Thursday in The Pitts is special to me for another reason, however - it's Kickball Night. Yes, you read that correctly, I play on a Pittsburgh Sports League Kickball Team.
Haven't played since elementary school? Me neither.
Used to get picked last? I didn't, but I probably deserved it. Somehow being the tallest kid in the third grade gets you a rep for being a stellar athlete - a rep which was, in my case, certainly undeserved.
Now before I share my tales of the kickball field, I must state that this is not my first rodeo with post-grad coed sports leagues. I was lucky enough to be a member of the fearsome Northlich Softball Team in Cincinnati. To make a long story short, we ended up with a 1 and something record, and half of the team (and all of our fans) had dropped out before the end of the season. I quit after I tried to kick a ground ball to try to get it to stop. (Side Note: I consider myself fairly athletic, but have no desire to injure myself in an intermural league. Sorry I'm not sorry.) But we had fun!
I'll venture a pretty safe guess that they lost this one. But, hey, they look like champs!
So here's the deal - every week dozens of twenty-somethings (and way up) put on their finest PSL tee shirts and head to old baseball and softball fields scattered sporadically throughout the city. I started off as a measley sub last season - a peon in the kickball world. Ready to consume a few brews and have a few laughs, I found myself in the throws of a serious kickball battle that would give elementary school kids nightmares. There was heckling, yelling at the ump (poor fellow), sliding and beyond. Needless to say, I was in a little over my head.
But I have come to love it. Luckily I am on a team of good friends and good people who just like to have a laugh and wrack up the PBR tally on the stats sheet (if you don't know what PBR is, you don't deserve to drink it). Am I any good? That's for me to know - my lofty goal is just to not kiss the bottom of the batting average column.
So it's back to the battlefield tonight. Maybe I'll pick up some eye black on my way over to the game, or put an antacid in my mouth like they did in "Little Giants". Probably not - but it'll still be a good time!
Devon Sawa shout out here - Oh, how I loved you
Thing I've Learned:
Join a PSL team, any PSL team, but make sure you accurately gauge the skill levels and intensity of the people on your team - and look out for Mamba.
Thing I Still Need to Figure Out:
How serious is too serious in kickball? The world may never know.