recent memory. Red Lyon has lost three of its last four games, and Das Boot is coming off a high-scoring, back and forth loss to the Rockets. Das Boot’s captain Phil ought to be back for this game, and CF Josh will probably be looking for another home run.

Happy Shirt plays Wildman Attack Force for the fourth year in a row—a team it hasn’t lost to since 2012. Happy Shirt is also coming back from an exhausting 12-inning win over Kansas Tree Care, followed by Tyler’s “Flu Game”—a 13-inning win over Channel 6.

Also at Lyons, Kansas Tree Care takes on the Love Garden Squids. KTC scored six runs before taking an out last week against the Hurtz Donut D-Holes (ultimately coasting to an 11-4 win), while the Squids return from its own 13-inning loss to the Chalmersiz. KTC was kind of boned having to face Happy Shirt in its division, but not everyone can be a 1-seed—though the way it’s played all season, Hannah & co. certainly deserve it.

THAT'S A PEACH SANDWICH

THAT’S A PEACH SANDWICH . . . WEIRD

The Free State Growlers have been playing some of its best kickball of late—ever since I apparently threw a lot of shade or whatever—and are facing the Goats for the third straight year (the previous two games went the Goats’ way). This could be a tough game for the now-with-less-Lauren Goats, but don’t expect them to go down fainting.

Across town, Channel 6 plays the Bad News Bagels, two teams in Rank Pool 1 for the first time, and two teams down one in the pool. Channel 6’s defense is solid, unless it’s playing Happy Shirt, and the Bagels’ schedule won’t get any easier for a couple more weeks until the playoffs start. Well, neither will Channel 6’s, but that’s what you get for being good.

Pizza Party surprised Red Lyon with a big win, and the Rockets scored 20 against Das Boot (and allowed 14). Holcolm Red at 6:30 p.m. is a rough place to play, and for two high-scoring teams this could be another run-fest. The Rockets played a different defense from what I’ve seen in the past—it struggled early on, but adjusted and acclimated inning-by-inning against Das Boot. Big game for these two.

Speaking of big games: Chalmersiz faces the Hurtz Donut D-Holes for the fourth time in four years, winning in 2012 (in the 2s), losing early in 2013, and winning in the second round in that year’s tournament. Hurtz was slightly shorthanded last Sunday against KTC. That should change this week. Chalmersiz, on the other hand, looks to have improved significantly after last year’s step back. Since 2012, Chalmersiz has gone 9-1, 8-2, 6-4, and is already at 7-1, only losing to the Bad News Bagels this season so far. Could this be their year to return to the Final Four since its heartbreaking, extra-inning loss against Happy Shirt in ’12? and who from Hurtz is gonna step up and take 27 pitches from Capt. Candlepants? and will Justin rip his goddamn pants again? These questions and more will be answered right before  . . .

Los Matadores and Thunderkickz face off in this year’s Beard Off game. Either Capt. Paul Santos or new-to-the-team Austin Wagoner will lose his beard after this game, so one way or another, someone’s gonna look weird at Game of the Week. After last Sunday’s surprise drubbing (for both teams), each looks to defend their beard with all they’ve got. If Los Matadores can field its full team (it played five girls in its loss to the Goats), and ThundertriX can kick to its potential, this could be a one- or two-run game. Austin has a better beard, but he should probably enjoy it while it lasts.

And then we have Game of the Week: Asteroid Head vs. the Ladybird Harpies. Asteroid Head’s last GotW was opening day, 2014, in which it lost to the Rats, 11-2. The Harpies’ last was in 2013, in which it also lost, 19-7, to the Merchants of Death. Asteroid Head is looking to sweep the 8s, and the Harpies just want its first win after losing its best chance last week to D’s Nutz (10 innings).

And now for some pics:

Red Lyon > Das Boot
Happy Shirt > Wildman Attack Force
Kansas Tree Care > Love Garden Squids
Free State Growlers > Goats
Screamers > D’s Nuts
Corksuckers > Nick Lerner’s Homies
Liberty Hall Late Fees > Brewballers
Taco Tuesday > Jazzhaus
Channel 6 > Bad News Bagels
Pizza Party > Rockets
Chalmersiz > Hurtz Donut D-Holes
Los Matadores > Thunderkickz
Sacred Sword > Rats
Wu-oost > Ghosts
AsteroidHead > Ladybird Harpies

There. That’s about as normal as it’s gonna get. Who wants a margarita?

Rank Play Predictions with Some Pictures; or, It Was A Busy Week

Well, we’re about there. Only three weeks remain, and these next three will determine the tournament seeding. How your team fares in Rank Play depends, finally, on mostly evenly matched teams, with the likelihood of one-sided victories beginning to taper off. To start the afternoon off, these are my predictions for how each Rank Pool will end up:

HURRIED WRITING

HURRIED WRITING

And these are my predictions for the week:

Kansas Tree Care > Hertz Donut D-Holes
Rockets > Das Boot
Corksuckers > Brewballers
Nick Lerner’s Homies > Liberty Hall Late Fees
Los Matadores > Goats
Where’s My Pitches > Ghosts
Red Lyon > Pizza Party!!
Wildman Attack Force > Bad News Bagels
Chalmersiz > Love Garden Squids
Sacred Sword > Jazzhaus
Ladybird Harpies > D’s Nuts
Taco Tuesday > Rats
AsteroidHEAD > Screamers
ThunderkiXXX > Free State Growlers
Happy Shirt > Channel 6

And this is a picture of two of my favorite people in KVKL:

HANNAH B. AND JOEY McD.

HANNAH B. AND JOEY McD.

And this is a crappy drawing of a buffalo smoking a cigarette:

BUFFALO

BRIANNE K. WITH APPRECIATE THIS

Good luck this weekend!

Week 7 Preview; or, The Week That Matters Most, Four Weeks Later

As we all know by now, this is the actual week 3—a week that features many games that would have, in retrospect, clinched several pool seeds. Most notably, the John Brown Division, in which Happy Shirt and Kansas Tree Care are locked at the top. Winner takes the division; loser takes second place. In the Carrie A. Nation division, Mario Chalmersiz faces the Bad News Bagels, also for the 1- and 2-spots. Wildman Attack Force has already clenched the 1-seed. And, barring an unprecedented upset by Sacred Sword, Channel 6 has already won the Langston Hughes division. The rest, however, is all over the place—as we’d expect.

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THE BIG ONES

Thunderkickz vs. Love Garden Squids @ Lyons East, 5 p.m.
If Love Garden wins this game, it clenches the 2-spot behind Channel 6. But if Thunderkickz wins, and Red Lyons (somehow) beats the Brewballers (it will), there’d be a three-way tie at 5-2. Big game right here. I don’t know if Thunderkixxx has what it takes to win it—of course this is a team that surprised everyone a few years back and beat Chalmersiz for the top seed.

Love Garden Squids > Thunderkickz

Chalmersiz vs. Bad News Bagels @ Lyons East, 7 p.m.
An altercation last week led to Bad News Bagels’ pitcher and 3-kicker, Dylan McIntyre’s, suspension for one game by the league. While the Bagels are a good squad, that’s a big loss. What’s worse—the team suspended him for three additional games. So, all of Pool Play. That’s a bigger loss, especially with the way Chalmersiz has played of late, smoking its last four opponents by an average of 7.5 runs. Bagels are still a great team, but losing Dylan could hurt its Final Four chances.

Mario Chalmersiz > Bad News Bagels

Wu-oost vs. Free State Growlers @ Holcolm Red, 5 p.m.
Tied at 3-3, this game will decide the 4- and 5-spots in the John Brown Division. The Wu-oost is certainly the better team, but after last week’s Game of the Week-snoozefest against the Jazzhaus, the Growlers are looking to make a statement—with a statement win, perhaps one of its first in years. For a team that’s been around since the beginning, it’s regularly struggled to get out of the bottom 10 in the league, and I can’t remember a year it wasn’t in the 6-, 7-, or 8-spot of Pool Play. Looks like this will be the year, regardless.

Wu-oost > Free State Growlers

Happy Shirt vs. Kansas Tree Care @ Hobbs, 7 p.m.
Your Pre-Game of the Week Game of the Week is, again, the reigning champs against the reigning tournament thorn-in-the-side of the reigning champs. Bummer I’m gonna miss this one—you probably will be, too.

Happy Shirt > Kansas Tree Care

Taco Tuesday vs. Ghosts @ Hobbs, Game of the Week
Das Boot’s big (and dramatic) win over Los Matadores last Sunday all but locked-up the 3-spot for it, pushing Los Matadores to 4- for consecutive years. This game, meanwhile, will break up the bottom of the Carrie A. Nation division, assuming, of course, Das Boot and Los Matadores finish strong over the Corksuckers and the Screamers, respectively. A Taco Tuesday win will place it at 5th—a big jump from the 8s last season. A Ghosts win and Corksuckers loss will result in a three-way tie at 2-5. (Throw in a long-shot win by the Screamers over Los Matadores and that’s a four-way tie.) At that point, who the fuck knows what will happen the rest of the season.

Taco Tuesday > Ghosts

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THE REST

Goats > Rats
Hurtz Donut D-Holes > Ladybird Harpies
Love Garden Squids > Thunderkickz
Mario Chalmersiz > Bad News Bagels
Wildman Attack Force > Nick Lerner’s “Homies”
Jazzhaus > D’s Nutz
Red Lyon > Brewballers
Pizza Party > Where’s My Pitches?
Wu-oost > Free State Growlers
Rockets > Liberty Hall Late Fees
Das Boot > Corksuckers
Los Matadores > Screamers
Channel 6 > Sacred Sword
Happy Shirt > Kansas Tree Care
Taco Tuesday > Ghosts

The Home Stretch; or, Week 6 Preview, Kinda

John Brown; or, Job 6:10
This division should have undoubtedly been decided in week 3. Thanks to the rain, though, Kansas Tree Care got a few extra weeks to prepare for its regular season matchup against Happy Shirt, the favorite to repeat (again) as KVKL Champions. KTC could have taken a step back with the loss of Kris Marshall—I’m not entirely sure why people thought that, but, hey, whatever—yeah, Kris was great, but he didn’t entirely make that team—it has the right combination of speed, power, experience, and Hannah. Anyway. The McKees are great players, Lou is easily one of the best (and somehow underrated) 3rd basemen, Josh has one of the best legs in the league, and a handful of this team has been a part of three of the last four championships (2010, 2011, 2013).

The Rockets are all but a lock for the 3-spot, showing its ability to score against most teams. Besides the Rockets, no team has scored more than 6 runs (the Wu-oost) against Happy Shirt. In fact, KTC has allowed fewer runs this season (14). Barring a major upset in week 7 in the Wu-oost and Free State Growlers game, this division is essentially locked in. Who knows, though. It’s kickball.

This way? This way? This way.

THIS WAY? THIS WAY? THIS WAY.

Carrie A Nation; or, 2 Corinthians 3:12
The Corksuckers finally fielded its full team and came away with a big (and disrupting) win by shocking the Bad News Bagels two weeks ago. Das Boot had a tough 0-2 start before winning its next three, and it faces its probable 3-spot competitor Los Matadores this week, with the winner taking it. Next week, the top two, Bad News Bagels and Mario Chalmersiz, square off for the deciding game. Of course, Chalmersiz has to get past the Corksuckers, a team that has won its past two games.

The Screamers, once a perennial powerhouse and Final Four contender, are on their way to a winless start to the season, while the Ghosts, a perennial underachiever, have played pretty all right all season—it just can’t reel in its defense enough to stop upper-echelon teams. It has a shot to play up to the 6-spot if it can beat the Screamers and Taco Tuesday in next week’s Game of the Week, though that could prove challenging with Taco Tuesday turning itself around after a few abysmal seasons. It kept close with Das Boot last week, losing 6-4, and Los Matadores, 8-6.

If the Bagels can hold on against Chalmersiz, and earn its first 1-seed, it has a good shot at making consecutive Final Four appearances. Of course, Chalmersiz has every intention of foiling that and returning for its first time since 2012.

William S. Burroughs; or, Ezekiel 16:24
Wildman Attack Force has swept through the William S. Burroughs division handily, all but securing the division, while the 2- and 3-spots are still open between the Hurtz Donut D-Holes, Pizza Party!, and the Goats, with a potential three-way tie at 5-2. This week, Hurtz faces the Goats, a 2013 rematch in which the Goats won, 14-11. Since then, though, the Goats have taken some steps back, though a win could push it up to a 3-spot, and a loss could drop it to the 5-, possibly a 6-.

The Rats are in a tough position having to finish against Party! and the Goats, but if it can steal a win from one or both it could push its way up as far as the 5-spot. Where’s My Pitches? can also finish with a winning record should it pull off the upset over Party! and handle Nick Lerner’s Homies. Really, the only two spots locked up are the top and bottom, barring an unforeseeable (and unprecedented) upset between Wildman and the Ladybird Harpies.

Langston Hughes; or, 2 Samuel 1:27
Looking at the standings, there are a few surprises—some of which we’d probably never have predicted. Possibly the biggest surprise of the season is Sacred Sword’s 1-4 record and, in these last two weeks, is playing its way out of the bottom of the Langston Hughes division. It also has two difficult remaining games—against a revitalized ThunderkiXXX team, and an even more improved Channel 6 team. It’s been crushed by the top teams, Love Garden and Red Lyon, and has struggled against the rest, losing to AsteroidHEAD and Merchants of Death, and barely getting by Brewballers, all by one run. Best case scenario, it wins out and earns the 6-spot. Worst case? It loses both and potentially drops to the bottom 8-spot.

Perhaps the best game this week pits the top-seeded Channel 6 team against the potential-top-seeded Red Lyon. If Channel 6 wins, it’s essentially locked up the 1-seed. (It still has to play Sacred Sword in week 7, which could force a three-way tie on top, but . . . see above.) Talk about a total reversal of fortune. Channel 6, once the punching bag of the league—thanks, Cougar—is now vying the top spot, while Sacred Sword, yearly Final Four contender, has had maybe its worst season on record—and with not much time remaining to turn it around.

Red Lyon is still a legitimate Final Four contender. Love Garden’s rookies have struggled. Thunderkickzzzzzzzzz has played well and with a favorable draw could reach the Elite Eight, but will probably match up with Happy Shirt in the second round, like it always does, and be forced into an early exit. AsteroidHEAD is the same as ever, meaning—no one knows what the hell is going to happen with this team. It could pull off a surprise first-round win or it could win the Less Awesome Championship. Merchants of Death is playing a little better every week. Brewballers seems to have improved after cutting its vitriolic players. And Sacred Sword, well . . . 2 Samuel 1:27.

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Decisions

Where’s My Pitches > Nick Lerner’s Homies
Bad News Bagels > Taco Tuesday
Rockets > D’s Nutz
Channel 6 > Red Lyon
Chalmersiz > Corksuckers
Thunderkickz > Sacred Sword
Wildman Attack Force > Ladybird Harpies
Love Garden Squids > AsteroidHEAD
Ghosts > Screamers
Kansas Tree Care > Wu-oost
Happy Shirt > Liberty Hall Late Fees
Hurtz Donut D-Holes > Goats
Los Matadores > Das Boot
Pizza Party!! > Rats
Free State Growlers > Jazzhaus

Congratulations to Taco Tuesday’s Capt. Adam P! He won my really weird John Travolta Challenge and only missed one reference. One word for ya: Razzamatazz. Find me at Game of the Week for your prize!

In other news, should we make this week another contest? I chose four games for this Sunday. Can you correctly pick the winners of all four? Do so in the comments (either here or on Facebook) and you’ll be handsomely rewarded!

IT’S DANGEROUS TO PLAY KICKBALL ALONE. LOOK CLOSELY

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Los Matadores vs. Chalmersiz @ Lyons West, 5 p.m.
This will probably be the legit Game of the Week, and I think everyone knows it. Los Matadores hasn’t looked nearly as dominant as in the past, but that’s also a testament to the parity among KVKL nowadays. Taco Tuesday kept a close game with Paul and co. last week, 8-6, and the Ghosts a few weeks back showed it can hang with what were once far superior teams on paper, losing to Los Matadores, 4-2.

The Mario Chalmersiz handled that same Taco team, 12-5—it’s also in a pretty good position to steal the top spot in the Carrie A. Nation division if it can handle Los Matadores’ speed and power, thanks to the Corksuckers’ surprise win over the Bad News Bagels, and the Bagels’ win over Los Matadores. I haven’t seen enough of either team, unfortunately, to know how they stack up against one another, but the Matadors have some weak spots, especially in its kicking lineup. If you have the time to watch one game (that isn’t Team USA vs. Team Japan) then trek to Lyons and check this one out.

Los Matadores > Chalmersiz

And when you’re done, stick around for . . .

Goats vs. Pizza Party! @ Lyons West, 7 p.m.
Ah, old Goats vs. older Goats. If ever there were a rivalry in KVKL, this is possibly the one I think of first. Probably because the first kickball game I ever watched was the Goats of yore vs. the Jazzhaus of yore—which is essentially what Party is now. As I recall it was 2008, at the Fairgrounds, and the Goats had lost close game after closer game all season, having lost some seven games by a combined nine runs or something.

Anyway. The Goats were boned by Jazzhaus’ 2nd baseman, after deliberately dropping a pop-up with a runner on 1st to snake a double-play, I think to end the game. People shouted, Scott Starrett threw down his hip-towel like an angry Roy Williams does his suit jacket, Alex Fox said something hilarious, and life went as usual for everyone else. Good times.

And then a few years later, in 2012, these two teams faced each other in the second round of the tournament. Curses were cast, beer cans were thrown, and Party pulled off a major upset. Some things never change. Except for the Goats’ teammates. It has a handful of new(ish) players, who seem to be figuring things out together, having only lost to Wildman Attack Force so far this year. Party also lost to Wildman (big), as well as to the Hurtz Donut D-Holes (not so big). The Goats are a slightly more disciplined team. Party has learned to chill the fuck out. Party can win big, or the Goats can win small. Tough call.

Goats > Pizza Party

Love Garden Squids vs. Red Lyon @ Holcolm Left, 7 p.m.
Speaking of old vs. old. . . . Love Garden Squids had a tough (tough) games against Channel 6 last Sunday, losing 8-3, while Red Lyon had a not-so-tough game against the Merchants of Death, 5-2. And depending on the results of the next two weeks, Love Garden could potentially drop to the 4-spot in pool play.

THOSE ARE BANANAS

THOSE ARE BANANAS

Red Lyon isn’t far from consecutive 1-spots if it can handle the Squids and Channel 6 next week. If you’re not at Lyons this week, then you’re probably at the Red Lyon watching soccer, or watching this game. Both teams are fast, both are veteran-laden, and both kick extremely well. And to cap it off—this game is being played at Holcolm Left; or, Home Run Central. The last time Red Lyon played here (week 1), it put up over 30 runs against an improved AsteroidHEAD. I don’t remember the last time the Squids played here. (Anyone?) I guess it doesn’t matter—it’s all about matchups, and this is one helluva matchup.

Bummer we can’t akk watch this one—it’s gonna be good. Probably better for Love Garden, but good nevertheless.

Love Garden > Red Lyon

OH, AND I ADORE THIS GUY

OH, AND I ADORE THIS GUY

D’s Nuts vs. Liberty Hall Late Fees @ Game of the Week, you know when and where
I didn’t bother making a spreadsheet this season so I can’t bore you readers with stats and numbers and other objective analyses—I can only bore you the good old fashioned way: with words. Since Capt. Kristen took over D’z Nutz, it has cut its roster significantly and played slightly better (from what I’ve heard). The Fees, meanwhile, has taken a step back over the past few seasons. That disparity may have evened out, it would appear, and this game makes a lot of sense at a cursory glance. It’s America’s 239th birthday weekend, it’s two hungry-for-a-win teams, and Mick Cottin is probably going to propose to Robyn again.

Good luck and try not to set anything (or anyone) on fire!

Liberty Hall Late Fees > D’s Nutz

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Good luck, everyone! Have fun and be safe and celebrate responsibly!

How Many John Travolta References Can You Find?; or, Week 5 Preview

I don’t really know where this came from, or why I even decided to do it, buuuuuut I did and you’re just gonna hafta deal with it. Or not. I don’t know. Anyway. These previews are loaded with references to John Travolta. Films, television, songs—you name it! And if you can find them all first, you win a prize! Fuck yeah!

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Jazzhaus vs. the Rockets @ Lyons West, 5 p.m.
The Rockets are coming off a close game versus the reigning champs, Happy Shirt, ultimately losing 14-9 or something. Those two squads seem to face off every year anymore, and the experts like to pick the Rockets as a sleeper team in spite of its struggles against upper echelon teams. It’s off to a pretty good 2-1 start, though, having beaten the Free State Growlers 15-3 and the Woost 12-3. Looks like 3 is one of the Rockets’ lucky numbers. (Hint. There are three John Travolta references in that paragraph alone.)

JOHN TRAVOLTA, IN CASE YOU FORGOT

The Jazzhaus, meanwhile, has a single win against the Liberty Hall Late Fees, 17-12, but don’t expect it to put up those kind of numbers against the Rockets, especially with its talented rookies. I wouldn’t expect another blow out for the Rockets, though—this Jazzhaus squad has improved (from what little I’ve seen), and we all know how the Rockets can struggle against reasonably matched teams the pundits predict them to beat.

Rockets > Jazzhaus

Channel 6 vs. Love Garden Squids @ Holcolm Red, 5 p.m.
The old dogs of Love Garden may not take the field these days, and Channel 6 may not play the prettiest game of kickball, but these teams are two of a kind. Both are undefeated, and both must take this game inning by inning, moment by moment, if it wants to stay alive and at the top of the Langston Hughes division. (That was an easy one.)

Last year, these were two of the best defensive teams in the league, challenged only by Happy Shirt and Wildman Attack Force. This game could also be the deciding factor for the top spot in this division, depending on how games six and seven play out with Red Lyon facing the Squids and Channel 6, respectively. The biggest difference between these two teams is how offensively effective the Squids are compared to Channel 6. The Squids are a high-octane, scoring machine. Channel 6 can certainly score, just not nearly as at-will—especially not against a team about as defensive-minded as its own.

I don’t really know why this isn’t the actual Game of the Week. Seriously. This ought to be one helluva game, and whichever team decides to take a chance (with Olivia Newton-John) with its base-runners will probably be the victor.

Love Garden Squids > Channel 6

AsteroidHEAD vs. ThunderkiXXX @ Lyons East, 7 p.m.
Last week, Thunderkickz had an ultra-close game against the Merchants of Death, winning 12-11 in 10 innings at South Park, while the off-and-on underdog-darlings in the Kaw Valley of Violence Kickball League, AsteroidHEAD, was decimated by Channel 6, 27-3. This could be one of those surprise wins for AsteroidHEAD, though, with a fresh-faced Jason “Gummy Bear The Movie 3D” Barr back on the team, and Capt. Pat Watkins having wrangled his team in a bit and put it back in the mix. (Oh—John Travolta might actually wear Wranglers—it seems like something he’d do, I don’t know—but that usage of the word “wrangle” wasn’t a J.T. reference. Just so you know. I wouldn’t trick you like that.)

Thunderkickzzzzz played a great game on grass last week. It struggled defensively at times, allowing a grand slam in the first inning, but had some clutch kicking in a couple innings to put it ahead. The Merchants of Death fought back, though, taking the lead late, until Wiggins and co. forced extra innings. It was a crazy game, really, and I had a blast as a part of it. The refs were great putting up with Austin W. and James W. shouting at everyone, and Rachna in particular helped keep Merchants in line. Literally, ‘cuz it almost kicked out-of-order. Man, Rachna—she’s so lovely.

AsteroidHEAD is off to an all right start with a killer win over Sacred Sword. Its problem is it’s also been crushed by Red Lyon and Channel 6. A win would put it back at .500 and in a legitimate position to earn the 4-spot in the Langston Hughes division. This could ultimately be a deciding win for AsteroidHEAD if it can stave off the razzamatazz of Thunderkix0rz.

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And as a reminder, just because I wanted to get a couple more John Travolta references in, let’s all remember that while we all may be committing criminal activities out there every Sunday, let’s be cool and take care of the city we love so much, take care of our ourselves, and take care of each other.

OH, AND THIS GUY’S A CUNT. HE TOLD ME TO WRITE THAT, DON’T BE MAD AT ME. <3 YOU JOEY

So? How’d you do? If you’re the first person with a perfect score (hint hint!), I’ll buy you a six pack! Fuck yeah!

I Asked My Friends Which Games to Write About and They Chose These; or, Week 4 Preview

Like the title says—I asked my friends which games I should write about. They chose these and, being true to my word, I rolled with it.

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Thunderkickz vs. Merchants of Death @ 5 p.m., South Park
Yes! my game comes first! Fuck yeah! James Wiggins is going to get the best pitches of his fuckin’ life!

Taco Tuesday vs. Mario Chalmersiz @ 7 p.m., South Park
After Taco Tuesday’s impressive win in Game of the Week last Sunday, we’ll get to see what it’s really made of. Wait? Am I still doing this looked-into-the-future schtick? Lame. Ahem.

Taco Tuesday looks to build on its 2-0 start against one of the league’s best defensive teams, the Mario Chalmersiz. We can probably all guess the outcome of this game, but if Taco Tuesday can keep it close, it will be a Pyrrhic victory, if nothing else.

We’ll also miss seeing you on the fields, Rachna! Show up and smile when you can. Also, just so you know, Chalmersiz—Brittany just asked me when and where she plays. I could have told her anywhere else, so consider this a huge solid from Your Humble KVKL Narrator.

Mario Chalmersiz > Taco Tuesday

Nick Lerner’s “Homies” vs. Ladybird Harpies @ 5 p.m., Edgewood
Both teams are winless on the season, but both teams have looked better since last year, especially the Harpies. The Homies lost 3rd baseman Colin, but has picked up a handful of quality players—several from K.C. Waka teams, as I recall. I don’t really know a lot about either of these teams anymore, but it wasn’t my call to write about this game. My friends picked it and I had to go with it. It should be a good game, though, right? The Harpies’ defense is better than in year’s past, but if it can handle some of the new Homies’ speed, and contain Mr.-Only-Man-More-Self-Deprecating-Than-Maybe-Me-Cougar, then the Harpies have a shot at earning its first win of the season.

Nick Lerner’s “Homies” > Ladybird Harpies

Three Predictions:
o1. Cougar (Homies) will kick a triple
o2. Katie Markus (Homies) will make a double-play
o3. Staci Taylor-Ahlvers (Harpies) will yell at Grant at will and it will be awesome

Woost vs. Liberty Hall Late Fees @ 7 p.m., Wrigley Field, Do. Co. Fairgrounds
The Woost had a tough time against the up-and-coming Rockets (we say that every year, don’t we? up-and-coming?) but this will be a good come-back game for Dan and co. The Late Fees had a tough draw to start the season against Kansas Tree Care, followed up by an improved Jazzhaus team, but it has the experience to keep the Woost at bay if it can adjust its defense appropriately. (Pro-Tip, Mick Cottin: Prevent the runners ahead of Dan and Esco from getting on base—they’re the RKI machines of the Woost. Remember: most runs wins. Fun doesn’t account for shit in this league!)

As is a common trend here at Sundays in the Park, especially early in the season, I haven’t gotten a chance to watch many teams yet, so knowing what and who to focus on is particularly difficult. And also, just a reminder—I didn’t choose to write about this game. I came up to Henry’s to write and asked my coworkers, “Hey, pick some games for me to write about. I’m not gonna tell you about the teams, just pick.” So don’t blame me for not knowing exactly what to say.

But I think the Woost will win and the Late Fees will score some runs in a few innings, somewhat sporadically.

Woost > Late Fees

Three Predictions:
o1. Mick Cottin (Late Fees) will kick 1.000
o2. Dan Mauga (Woost) will have an unprecedented three home runs
o3. Sean Jolly (Woost) will have an equally unprecedented double!

Love Garden Squids vs. Brewballers @ 9 p.m., Holcolm Red
This will be a test of the Brewballers’ mettle. Knowing its tendencies to implode (mostly at each other) in the past few years, even if it’s blown out and manages to maintain some dignity while doing it, I’d say it’s a good day. I mean, I know the Brewballers are different this year, but it’s hard to run from your past—believe me, I know. Oh, and just to reiterate—I didn’t pick this game to write about. It’s been fun, don’t get me wrong, but there are a few other games that probably could have been better to preview. Sorry the guys I asked don’t really follow kickball. Now that Brad “B-Rad” Everett and Chris “Smilez” Reilly have left Lawrence, Henry’s isn’t quite Kickball Central like it used to be. I know at least one of them will be back soon, though!

I’ve played against both these teams a collective six times in my KVKL career, and while the roster for each team has changed, the core surprisingly hasn’t changed that much. The biggest departures for each team are, of course, Phil Mitchell and Adrian Proctor for the Squids, and Tracy Flores and Mason Pine of the Brewballers (who went on to play for Red Lyon before bailing on KVKL entirely. <3). But you’ve got still got Rob Z. in charge of the Squids and Adrian Meneses drunk-reffing at 1st base. Some things never change.

Anyway. The Squids will run away with this game early on, and win by, like, 15.

Love Garden Squids > Brewballers

Three Predictions:
o1. Walker (Squids) will have a Grand Slam
o2. Brewballers won’t get on base until the 3rd inning
o3. Rob Z. (Squids) will be part of a triple play

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Good luck out there! Drink coconut water and bring me some whiskey! It’s gonna be a hot one!

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