Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Somehow, It Just Wasn't As Sweet

There is a reason I always root for the underdog: Because winning unexpectedly is just that much more glorious. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, redemption is a sweet thing and I'd rather win than lose, but the difference between playing as the favorite and fighting as the underdog are very different things.

And so it was that Balligerent made its return to the fields at Bayfront Park on Saturday, eager to avenge our Rock/Paper/Scissors loss in the championship game of the Summer Season. We came in undefeated, not having lost a game since about Mid-July and not even having tied since the night before our glorious tournament run of two months ago. We had, for all intents and purposes, forgotten what it was like to lose at Kickball. For my part, I had become the quite the prolific kicker, coming from a beleaguered player who our captain hoped would not show up to a dependable slugger who could always drive in whoever was on base. But a funny thing happens when you expect yourself to win.

Our first game went relatively well, as we dispatched a team made up of Coconut Grove bar employees by the score of 11-3. I drove in my customary three runs and aside from an ill-advised run to home plate (I still have yet to ever actually SCORE a run) I played rather well. That was, until game two. Our opponents called themselves Globo Gym (how fucking original) and were made up of a hybrid of top male players who had been in the league since its inception a year and a half ago. Their girls, not so much, and, oh, yeah, my girlfriend happens to be one of them. It didn't help matters that she had slept with about half the guys on the team so in addition to having to play in front of her, I also was constantly getting the "Yeah, I fucked your girlfriend" look from every guy on the field. The field we were playing on was receiving a fierce wind off the bay making long kicks nearly impossible. So it took us 4 innings to score the first run of the game.

With the score 1 to nothing, Globo Gym had runners at the corners with no outs when one of their stronger kickers kicked a line drive right at a girl playing her first ever kickball game. Her eyes got as big as the ball she was trying to catch as she miraculously snagged the line drive for out number one. She alertly threw the ball to our pitcher who saw the runner from third trying to tag and score. Having learned an unfortunate lesson in last year's title game, he threw the ball to the catcher this time who tagged out the runner going home for out number two. In the confusion, a blonde on first decided she would try and go to second but was alertly spotted by our pitcher and pegged out for an inning-ending triple play. I was up in the next inning with runners on first and second with no outs, but just like when I was a kid and my mom came to my games, I couldn't play worth a shit with my girlfriend and the 7 guys she'd fucked before me watching. After a couple of whiffs I had a weak rally-killing popup that failed to produce an insurance run, and Globo Gym tied it in the top of the inning. Fortunately, as the home team, we were up last and scored one (again, thanks to our first-timer) for a dramatic 2-1 win.

We again faced The Yellow Team in the title game, who had brought Burger King hats to put on should their Raggaeton-and-Cameltoe-fueled squad capture the title. It was not to be, however, as even though they took a quick 1-0 lead, it was easily erased in the bottom half of the inning. While I did not play my best game, I did drive in the go-ahead run a few innings later, and the rest of the team tacked on four more. We took a 6-1 lead into the top of the sixth, and while I was glad to see our center fielder catch the final out to our championship season, and even gladder to see the Yellow Team trudging off the field in their paper crowns to a reggaeton beat, it was sort of anti-climactic. Everyone on the team expected to win, we played all day with a chip on our shoulder, and we began to get a little tight when things didn't go well. So, even though we won as expected, it somehow lacked the intensity of the previous tourney.

Perhaps it was because it was colder, or maybe because we only played three games, but after we won our title, there was somehow not as much joy as I had expected. There was no trophy to hoist. There was no hanging around and watching football in the park, and there was no celebratory outing afterwards. Some went home, some went to the Keys, and some may have gone out independently. But that feeling of group accomplishment was somehow lacking as a winning favorite, that "us-against-the-world" attitude lost somewhere between our season-opening tie and our captain's "If you're not coming to win, don't come at all" emails. I came to win, and we did. And it sure beats the fuck out of losing. But somehow, for some reason, it just doesn't seem as sweet when it is totally expected.

17 Comments:

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fing hilarious. GLOBO GYM, ROTFLMAO.

 
At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Rachel said...

Before you did it for the fun of the game and you were the underdog so you had nothing to lose.
Now you have something to lose: Your winning streak.
Lose like dogs for a few weeks and you will regain the drunken merriment again.

 
At 3:38 PM, Anonymous playtah said...

That's why if I ever get AIDS, I hope I make friends with a crazy health nut who then dies before I do. Then I can bask in the glory of 'winning' as I attend his funeral. "Didn't see that one coming, did you Vitamin Boy? I guess I win."

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Johnson said...

"But somehow, for some reason, it just doesn't seem as sweet when it is totally expected."

See, to me, there's nothing better than expecting to win and then going out and absolutely flattening the other team. Fuck the underdog, feel good story.

 
At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Johnson. You should see me whip up on little kids when I play them in College Football on PS2. Who cares if they are crying I'll still call a fake punt and run one in for a score.

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

So dude this totally reminds me of last years hoops season. So during the year we were a middle rung team but lost close ones to the top teams. Then when the playoffs came we were damn good all of a sudden. We beat one team that had beaten us twice and killed some other teams that had played us tight. Then it was onto the championships and the team that had utterly killed us to start the season off.

Side Note: Before the game we debated on which ball to use and I suggested mine as it is a good ball and was the ball used at the state tournament. One of their players disagreed about it and said his ball was the official ball and he knew this because he played in the tourney. Then he took a look at me and my brother (both short and fat) and says, "by the look of you two, I'm guessing you never played there". I was like ouch. Oh he was wrong my ball was the ball.

But needless to say, they hadn't lost all season and with insult adding to motivation, we took it to them and held the lead for most of the game. Then in the final minute they made a run and tied it up. Then over the last minute were countless attempts to score by both teams. Then they had the ball with about 20 seconds left and started working for the last shot. They tried going to the post but I stepped in front and stole the ball and passed it to our big guy going down the court. They fouled him but we weren't even in the bonus. There was about 2 seconds left. And the first time we threw it in they fouled before the clock could start. Then on the next play we passed it in and won on a three at the buzzer. But I get what you mean. It was great winning the game but there was nothing afterwards and in retrospect was kinda ho hum.

I can't imagine them not wanting you to show up dade!

 
At 6:01 PM, Blogger B-Brod said...

Not as sweet? I couldn't tell from that team photo. That’s the first picture I’ve seen you smiling in since your high school drama award.

 
At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude which one is your girlfriend because the female on the far right is smoking.

 
At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude which one is your girlfriend because the female on the far right is smoking.

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Hey B-Brod, you would fit great on the Globo Gym team.

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger B-Brod said...

Thanks Joe -
We still on for high school hoops at its finest?

- and I hate to admit it, but Anon 1 is right... she is smoken. Maybe his mommy and daddy will buy him one for Christmas.

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger The Lone Gringa said...

"Raggaeton-and-Cameltoe-fueled"... ha, couldn't agree more. guess none of the ladies on yellow considered the toe-liferation when they decided on that all black leggings, all the time (like, omigod!) team uniform.

okay. i am bitter. we lost to them by one. but still, the toe. THE TOE.

 
At 12:46 AM, Blogger Manola Blablablanik said...

I'm sorry it was so anti-climactic ... but it sure looks like so much fun though!

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

B-Bron and Anon1 - In case you didn't read the post clearly enough, my girlfriend is on Globo Gym, not my team. As in we play on DIFFERENT teams. The girls on the far right is Evy. She was the girl who had never played before and started the triple play. I've hung out with her on a few occasions. She is a very nice girl, but VERY Cuban.

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I missed that part. People can now play where's White Dade with that pic though.

Cuban or not that girl is one fine piece of ass. And there you go being all racist and all.

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger B-Brod said...

I understood ya the first time. I knew your girlfriend didn't play on your team. Besides, I knew it wasn’t your girlfriend based on how hot she was ;)

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh SNAP!

 

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