In the poetic, tragic dance that is kickball, there comes a moment where the player comes face to face with the ridged rules of the sport and needs to make a choice. It is up to the player, that valiant person forged from the trails and tribulations of kickball, to make a choice – defy the laws set by their brave ancestors, or stare into the gaping, bloodshot eyes of a children’s game’s laws and norms and say “to heck with your rules. I’m of a new generation – a generation that doesn’t give a darn.” This is how trails are blazed, how revolutions are initiated, and more or less how a car’s oil is changed, to my knowledge. This was also the case in a rather invigorating kickball game this Sunday, held at the beautiful Pioneer Meadows, named so because the bodies of seventeen pioneers are buried underneath it. What better way to honor the dead than to traipse merrily on their burial ground and break traditions?

First, slather on the makeup and tuxedos and meet the teams:

Team Name: Hordes of Angry Papillons

Strengths: Impeccable knowledge of art from Renaissance period, talking about feelings, 1996 hopscotch champions.

Weaknesses: Entire team wildly hallucinating almost constantly, too good-looking.

Team Name: Briscut n’ Grits

Strengths: Collective strength can overturn a semi-truck, relentless optimism, three team members have prior cameo history with ground-breaking “Charles In Charge” TV show.

Weaknesses: Team has no sense of cardinal directions, frequent uncontrollable lapses between speaking English or Portugese, dog mascot Otis not included in team photo.

These teams went at each other with all the enthusiasm of a new IKEA opening, and while there were no reported casualities, I am still not legally permitted to discuss the three deaths that occurred on the first kickball game, though I am certainly legally permitted to say that it was awesome, and I had no idea that a kickball could catch fire.

Regardless, in the 7th evening, tempers flared and morals questioned when a runner was rumored to be both safe AND out. The benches cleared, dirt was kicked, and eventually we handled the controversy with a grace and elegance of adults who respect each other: a drink-off. Two representatives were chosen, and the result was two shotgunned beers and one point fiercely fought for by team Briscuts n’ Grits. And that point was earned, ladies and gentlemen.

The total outcome of the game was team Bn’G coming out on top 10-6. At the end of the last inning, you could feel the collective disbelief that a group that I was team captain of actually won. But kickball isn’t about which team wins or looses. It’s about which group of arbitrarily-chosen people, at the end of the day, have more points than another group of arbitrarily-chosen people.

I’d like to thank everyone who came out to the field, as we could not do this without you all. Special thanks to everyone who chipped in for beer, helped drag stuff onto the fields, and to Jordan for reserving that spot in the park. If you’ve missed out on a few games, don’t worry – you’re never out of the loop, especially since the shape that best represents the San Francisco Kickball Coalition isn’t much of a loop, but more of an octagon. Think about THAT geometry for a while.

Tag your photos “sfkbc” on Flikr! Join the Facebook fan page! And come to our next game, which will be at the same Pioneer Meadows at 2:00pm. Bring those you love, and dogs, and a good attitude, and we’ll see you there.

love,

Jared