Kickball: It's Not Just For 5th Graders Anymore. It's for Drunks, Too.
Remember back when you were a kid and one of the highlights of your day was going out to the cement diamond on the playground with your oversized red ball and kicking some “baby bouncies” into the outfield for a rousing game of kickball? Remember how much fun that was? Remember how you used to think “Man, this would be so much better if I had a Jack and Coke right now?” Well, in the shadow of the Miami Skyline, where the Bay meets Brickell, every Thursday there is a little kickball league that allows you to live this dream. Without worrying about being put on time-out by the playground monitor.
You have to absolutely love a rec-league game where drinking on the field is not only allowed, but encouraged. And, unlike rec-league softball, there is little if any real athletic ability required to play kickball so lots of girls who just like to drink are guaranteed to be on your team. Some people, like our opponents catcher, take the game very seriously and actually argue calls and hustle. But most of us are content to get liquored up and throw the ball at each other. And such was the case with my team, comprised of a few friends from UM and a bunch of kids from Columbus and Lourdes who I knew from that Christmas Party.
I knew this league was not going to be serious (compared to all of the dead-serious kickball leagues around the world) when the opening email from our team captain said we needed two refs who were “preferably” sober. Yes, preferably. Not required, mind you, but it might be nice if you could cut it off at two beers. This explained a lot about our game. There are a variety of rules in this league that a sober person with a college degree would find quite confusing. Unfortunately, many people on the diamond were neither sober nor college-educated, and the first inning was spent arguing whether or not a baby bouncie was a strike but a big bouncy was not and if a runner was out if he crossed the plate before kicking. The umpires, comprised of players from other teams, actually seemed a lot more concerned with watching the girls jog by on the Bayfront and drinking their beers. And why shouldn’t they?
Me, I patrolled right field with a presence that would have made Ichiro proud, catching the only ball kicked my way and finding a nice divot in the grass for my beer. I think next game I’m just going to bring a handle of Stoli so I can look EXTRA nasty out there. Maybe smoke a Marlboro Red while I’m at it. Unfortunately while our team played pretty good defense for a group of people with exactly ZERO combined kickball games under our beer-stretched belts, we could not get a hit to save our lives. Yes, we were actually getting no-hit through three innings (out of 5) and it’s not like the pitchers in this sport are hurling Randy-Johnson-esque fastballs. We lost 6-0, but by the time the game was over we were all pretty much too wasted to notice. It just gave us an excuse to kill the beers in our coolers and proceed over to Bayside for more debauchery.
And what better way to celebrate the kickoff of a new kickball season than getting tanked at a tourist-aimed theme restaurant at Bayside (aka the only place in Miami that every person I meet on a plane that came here for a cruise has been)? The Kickballers were all noticeable by our Kickball Jerseys, but none more than our proud team. Because our shirts were bright freaking pink. That’s right, pink. In Miami, I guess, you can get away with it what with the art deco and the flamingos and whatnot, but let me tell you the team in black looked intimidating and the team in white looked tan, so I have to wonder how we looked. Especially after getting killed 6-0.
I will keep you all updated on the success of our little team. We are definitely a group of rookies trying to make a name for ourselves, and this promises to be an interesting season. Week 5, we play one of our teammate’s ex-girlfriend’s team complete with a bunch of her friends who all hate us. I think if we win that one the year will be considered a success. And if not, well, there are still four or five parties at local bars in addition to the games, so it would be hard to come out a loser. Wish me luck, and Happy Kickballing!