Listen closely. You can hear the gentle whirring of the turbine blade winding down. The thousands of beating hearts that, every Sunday, were a cacaphony of collective concentration are slowly simmering to a normal beat-per-minute. The collective breath of a multitude of warriors finally exhaling, the sweet release of cleats from aching feet, the stripping of blood-soaked gauze unwound from wasted limbs. Lower the flags, stop the clocks, file away the scorecards, and call your mother once in a while. Would it kill you to do that?

Kickball is over. I’m sure we all remember the Last Game, where we trudged around, heavy with the weight of finality and

Woah! We went out just as we came in – kicking, screaming, kicking more (and drinking). With the completely delightful addition of a Slip N’ Slide (thanks, Jordan!), sliding into home base became less of a chore, more of a mandatory slice of Awesome. Are we going to go out as a kickball team like a bunch of punks, a bunch of black-jean-wearing hipsters who are aggressively trying to look like they’re not having fun? But how can we not have fun when it’s just things like this:

You can’t fake it, people. And we didn’t.

Disputes. Anger. None of these things out of place at a kickball game.

The teams, divided into our groups of farewell and departure for two of the fairest maidens to enter our rennaissance faire of awesomeness, Elyse and Leigha.

It was a horrific match this time due to the fact that there were roughly 20 players on each time on a playing field roughly the size of a book of matches. No one quite knew the score, and that’s exactly how it should be. Also, I could take a turn for the melodramatic and lament the finality of all of this, use gravestone imagery, blah blah, but I’m listening to the Jackson 5, so go fuck yourself. If you want to cry, go watch Steel Magnolias or resolve to never see any of us again. Because that’s not happening: kickball is over, but the blessed social club that came from it all will never die, unless we all die at once. That’s why Jordan never purchased any field space inside of a missile silo or gasoline warehouse.

As much as it pains me to update this page for perhaps the last time, I can say that creating and maintaining this group of kickballers has been a joy. At the start of this series of games, we wondered where it would go, who it would bring, what would happen, and if we would have any foreseeable court dates because of it. While only thirteen of the total participants have ended up in the slammer because of this children’s game, EVERYONE experienced some certain level of euphoria that can only come with stumbling into a group of radical people. People like US.

I’d like to thank every single person that showed up for these games, because without each of you, we’d be a few yokels sitting in a field, waiting for something to happen (See: Nebraska in the summertime). Instead, friendships were formed, and that’s where we leave off. We have our Facebooks, Flickrs, etc, to keep up connected to one another. That’s the grand prize here, and we all won. Kickball may be over, but we all have each other, so let’s not let that fade into this good night (LITERARY REFERENCE). Let’s keep in touch with one another the best we can!

Special thanks overall to Jordan, who rented the field space and got this thing going. Props to Brendan for lugging the bases and beer, Buddy for being the most spirited mascot we could ask for, everyone for bringing smiles and their A-game, Beer for being our unofficial sponsor, and Golden Gate Park for allowing us to frolic in her most blessed fields. It’s been a wonderful time, and we’ll see each other soon. Be well.

love very much,

Jared