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.