It’s about that time again.

For whatever reason, I was asked to write Sundays in the Park for the second season. I know, I’m asking myself the same questions: who are you? and why are you still here? Well, I don’t have answers for you that you’ll care about—‘cuz it’s probably not about you or your team. But, hey, I can at least say this: maybe I’ll try a little harder this time around. Or not, I don’t know. Let’s keep it interesting.

After last season’s up-and-downness, perhaps this year will be a little more stable. Well, that’s usually not how kickball works—or most things—because teams change, players move. Like in professional sports. We dig a team because of its players, and then they bail (or are traded), and all of a sudden that team just ain’t what it used to be. And in the KVKL, that’s pretty much what happens each season. The unpredictability of the off-season is half the fun (or maybe a third of it). Like in college sports.

Maybe that’s why we do this, to realize that in some microcosmic way all this matters, or we as individuals matter more than our collective. Of course, to some extent it does, because a generous portion of what we do goes to charity. So in that regard, yes—we’re fuckin’ awesome. Obviously. But we as a whole is what really matters: the Community.

And in spite of knowing each other to varying degrees—by name, as lovers, or wives and husbands, by position—we don’t really know what will happen next. After all these years of kickball, we’ve come to expect the unexpected. Like Kansas weather. We think we know how it will all play out, game for game, when suddenly—a team like Star Bar comes out of nowhere and wins it all. And just when we think Chalmersiz is gonna get crushed in Game of the Week, Das Boot loses it. Or when we think Happy Shirt is gonna destroy Wildman Attack Force in the Championship, Wildman holds them at second base until the 7th inning. Or when we think Chris Ford will never win another Championship, he surprises us all.

Last year wasn’t much different. There were, however, plenty of surprises—and plenty of what we anticipated.

Not surprisingly, Happy Shirt dominated its way to the Championship with an undefeated regular season, and Love Garden looked great on paper, but still wasn’t as good without Chris Ford. And not surprisingly, Los Matadores loaded its roster with new faces and still lost to Happy Shirt in the tournament, while Dan Mauga can still win games singlehandedly. And not surprisingly, Wildman Attack Force choked in the Elite 8, while BasilRide did whatever it could to dissociate itself from Basil Leaf Café. And not surprisingly, Sarah Riley is still awesome, and Hannah Blodgett still kinda sucks.

On the other hand, surprisingly, the Bad News Bagels reached its first Final 4 after going from the biggest assholes in the league to not quite the biggest assholes (welcome back, Chase!). And surprisingly, Space Pussy wasn’t the worst team in the league—instead it was the Brewballers. And surprisingly, Red Lyon actually reached the title game in spite of being older than the San Antonio Spurs, and Cougar was actually allowed back on the same team for the third straight year.

What will this season hold? Will Channel 6 or the Hurtz D-Holes finally reach the Final 4? will Vaughn and Richie turn Where’s My Pitches? around? will Kylie yell at me? will the Rats show up to games? Who knows. But for the next four months I’m gonna semi-document it and pretend to know, just like the rest of you. ‘Cuz we’re a community, and we’re all in this together.


THE FINAL WEEK aka championship confessions

I just put up the banner behind the backstop at hobbs. The field was perfectly marked and there was an empty bottle of beer resting on the edge of the stadium, our final Sunday of the 13th year of KVKL is hours from beginning. Eight teams of most awesome and less awesome remain.   Hopefully each one of these teams are currently taking part in what ever ritual, team building exercise will get them to the final games at Hobbs. So who the heck is gonna take the Trophy home for 2014? I’ve been watching most of you for so many years, which is why on Sunday afternoon I still have yet to write who I think is going to win it, my way…..

 photo-63 photo-62

HAPPY SHIRT VS. CHANNEL 6 – 4pm Holcom Blue – I want Happy Shirt to win because every year the best team in the league should win. However I also want Happy Shirt to win because Brianne K starts dental school tomorrow, Cort R got engaged this summer, Chris F after seven years deserves a change and Steve Harder is half the man he used to be in weight.   I want Channel 6 to win this game because Mike Anderson pushed his mind to the limit, because Cheyenne could be the first woman to kick a ball over Holcom Left and JP put together the best recruiting class of 2014. However I think Happy Shirt has the seniority to continue their path to Hobbs.


LOS MATADORES VS. HURTZ DONUTS – 4pm Holcom Red – I want Los Mats to win because Derek Davis isn’t here. I want Los Mats to win because Shane B is again injured and that sucks, I want Los Mats to win because Kenny doesn’t wear a shirt. I want Hurtz Donuts to win because of the excellence of one Mr. K Dover, because Arie Auxter does so very much for this league behind the scenes, because winning is more fun when you win with family, right Brian and Mo? Megan and Alex? Bickel and Lundie? Hurtz Donuts are going to win because once again they are going to keep cool in this heat and make it to their first final 4.


WILDMAN VERSUS BAD NEW BAGELS – 4pm Lyons East – I want Wildman to win because I know how hard Simon and CJ have trained this year, because Ryan W still uses a flip phone, because Ive heard cat whisperer Christian K is injured and not playing. I want Bad News Bagels to win because Sarah and Ross were original Ligers, because Ben has proven to be one top-notch dude in his love for the league, because Emma L has two pretty adorable rescue dogs. Even my love of animals won’t get me to pick the bagels. Abby V is playing this week and with Abby victories come.


CHALMERSIZ VERSUS RED LYON – 4PM Lyons East – I want Chalmersiz to win because Rachna, Betsy, Brittany and Nicole know how to make playing great kickball cool, because Soobs wears the funniest pants around, because that lil honey bear of a pitcher will tell us what’s in the fanny pack. I want Red Lyon to win because Nick Lerner the tech savvy realtor got the balls to do it, because being forty and being the fastest dude in the league rules Jarrod, because Joey and Todd have done the laps and Shawna spells her name with a W. I love these teams both so much, but Red Lyon and their shot-gunning will give them more focus than the danger of team fireballersiz.


BASIL RIDE VERSUS BULLET PROOF TIGERS – 4PM Hobbs – I want Basil Ride to win because Erin A is outta town and doesn’t have to clean the park for once, because Josh always volunteers to ref games his team could be playing in, because my girl crush Alexis C has the cutest cat ever. I want Bullet Proof Tigers to win because Cougar put together a pretty good crew of random wanna play in the league players, because Abby Vestals bro plays on the team, because Colin F drives a mini. Bottom line Basil Ride is much better than their record and have been playing with 4 women, that to me means winner.


SCREAMERS VERSUS MERCHANTS – 4pm Holcom Right – I want Screamers to win because Taylor and Freed have the cutest lil dog (and sweetest booty), because Jason Thunder drives a motorcycle and because Erin H loves bubbles. I want Merchants to win because they beat my team, because Jairo got kicked in the balls hard this summer, because Aubrey M dances more on the field than I do. Bottom line Merchants won the plate last year and I think they want to be the first ever repeat.


GOATS VERSUS RATS – 4pm Holcom Gold – I want goats to win because nothing is better than watching Lauren P run to first base, because Amber from Sacred Sword wrecked Joel S finger last week, because Scott S (with help from his fashionista wife Sara) have run the league impeccably this season. I want the Rats to win because rats get a bad rap in the animal kingdom, because first basemen Ryan J has really huge hands (wink wink CJ), because Seth as captain of the newest team is learning how hard it can be to keep a team together all season. Goats made it to the final four last year. They will settle for nothing less than the plate.


MURDA VERSUS FREE STATE – Holcom Left 4pm – I want Murda to win because six of them are currently still working brunch at the Roost, because Esco had a birthday yesterday, because Jill D is currently in Spain. I want Free State to win because I bet many of their team is also still working the lunch rush, because Torrie refs week in and week out, because Lesli like myself she doesn’t end her name in an E. Two classic teams but Murda got a bit more physical edge.

The Final Week :((((((((((((((((((((

This would have been posted yesterday, but my computer decided to lose everything I had already written. So, sorry.

o1. Happy Shirt — There’s no surprise Happy Shirt made it to the last weekend of the season. Only once since (at least) 2008 has the team not been in the championship game, when it lost to eventual champions Terrebonne Po’ Boys (then Star Bar Barracudas) in 2011. Since 2009, however, it hasn’t won the title, losing to Los Matadores (2010), Wildman Attack Force (2012), and the Terrebonne Po’ Boys (2013). Rumor has it this could be the squad’s last season, so consider it extra motivation—as if it doesn’t have enough.

Channel 6 played Happy Shirt close in Game of the Week, 9-6, and I expect it to again in the Elite Eight. Happy Shirt is just too good, though. I’m guessing we’ll see a similar score, regardless.

Runs / Allowed / Spread
54 / 1 / 53

o2. Wildman Attack Force — The best defensive team in the league starts the final week against the Bad News Bagels, the fifth-best defensive team. After a disappointing loss in the Elite Eight last year against the Goats, the Attack Force looks to make the championship game again—its second in three seasons. With the possibility of three games in 100° weather, it ultimately becomes a game of attrition after a while, and Wildman has the benefit of an eighteen-person roster with which to work.

Bad News Bagels played Wildman in week four during a rainout. Wildman won 5-0 in 5 innings. On dirt, the game will be very different.

Runs / Allowed / Spread
28 / 2 / 26

o5. Hurtz Donut D-Holes — The Hurtz Donut D-Holes are one win away from its preseason goal of reaching the Final Four, but the pesky Los Matadores won’t go away easily, especially now that it’s mostly healthy. The D-Holes, though, have an experienced roster top-to-bottom and have already played several final four-caliber teams. I’m willing to bet that same roster will be pulling for Channel 6 over Happy Shirt. Who wouldn’t?

Runs / Allowed / Spread
27 / 7 / 20

o6. Red Lyon — Red Lyon took it easy against Taco Tuesday, winning 7-1, and had a close game against the Rockets, 8-7. I don’t remember the last time Red Lyon advanced past the Elite Eight. Two years ago it won the one-off 9th place Reasonably Awesome Championship. If any team will struggle playing three consecutive games it’s Red Lyon. If it can discipline itself and cool it on the High Lifes, Red Lyon has a shot of reaching its first Final Four in a while. It faces the super-hot Chalmersiz first, though, a team that’s already knocked out the defending champion in the second round—something that hasn’t happened in at six years.

Runs / Allowed / Spread
15 / 8 / 7

o7. Bad News Bagels — The Bad News Bagels, by all means, have had a successful season. Its reached its first Elite Eight, have consistently been in the top 10 statistically, and have only lost three games. The rematch it wanted all season has happened, too—against Wildman Attack Force. This time on dirt . . . and with sunshine. As the away-team, expect the Bagels to try and strike first, but Wildman’s defense hasn’t allowed more than 8 runs all season.

Runs / Allowed / Spread
22 / 8 / 14

o8. Channel 6 — Channel 6 has a chance to make history. If it can beat Happy Shirt, it would be the first time Happy Shirt wouldn’t reach the Final Four in what feels like a decade. It would also earn its first Final Four bid. Getting there won’t be easy, because, as everyone is probably aware by now, Happy Shirt hasn’t missed the championship game since 2011. Channel 6 played it close in Game of the Week, though, and has a legitimate shot and knocking off the winningest team in KVKL history.

Runs / Allowed / Spread
24 / 9 / 15

13. Los Matadores — Los Matadores had a tough draw in division play, knocking it down to Rank Pool 4 where it went 2-1. It has an equally tough draw in the tournament, facing a good, experienced Hurtz Donut D-Holes team first, and then either Happy Shirt or Channel 6. Los Matadores have played Happy Shirt in the tournament in all but one year since its inception (2011) and have defeated it only once—in the 2010 championship game. That team was very different from what it is now, though, with drastic personnel changes over the seasons. This current squad, however, is awfully good when it isn’t hurt—and it doesn’t seem to be that hurt these days, having not lost since week 9 against Das Boot (8-7).

Runs / Allowed / Spread
22 / 8 / 14

14. Mario Chalmersiz — The lowest-ranked team left in the tournament, the Mario Chalmersiz face an experienced and fast Red Lyon team. It also hasn’t lost since week 8 to Los Matadores (7-6). Ending the regular season with a win over Das Boot in Game of the Week has given this team momentum, and knocking out the defending champs, the Terrebonne Po’ Boys, in the second round has only boosted that tenfold. If it can get past Red Lyon, it would be the lowest seed to reach the Final Four in I don’t know how long, but that won’t be easy. Facing either the wiry Bad News Bagels or defensive-minded Wildman Attack Force in the next round could prove a real challenge.

Runs / Allowed / Spread
15 / 7 / 8

Tears in my Beer….

My cooler, cleats and random bag of kickball shit are still sitting in my front room. I am not sure I am ready to accept that again kickball is over. We all knew that sixteen teams were not going to make it to week two. Currently I am left with a lifetime of warm keystone light, some random can of cider, socks frozen in sweat and cleats dusted with the dirt of eleven weeks of kickball.

Welcome to the life a loss in round two.

Rockets -TerreBonne Po Boys – Kunt Punts – Sacred Sword -Das Boot – Love Garden -Hotel Lobby- Jazzhaus – Spacepussy- Asteroidhead – Harper Valley PTA – The uptoeleven Late Fees – Brewballers – Where’s My Pitches – Ghosts – Taco Tuesday our season is now over. Throughout the season we were all champions, we all made people stop for a moment and say hey they look really good. Some of us were one seeds, some of us upset teams well above our rank, some of us drank from the championship cup, and some of us still dream to win a game. Bottom line we all play kickball in the KVKL, a league where teams wait years to get the chance to play, a league that has given over five figures to local charities, a league that is glad you are a part of it.

Being a part of the KVKL means even when you lose you still better be there for the final three rounds. I mean why would you not. We live in Lawrence fucking Kansas and we know often times cheering for our one team means you only get the glory every twenty years (RCJHBB). So there you go Tellers, I mean Merchants, maybe you will win something more than the plate in 2022.

So I ask all you losers (myself included) if you have reffed more than your obligatory week we would love your experience on the field reffing games. The rest of us, take a shower, put on some new shoes, maybe don a summer dress, purchase some food or a t-shirt one last time, take a swig of fireball, cuddle a puppy, take a selfie with Mike Anderson and help clean our park whist crowning a new champion for 2014.

This years losers could be next years champions.

5 facts you (probably) don’t know about the KVKL

Hello Fellow Kickballers.  Nick Lerner, here, making a guest appearance on Sundays in the Park.  I was feeling nostalgic about the league and thought I’d bring to light some of the lesser known things about our great league.  So, here’s my buzzfeed style 5 facts that you (probably) don’t know about the KVKL.
1) Old Timers
There is only one team that has represented the same business every single year of the league’s existence.  They have never changed their name, nor their fiery spirit.  For 13 consecutive years, The Free State Growlers have fielded a team, yet never managed to win it all.
2) Inaugural Champs
By going undefeated during regular season play, Tellers was deemed the inaugural season champs.  This is the only year that an end of the season tournament was not played to determine the champions of the league.
“There was one team that seemed a bit more polished than the rest of us.  They had been playing in softball leagues together for a while and seemed to actually have a strategy.  With quick runners, big boots and infielders that could throw, Teller’s was the clear team to beat.  They went a perfect 7-0 to claim the first unofficial downtown Lawrence kickball championship Geoff Wright in Sundays in the Park
3)Do-Over’s were  part of the rules
“Occasionally, a bystander would volunteer to ref a game, but for the most part we made the calls ourselves while we played.  Those that knew baseball rules tried to educate the others when questionable situations came up, but often times we would just declare the play a “do-over.”   I dearly miss the do-over calls from back then.  What a simple and efficient way to settle a disagreement that is going nowhere. Geoff Wright in Sundays in the Park
Yes, Do-overs were written into the rules and any contested play would result in it being played again.  Wouldn’t it be nice to do-over one of Cougar’s shitty calls?
4)Rudy’s and the Case of the Missing Tournament Trophy
By the end of the second season, kickball was quite a summer phenomenon in Lawrence.  The championship game, played at South Park, pitted Rudy’s Pizza vs. Wattleneck.   The game was broadcast live on KJHK and ch. 6 news came out to cover the game.  Played from the Northwest corner of South Park, the crowd filled foul territory on both sides with a few hundred people.
On the eve of the championship game, a Rudy’s player built a fantastic kickball diorama to be awarded as the trophy to the winning team.  In a disputed and controversial win (Rudy’s players claimed that the refs lost count of how many foul kicks a Wattleneck kicker had accumulated and should have been called out instead of kicking the game winning kick), Wattleneck was crowned  champs and the trophy was proudly placed at the Bottleneck
Not long after being placed in its new home, the kickball trophy was stolen from behind the bar at the bottleneck.  Nobody knows who took it or what happened to it, but legend has it that the trophy resided at the Bull house for many years hidden by the scorned players of the losing team.
5)The Winn Cup
In a little known piece of legislation passed by the kickball council in sometime 2012 or 2013, the current championship trophy (which bears the name of all of the past winning teams) was officially named “The Winn Cup” in a nod to the founder of our most excellent league, Natalie Winn.
In 2002, an energetic young lady named Natalie Winn popped her head into the Rudy’s kitchen and excitedly asked if anyone
would be interested in playing some adult kickball on Sundays.  I think the first thing everyone thought about was playing kickball on a blacktop in elementary school with a giant red rubber ball…only now there’s beer!  The answer was hell yes, and Rudy’s and seven other businesses filled out their sign-up sheets and submitted them.
What started as a dream is now a league.   That was what Natalie said to those seven teams as we gathered in South Park before the first week of games.  We were cooks, and bartenders, and servers, and managers, and cashiers and doormen.  Some were drinkers, some smokers, some jocks, some rockers, some skaters, some stoners, but we were all there to try out this new kickball league.”  Geoff Wright in Sundays in the park
Nobody knows exactly what happened to Natalie or if she even knows that her little league has exploded into the awesomeness that it is now.  But one thing’s for certain, we’re all trying to win the Winn Cup (and a few of us our trying to rub our balls on it)
Bonus: KVKL Bloopers

PLAYOFFS2014: the notorious and the victorious

While hanging with a slew of exceptional KVKL-ers on Friday night, we started talking about the possibilities of their teams in the playoffs and idea was tossed my way. On all the teams is there a good guy and a bad guy on the team? Does the league have heroes, does the league have villains? Is there someone you love to watch play because they truly play with the spirit of the league week in and week out? Is there someone you absolutely love to boo at game of the week to see if they crack? This week my Sundays in the Park is dedicated to the notorious and the victorious members of our league.



I think that every captain, anyone who has paid $2 at harbor, anyone who has bought a kvkl sticker , a hot dog at GOTW, slapped the bag, did a keg stand, tossed a t-shirt over the fence at Hobbs, made team colored jello shots, slurped team colored jello shots, worn their team t-shirt, danced with the KVKL crew upstairs, cleaned up sunflower seeds and cans at Hobbs, put together a “spirit” team for the Charity Tournament, traded koozies with others, played in four games, really are all victors in our league. We are all in this together and the more we work together as a team the greater we all can be. However there is an upper echelon of most sincere players who make us all smile, who we cheer when they wow us week in and week out.

DAN MAGUA – MURDA INC. – I’ve known about Dan’s excellence since the night his Milton’s team won the first ever championship against Billy Construction under the lights at Hobbs in 2006. That headband and white t-shirt, he catapulted his team to victory that season. Over the years every top team has recruited this stellar ninja. However Dan’s greatest quality is his loyalty. He loves the people he plays with. He works with the people he plays sports with. When the pressure is on Dan’s wears it like a cape. He is a super hero on the field, who we all can trust will in any way possible bring out the victory. This season we all got to experience Dan’s true greatness when he sailed that ball deep into the grass at Hobbs bottom of 9th 2 outs and ran the bases home to give his family the win. Dan truly is the Man.


dan the man with murda.

dan the man with murda.

KRIS MARSHALL – TERRE BONNE PO’BOYS – We all know about this player and his wins. He has won three of the last four championships at old Hobbs Field. However he will be the first to tell you it was his team that made it happen. Kris Marshall is a beyond talented kickball player. However he is a more phenomenal Coach. Once a summer we always seem to end up talking until the wee hours of the morning about the state of our league and the game itself. He looks at the game from so many different angles, his approach is how to become the best team at the right time. Don’t be afraid to try new positions, encourage your team to not only win, but have the most fun doing it. I knew at some point the man with the white headband would find another town to his liking, his talents deserve a world much larger than the LFK. But for right now I look forward to see the Po’Boys, like the perfect sandwich they are named for, satisfy my kickball hunger for victory.


KENNY FLANDERS – LOS MATADORES – How can one not love a bronze god? Yes his ten-pack abs, hair flowing like a unicorn’s down his back, a tan that is only heightened by his smile.   Kenny is one of the fastest people across those bases. He represents his Haskell University not only in academics but in athletics. I had the pleasure of getting to know Kenny when his teammate needed support through a sticky situation a few years back. He was a superior mediator as we worked through a hairy situation all while wearing an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt. I gotta say it. This boy is the whole package and we love to watch him play. Keep it up Kenny, we also know our lil kickball family is too small for your long-term talents, but we will enjoy em as long as we can.

ABBY VESTAL – WILDMAN – If Wildman claims they are ‘Merica’s team, then Abby Vestal is their president. She plays rugby, kicks professional footballs, and pretty much does a complete shut down on defense between first and second base in our league. Half the time I hear that her father drove her like twelve hours from whatever other sporting event she was competing in across the country to get her back in time for her KVKL game. She also is a superior advocate at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Lawrence. She is currently working on a mentor program to show kids the power of positivity through good sportsmanship. Abby, you da Bomb. Thanks for bringing so much good to our league.

TROY POMEROY – RED LYON – Hereos in our league take on oh so many forms. Yes we all want to cheer for the finest athletes as they kick it over our heads or stick a catch. But we also like to cheer for the revelry. Troy is the leader of this parade. He gets the crown and the scepter. For almost a decade Troy has been uniting us on the field with a key and a two cans of beer. No matter who was just screaming at who about a call, once Troy walks on the field with two cans of beer and a key all is forgotten. Share a shot-gun together. Individuals do it, teams do it, heck even Cougar does it. Troy thank you for always remembering we are playing a kids game and we should take a moment to enjoy it. Troy and his equally saucy wife Lauren are now proud parents of Isis, so Troy can take his hey everyone let’s just have fun attitude and pass it onto his daughter.


red lyon: wining at life.

red lyon: wining at life.



We all love a villain. That person that you can sneer at, scowl at and hope does something so wicked you cheer in glee. These are the good people in the league we love to be our bad boys, be the wicked bitch, the enemy for the actions on the field. Here’s to the excellent athletes and players we love to BOOOOOOO.

PAUL SANTOS – LOS MATADORES – At last summers game of the week when Paul ripped off his yellow onsie to reveal more hair than a werewolf, it was Paul’s genius way to let us all know he embraces our audience distaste for Santos. He knows how to rile up a crowd. He also has a championship. When the Bagels three years ago upset the reigning champs at Hobbs it was the loudest collective cheer heard around the east side.   Thanks for being cool enough to handle the ribbing, now deliver me my gluten free Minsky’s pizza.


and to prove my point paul is drinking a limarita.

and to prove my point paul is drinking a limarita.

TYLER DRUSSELL / NICOLE CULBERTSON – HAPPY SHIRT – I had to look up Tyler’s last name today. In my phone it reads Tyler Dicktowel. Tyler is one of the most intense and knowledgeable players in the KVKL. He captains the winningest team ever in the league and well he always plays with a towel.   To show their spirit a few summers ago at game of the week the players of then Pita Pit passed out “Tyler Towels.” If one can’t poke fun at what others dub “ not normal” you are not human. Tyler is actually a really good dude. Same goes for Nic. She’s also one of the longest playing pitchers in the league. Sure she gave the crowd the finger at the 2013 Championship Game before she kicked (yup I have it recorded), sure her and a lady from Channel 6 might of gotten a lil aggressive with one another this year.   Watching Nic play is a blast. She knows how to work a crowd. It’s always easy to hate the ones who are the best players in the league and that is who Tyler and Nic are.

SARAH RILEY – ROCKETS – She wears a tilted truckers cap, and bites her lip ring with a vengeance before tossing you one wickedly spinning pitch. On the outside Sarah Riley is one mean mugging motherfucker of a player. I had to reprimand her a few years back for dropping a shoulder while running into first base. She just looked at me and was like, “what, I didn’t’ do that “ and proceeded to stay on first base. However what you don’t know about her is off the field she is the sweetest cat-loving vegan with an eye for photography.   But when she is on the field she is the B you shouldn’t trust.

ERIN ADAMS – BASIL RIDE – There always has to be a mom in the league. She’s that one person in charge or reminding us to be accountable of our actions on and off the field. Don’t use glass, don’t forget your team is cleaning this week, pick up your stuff from the shed. That’s our Erin. She knows the rules forward and backward and she will call you out when she knows she is right. She also knows how to get on base and make all the jello shots, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love to boo her when her team (and Wiggins) take the field. It’s easy to be haters on those in charge and Erin embraces it weekly.

in charge.

in charge.

JOSH HUNT – SACRED SWORD – He’s been a commissioner, he cleaned up the rules in the KVKL years ago. He has no problem getting in your face over a play against his team. He also pitches the worst stink in the league. Josh has spent years making sure people hated the S-Word. He thrives on the conflict, even when the Sword tries to be the “kinder gentler” Sword, Josh takes over as pitcher and irritates the entire league. Seriously more than any other person this season people have mentioned to me Josh’ meatball pitches. Good job Josh, keep it black and evil, we prefer you and your team that way.

SHAHER IBRAHIMI – GOATS – Come on we all knew he was going to be on this list. No cute sunflower bandana is gonna help Shaher. The goats are an angry team. They head butt each other, they have a player who plays the imperial march when he comes up to kick (Carter). They shout MEHHHHHH all the time loudly just to fuck with you on the other team. Of course with all teams that have the streak of wicked there has to be one that rises to the top. Shaher is wiley. He likes to argue, he always has a point that must be made even if you agree. He also is a long-term ref who can handle the heat of an intense play and stick to his guns. You’re the man we all love to hate, so just keep maintaining ownership of that title.

SARAH MILLER – LOVE GARDEN – Who can forget those anger filled eyes in the 2011 Championship Game? Her outrageous kicking of the dirt, her chest heaving up and down as she defended her teams plays. She scared the shit outta me every time I watched her play. She was so uber-passionate for her team and had the pipes to let us all know that. Yes a severe ankle injury might of forced her to not be able to play kickball for the Squids, but really that just meant that she could be that much louder from the bench. We are gonna miss you here in the KVKL, but thanks for being a personality we will never forget Sarah.

HANNAH BLODGETT – PO’BOYs – Remember the great jello slingshot debacle of 2012? I sure do, that was when I first met Hannah Blodgett. How so much verbal rage could come out of that tiny little body, it just blew my mind. She wears sparkle short shorts and is another one of the “don’t give a fuck” what you think of her when she plays. She also helped win her team a championship last year. This of course means she has heckled the crap outta every other team she has played this year. Met her mom this summer and now I know where the saltiness comes from. Keep it up in post-season Hannah, we love and hate to see you growl.

hannah no, oh well nevermind.

hannah no, oh well nevermind.

CJ KIE / SIMON SKINNER – WILDMAN – They are the leagues two-headed serpent on the field. They just keep shedding their skin and getting more brutal. CJ is the albatross on the pitchers mound. He will take you down. If you don’t take that first good pitch you gonna be there a while. He’s in super shape he will wear you down. Simon has that leg that can take a ball to the far reaches of Hobbs, he also has enough fire in his belly to tell you that, as he runs the ball from deep center field to the pitcher. These two guys are an energy drink on crack. You know when you play them its going to be intense like a freebase jump off the freedom tower. You might not make it out alive.


MOST NOTORIOUS REF – COUGAR – BULLETPROOF TIGERS – Cougar you are the ref we all love to hate. Sure we all sing with you during the 7th inning. But as a ref sometimes we just want to throw off our baseball cap, toss it in the dirt and spit on your feet. You call em like you see it and sometimes that hurts.


When putting the list together I had a bit of a laugh because there were some people that came to mind that could be on both lists. That’s right CHRIS FORD, NICK LERNER, GEOFF WRIGHT AND JAMES FINDLEY people both love and hate you. We shall see as time passes where you end up in our hearts.


So there you go the good the bad and the ugly of the KVKL. May everyone play their asses off today, if only 32 teams could continue this week, but alas it will be down to sixteen. Stay hydrated, get to and from the fields safely and always give a hug, smile and a high five even if you lose today. This seasons losers could be next seasons champs. Keep it classy KVKL.

2014 Playoffs Preview

In this article, I use the words “potential” and “possible” and whatever other synonym with which I can inundate you. Also a handful of “coulds” and “maybes.” I don’t like the idea of any forgone conclusions in the tournament. Should I have missed any—my bad. There are some games we can all say are “obvious,” but anything can happen.

 1 Happy Shirt vs. 32 Space Pussy
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Happy | 10-0 / 138 / 40 / +98 | 2
Pussy | 0-10 / 44 / 240 / -196 | 32

Winless. Not winless. It could go either way. It won’t, but it could. After three close games in rank play, Happy Shirt came out on top in all three, even after being down 2-0 vs. Wildman Attack Force, 10-1 vs. Terrebonne Po’ Boys, and 2-0 vs. Love Garden. It’s generally a safe bet to pencil-in Happy Shirt for a Final Four appearance. It hasn’t not been in the Final Four since 2006, as I recall, and the only recent championship game it missed was in 2011.

Space Pussy has a tough draw on both sides of the bracket—it has to play a good Jazzhaus team or a better Basil Ride team. Regardless, an 0-12 season seems likely.

For the week
Happy Shirt: 2-0
Space Pussy: 0-2

2 Wildman Attack Force vs. 31 Brewballers
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Wild | 9-1 / 135 / 38 / +97 | 2
Brew | 1-9 / 49 / 189 / -140 | 30

The Brewballers are the second-highest scoring team against Wildman this season at 7. Wildman still put up 31. Brewballers will likely face either Sacred Sword or the Goats. Wildman is tied with the Love Garden Squids for best defensive team (38 runs allowed), and its offense can be pretty good on any given Sunday. Brewballers have struggled defensively all season, allowing a staggering 189 runs. In order to succeed either way, both teams have to remain cool and yell more at the opposing team, rather than its own.

For the week
Brewballers: 0-2

3 Terrebonne Po’ Boys vs. 30 Ghosts
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Terre | 8-2 / 144 / 63 / +82 | 5
Ghost | 2-8 / 121 / 165 / -44 | 20.34

The Ghosts have little in common with the Terrebonne Po’ Boys, except that they’re both top ten teams offensively. The similarities stop there, though, and if the Ghosts want to advance it will have to stop the champs’ relenting means of scoring. A Terrebonne injury last week against Wildman could slow them down, but with a solid top-to-bottom lineup, and one of the most underrated kickers in the league, it has a great chance to reach the Final Four for the second year in a row.

Alternatively, the Ghosts have a tough break. First, it goes against the defending champions. Secondly, it plays, win or lose, a feisty Chalmersiz team that looks to be getting itself together, or Murda, Inc., one of the more dangerous offensive teams in the league—you know it will score, you just don’t always know when.

For the week
Terrebonne Po’ Boys: 2-0
Ghosts: 0-2

4 Love Garden Squids vs. 29 Harper Valley PTA
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Squids | 7-3 / 103 / 38 / +65 | 7.34
PTA | 1-9 / 38 / 154 / -116 | 30

A week one rematch, Love Garden allowed 5 runs in what was essentially a predetermined game. Harper Valley PTA should probably look ahead to a match with the Screamers. Love Garden should worry about a mostly healthy Los Matadores team instead of focusing on its potential 5/12 matching against Hurtz Donut D-Holes or Das Boot next week.

The PTA could have a good game against the Screamers, but the Screamers have been playing significantly better over the past several weeks, even if it did go only 1-2 in rank play. Harper Valley, meanwhile, only scored 10 runs in three games (one a shutout) and allowed 37 total.

For the week
Love Garden Squids: 1:1
Harper Valley PTA: 0-2

5 Hurtz Donut D-Holes vs. 28 Merchants of Death
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Hurtz | 7-3 / 128 / 57 /+ 71 | 5.34
Merch | 2-8 / 56 / 121 / -65 | 26

The Hurtz Donut D-Holes didn’t finish the season the way it wanted, by any means. A shutout against Channel 6 couldn’t have boosted its ego any, although it undoubtedly upped its motivation. The Merchants of Death are still struggling since winning the Less Awesome Championship last season. Injuries have plagued it as a team, and getting out of the first week could prove difficult.

A rematch against Das Boot seems likely, but at the short fields of YSC . . . the D-Holes could get burned deep, regardless of how quick its outfielders are.

For the week
Hurtz Donut D-Holes: 1-1
Merchants of Death: 0-2

6 Red Lyon vs. 27 Taco Tuesday
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Lyon | 8-2 / 125 / 60 / +65 | 8
Taco | 3-7 / 69 / 137 / -68 | 26.34

Red Lyon had a strong finish against the young Bad News Bagels, winning 12-9. Taco Tuesday finished the season strong, winning out in rank play. For Red Lyon, a game against the Rockets seems likely—and that’s a tough draw for a 6-seed. Taco Tuesday will likely face the seasoned veterans of the Free State Growlers, and that isn’t particularly ideal for a team that’s only just now getting itself together. If Red Lon can enjoy its two-hour break between games without shotgunning every beer in sight, it has a good shot at escaping the first weekend.

For the week
Red Lyon: 1-1
Taco Tuesday: 0-2

7 Bad News Bagels vs. 26 Where’s My Pitches?
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Bagels | 7-3 / 125 / 53 / +72 | 5.34
Pitches | 3-7 / 69 / 137 / -68 | 26.97

The Bad News Bagels had a tough against Red Lyon last week, and it’s missing some players for the tournament, a loss that won’t go unnoticed. Where’s My Pitches? have averaged 12.67 runs in its three wins over the past four weeks, finally escaping its relentless struggle to get on base, but the speedy and young Bagels should prove too much for the Pitches.

A game I’m excited to (potentially) see is the Rats vs. Bad News Bagels in the second round, as I’m sure a lot of people are. A lot of young , fast, talented players.

For the week
Bad News Bagels: 2-0
Where’s My Pitches?: 1-1

8 Channel 6 vs. 25 AsteroidHEAD
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Channel | 6-4 / 115 / 47 / +68 | 7
Asteroid | 2-8 / 74 / 118 / -44 | 22.34

A dangerous 8-seed, now is Channel 6’s chance to show that it’s a great tea rather than just a good team with a few good wins. Absolutely decimating Final Four-favorites Hurtz Donut D-Holes last week had to have boosted its confidence going into the tournament, so it has to keep a potential Happy Shirt matchup later on out of its mind—its second game could be one of the best of the tournament vs. Hotel Lobby, should they both advance.

AsteroidHEAD, meanwhile, were swept in pool play. A likely matchup against the Bulletproof Tigers could be fortuitous, though, as the Tigers have several players who aren’t eligible for the tournament.

For the week
Channel 6: 1-1
AsteroidHEAD: 0-2

9 Hotel Lobby vs. 24 Bulletproof Tigers
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Lobby | 7-3 / 93 / 51 / +42 | 12.67
Tigers | 5-5 / 71 / 121 / -50 | 24.67

Hotel Lobby finally got its roster back and went 2-1 in rank play. The Bulletproof Tigers finally got a complete roster only to lose some of it to that cruel mistress Eligibility. A rough way to start the tournament for the Tigers, Hotel Lobby wants to face Happy Shirt badly. Getting past the first weekend won’t be easy, though.

On the other side, the Tigers have a good chance at taking the Less Awesome Championship, should it continue the way it’s been playing. It hasn’t lost since week 6.

For the week
Hotel Lobby: 2-0
Bulletproof Tigers: 1-1

10 Rats vs. 23 Kunt Punts
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Rats | 7-3 / 101 / 74 / +27 | 14
Punts | 3-7 / 74 / 75 / -1 | 18.67

Much like the Bad News Bagels, the Rats will have absences that can affect its playing. The Kunt Punts looked to be on the rise, but struggled throughout the season, unable to make up for its losses at several key positions to several improved teams. The difference between these two teams is how the Rats have adapted, and if it can continue to adapt to its now-missing players.

A potential matchup against Where’s My Pitches? should have Kunt Punts a little nervous, considering the way Pitches have been playing. The Kunt Punts have allowed 9 runs each game in rank play.

For this week
Rats: 1-1
Kunt Punts: 0-2

11Rockets vs. 22 Free State Growlers
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Rockets | 6-4 / 109 / 85 / +24 | 15.34
Growlers | 4-6 / 52 / 76 / -24 | 22

The Rockets were only a couple runs from sweeping rank play 3, but it couldn’t stave off the Rats in the last few innings. The Free State Growlers couldn’t handle Dan and co. at Murda, Inc., going 2-1 in rank play. The Growlers often have a surprise or two in them during the season, and this game could certainly be one if the Rockets aren’t careful. The Rockets ought to advance, but Free State has been known to hang with big-legged teams in the past. Should it not, look for the brewery to go deep in the Less Awesome side of things.

A Rockets and Red Lyon matchup ought to be a killer game, too.

12 Das Boot vs. 21 Up to Eleven Late Fees
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Boot | 7-3 / 131 / 61 / +70 | 6.67
Fees | 3-7 / 86 / 140/ -54 | 24.33

Das Boot continued its tradition of not winning Game of the Week, and the Up to Eleven Late Fees continued its season-long struggle of winning games. A win in the first round will presumably pit Das Boot vs. the Hurtz Donut D-Holes for a week 5 rematch that the Boot lost, 12-6. A Late Fees loss will most likely match them up against the Merchants of Death, for a week 7 rematch that went in the Late Fees’ favor, 12-10.

The Late Fees could ultimately face the Screamers in the Less Awesome bracket if it can get past Merchants for a second time. If Das Boot can get past Hurtz, it could ultimately face Love Garden in the playoffs to reach the Final Four like it did in 2012.

For the week
Das Boot: 2-0
Up to Eleven Late Fees: 1-1

13 Los Matadores vs. 20 Screamers
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Matadores | 6-4 / 126 / 69 / +57 | 9.34
Screamers | 3-7 / 44 / 93 / -49 | 24.67

Los Matadores stomped the Jazzhaus, 12-4, last week, clinching a three-way tie in rank play. The Jazzhaus couldn’t get a win and had surprisingly similar scores throughout. Screamers look to avenge its first week loss to the Los Matadores, 25-5, but that was a long time ago and it has since improved its roster, although it does still struggle to score. A win for Los Matadores will face them against the Love Garden Squids, the tied-for-first best defensive team. The Screamers will most likely face Harper Valley PTA, which could make for an interesting game considering its difficulty scoring.

For the week
Los Matadores: 2-0
Screamers: 1-1

14 Mario Chalmersiz vs. 19 Murda, Inc.
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Mario | 6-4 / 100 / 53 / +43 | 10.67
Murda | 6-4 / 81 / 77 / +4 | 18.67

Perhaps the best game of the first round in the tournament will be played at Holcom Gold, 5 p.m. The Chalmersiz are coming off of a huge win against Das Boot in Game of the Week. Murda, Inc. swept rank play. Regardless of the result, both teams have a legitimate shot at beating the Terrebonne Po’ Boys, and the loser has an ever better chance at winning the Less Awesome Championship.

For the week
Mario Chalmersiz: 1-1
Murda, Inc.: 1-1

15 Sacred Sword vs. 18 Goats
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Sword | 5-5 / 113 / 75 / +38 | 12.67
Goats | 5-5 / 91 / 71 / +20 | 15. 67

Both teams are coming off losses and both teams only scored two runs in its final regular season outing. The Goats want a chance to play Wildman Attack Force again, and Sacred Sword just wants to win. Either way, this isn’t a matchup anyone really expected to see given both of these teams’ histories. Perennial powerhouse Sacred Sword couldn’t find its groove, and the Goats lost some key personnel. The loser could make a deep run in the Less Awesome bracket, while the winner could surprise Wildman if it gets distracted.

For the week
Sacred Sword: 1-1
Goats: 1-1

16 Basil Ride vs. 17 Jazzhaus
Team | Rec. / Runs / R. Allow / Diff. | Rank Avg.
Basil | 7-3 / 98 / 103 / -5 | 18.67
Jazz | 4-6 / 95 / 118 / -23 | 19.67

Basil Ride had an impressive run through rank play (save for that close against the Screamers) and the Jazzhaus, courteous of that week one surprise win over the Goats, got stuck in rank pool 4 where it went 0-3. This should be one of the better games of the first round, pitting an experienced Basil Ride team that is perpetually potentially matched up against Happy Shirt in the second round, and a much-improved Jazzhaus team. No one should ever wish to be the 16- or 17-seed in KVKL, knowing you’ll likely face Happy Shirt in the next round. But, hey—life may be a bitch, but she’s totally doable.

The winner, as mentioned, faces Happy Shirt; the loser, meanwhile, has a good chance at advancing deep in the Less Awesome bracket.

For the week
Basil Ride: 1-1
Jazzhaus: 1-1


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