The championship

I was going to muster up some "Casey at the Bat" magic to describe Sunday night's Kaw Valley Kickball League championship game, but I can't honestly do it. Kickball is a lot of fun, but it ranks rather low on the majesty scale in sports - higher than a round of H-O-R-S-E, but significantly lower than a Yankees-Red Sox game.Kickball, for the uninitiated, is played much like baseball, only with a rubber ball like you'd use in a game of dodgeball. One difference: in kickball, you can tag out a runner by pegging him or her square in the back with the ball.The other difference, just in case it's not obvious: no bats in kickball -- only feet.The league has been around for a few years, composed mostly of employees from businesses in and around downtown. A few years back, the championship kickball game was a major Lawrence Happening. A hot dog vendor showed up, KJHK did a live broadcast and South Park was as about as full of spectators as you can imagine.This year's event, between the defending champion Love Garden and upstart challenger Jensen Liquor, wasn't quite as big. But the kickball championship now seems to be something more than a happening -- something more like a Lawrence Tradition.And like any tradition in Lawrence, it was filled with quirks. Among the 200 or so spectators was a group of young women dressed like pirates, complete with a skull-and-bones flag and plastic scabbards.One of the women wandered by, and I stopped her."What's the deal with the pirate gear?" I asked.She fixed a contempt-filled glare on me. "Because we're the Pirates kickball team," she said, in a voice that invited no further questions.Oh. Right.The other quirk: Many of the male players were wearing very short shorts - of a type that you might see in 1950s-era basketball footage, only an inch or two shorter. This was distracting to my friend Heather."They're everywhere you look," she said. But I tried not to look.The game itself, unfortunately was a ragtag affair -- but then again, a bouncy rubber ball generally defies attempts at athletic grace. There were a few errors on both sides, one showboating umpire, a fair amount of heckling from the crowd and, in the end, a new champion: Jensen won the game, 12-6.Love Garden, denied their dynasty, came out applauding Jensen. And a Lawrence Tradition was complete. Just wait 'till next year.

Comments

Joel 11 years, 9 months ago

Wow. I guess I should stick to writing about the SciFi Channel schedule...

Nikki May 11 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, no jocks here, just geeks. :) Just kidding of course. I truthfully have nothing to add. I love kickball though. Of course my team mates and my competition usually consist of at least one other teacher and a handfull of under 12s.

Doug 11 years, 9 months ago

Joel, I'm just happy you remembered my contribution to the kickball championship.

Althea Schnacke 11 years, 9 months ago

See, I didn't even know it was going on this weekend, or else I would have gone since Jensen's in my personal favorite liquor store. That and I heard that Love Garden had ringers last year.

lazz 11 years, 9 months ago

I just heard at lunch today that a new fad is a whole "Pirate as Lifestyle" thing, sorta like that weird furries thing that was going around in recent years ... dress it, talk it, live it, the whole deal ... Is this Pirates kickball team part of that?

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 9 months ago

I didn't realise that the tourney was this weekend until I nearly ran someone down on Mass. (I was gawking- bad Dazie)

I'd LOVE to play kickball- That's one sport I might not totally suck at.

As for the pirates- yarg. I likes me kickball. Avast.

Hm. Maybe not.

Joel 11 years, 9 months ago

I hate to think that "Pirate as Lifestyle" could actually ruin pirate jokes for me, but it's possible. The "pirates" I think, were associated with Creation Station in some fashion. There's a lot of jokes that just ran through my head that I'm not going to make.

Doug: Your radio skills are one of the highlights of my entire life.

Dazie: You'd be surprised by the athletic prowess of some kickball players. You still have to be able to catch and throw.

morganalefay 11 years, 9 months ago

Pirate as a Lifestyle, eh? Hmmmm...Does that mean that I might have the pleasure of seeing more men running around wearing eyeliner? That would be nice!

I was wondering why a student in one of my classes at KU said "Argh" in a non-pirate context. Now I know.

Back in May or June I happened to be near Liberty Hall when a group of High School students showed up for prom in pirate gear. The LJW actually ran a story on that with pictures.

Joel: You should have said "Argh" to that kickballer who was taking herself way too seriously!

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 9 months ago

You know- this whole pirate thing may be an attempt to combat global warming...

http://www.venganza.org/

Marcy McGuffie 11 years, 9 months ago

The Lawrence kickball tradition has been intriguing me. Unfortunately, I never am allowed to watch because I end up babysitting my nephews while my sister's boyfriend plays for Yello Sub. I think it would be a kick to participate (tho, I have no athletic ability). At the same time, I think it would bring back bad memories of phys ed...and I bet I'd still duck or run if the ball was coming my way. Old habits die hard...

Sept. 19th was national "Talk like a Pirate Day." Are the pirates taking over? Scary schtuff...

morganalefay 11 years, 9 months ago

Sounds like we should form a Cup o' Joel team.

kthutch 11 years, 9 months ago

dangit. I should read earlier in the day. As I was reading the blog, and before I read the comments, I was thinking that it was either talk like a pirate day or a tribute to His Noodly Appendage. But alas, those jokes were taken early.

Aufbrezeln Eschaton 11 years, 9 months ago

Hey, Joel, you might want to check at the LJW front desk--I left some dvd's up there for you. Yes, yes, Penny and I trekked all the way from 23rd and Haskell on foot just to enlighten you to the wonderment that is Firefly. That's some dedicated geekdom right there.

Marshall Rake 11 years, 9 months ago

there was some major drama with the lawrence.com kickball team. more of a scandal really. We got disqualified for forfitting too many games, but they weren't actually forfits, but we were still dissalowed from the tournement.

but dont worry internet friends, we will bring glory and revenge next season, as we have all started doing steroids and playing kickball underwater with bowling balls.

-marshall rake 2nd baseman lawrence.com

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