Kickball in the City

Friday, March 30, 2007

"Happy" anniversary? Not for the Kash guys

This past Monday was the Kash guys 10 year anniversary party. As a loyal, yet outspoken, customer of the Kash guys I decided to attend. The deal was $12 to get in would get you food, cake, and free beer until it ran out. Not a bad deal, though I usually don't drink on Mondays - but as I said I decided to go. And boy am I glad I did!

Being the kickball dork that I am I got there right at six, figure a) it is a crime to not partake of as much "free" beer as possible whenever possible and b) it would be pretty packed at Kelly's Irish Times by 7:30 and at least this way I'd have a spot and food. I was right on about getting there early; it allowed me a good amount of food and I had no problems getting the early beers. I saw a few people I knew and said my hellos and noticed a couple of NAKID people in one of the corners. More on them later.

Who the Hell is tryin's to steal Curly's Koozies?

As 6 became 7 and then 8 something weird was happening - the bar remained, for the most part, barren. Not to the point of tumbleweeds rolling through, but they would have been welcome company. The Kash guys were all there walking around in their best dude ranch outfits - red WAKA button down shirts and blue jeans. It almost felt like I was watching city slickers seeing them. Then the designated "young" guy in the group was circling around looking like a skinny version of Hurley from Lost.

The Kash guys raffled off (for FREE!) 3 silver flasks and then the place cleared out like it was on fire. Some of the people who were there went downstairs for flip cup, the rest went home. I was one of the last ones standing, me and the NAKID people. So I walked over to talk to them.

I was told that immediately upon entering the bar the Kash guys recognized them and came rushing up to ask if they had paid to get in. When told they had, he seemed satisfied (shocking, isn't it, all the Kash guy cared about was that they had paid?). According to the story within a few more minutes another of the Kash guys came over to chit chat. Then, one of the NAKIDs went up to partake of some food and while she was walking back was accosted by a WAKA worker asking if she wanted a free koozie. Plates in both hands caused the NAKID player to pass, but the WAKA worker told her she could have one and placed it under the NAKID girl's armpit for safekeeping - which did not last long.

Safe again, thanks to the Kash guys!

Within a few moments the aforementioned city slicker who was checking on paid or unpaids scurried over and grabbed the precious koozie from under her arm. He scolded his worker, "These are for registered players only. SHE is not registered!" and walked away triumphantly with his koozie safely back in the box. Just so we are clear, he was willing to take the money to get in from NAKID players (who at one point DID play in his league), but didn't want to spare a 36 cent koozie to the filthy people. Seems petty and low class to me. I mean, what's the harm if she would have used the WAKA koozie at a NAKID event - it's free advertising retard! But then, this is typical of the Kash guys.

Umm, dude, why am I here? Where IS everyone?

Of equal importance in illustrating how the Kash guys roll was the turnout. I believe I am being generous in saying that 150 people were there. I don't mean all at once, I mean over the course of three hours. The bar was never full nor half full. In fact, when one of the WAKA worker bees was handing out cake he was soliciting a table of 50-somethings from Texas to buy a wristband so they could get the beer, cake, and food too! Hey, you know the Kash guys, the more (money) the better. Back to the numbers though, to understand how pathetic the turnout was the Kash guys claim to have 10,000 players in the DC area and 150 showed up for this HUGE anniversary party they have been pimping for over a month. From what I heard the Hurley guy came all the way down from somewhere in BFE NY, and for what?

I have to position this against the NAKID birthday party I was at in January to help explain why I think the Kash guys party was such a dismal failure. NAKID's one year party was on a Friday, free, and fun. The Kash guy's party was on a Monday, cost money, and was mundane. Having a party on a Monday to celebrate your 10 years is great for the bar, which is probably dead on Mondays, but not great for players. And why charge? Many of us have contributed hundreds of dollars over the years, couldn't they throw us a bone? I am sure the beer and food were donated so what was the cost to the Kash guys? Oh right - the vaunted koozies. More protected than out troop movements in Iraq.

Maybe the Kash guys should run the war. This was too easy to find, not like a koozie.

I guess my point here is this: it's just another example of the Kash guys suck and why other leagues have popped up here. If players were excited about WAKA they certainly would have come out - if the party was run properly. I don't know how many players NAKID had at that time, but it couldn't have been more than 500 or 600 and there were easily 300 or so at their birthday party.

If I was a Kash guy, I'd be worried. Their base of operations in Washington, DC and if the party on Monday was any indication that 10,000 could become 7 or 8,000 this year. And maybe 5,000 the next. Maybe once they start feeling it in the wallet they will listen to their customers. If not, they can always sell their koozies.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Keep off the grass - or we'll shoot (or at least threaten to arrest you)

So, I was at a pickup kickball game this past Sunday. No big deal, a bunch of the kickball dorks got together because it was "such a beautiful day". By that I assume they meant that it was sunny and that was about it because at the Washington Monument - where we played - the wind was gusting to about 60 miles per hour. Frankly, I prefer snow kickball; but I digress.

There we were, just the kickball dorks playing on the 15th Street side of the Monument as we have on and off for three months now. We had been playing for about an hour when a Park Policeman on a horse started yelling something seemingly in our direction. However because he chose to yell at us from 50 yards away and the wind was whipping, we really couldn't hear him, so we kept playing. He yelled again and someone saw him make the "cut it" sign with a throat slash motion. We all grumbled as to what the problem was and began to pick up the field as one of the players ambled over to fins out what was wrong. The next thing we knew, he told us he was being arrested!

After a few minutes of him walking over to the cop, who remained on horseback but had come closer to the group, the player started to return to the group. Then the Park Police officer started pulling the guy's backpack, while still on horseback, thus choking him somewhat. Now, the guy can't be taller than 5'3 and the horse is pulling back against the wind, so you can imagine that this was painful. Next, three other officers approach our friend and the horse cop (now off of his horse and writing info down). The 4 of these Keystone cops detain the player for about 15 more minutes and then he is allowed to return to the group.

Don't you feel safe with them out there?

The player relays that he asked the punkass Park Police horse cop why we had to leave, to which he received the response, "Because I said so". The cop repeated this 4 times to him, never giving an actual answer. WTF are we five years old? You can't give the guy an answer? So the players turns to leave saying, "Ok, you're an asshole." WEEEELL, this tees this fake cop off! Now he starts grabbing at the player saying he is being "disorderly". He informs the player to hold still and that he is not to "call me a fucking asshole". The player responded (in true kickball fashion), "I didn't call you a fucking asshole, I just called you an asshole." I know, funny, but not his brightest moment.

Horse's ass cop calls for his supervisor and the three others show up. The supervisor, who at least has more tact than horse's ass cop, states that the Park Service asked them to ask us to stop because they were worried about the condition of the grass. He then added that as for horse's ass cop, "You have to do whatever an officer tells you to do as long as it's not illegal". Oh right, I missed that amendment to the Bill of Rights.

Ok, let's begin with the understanding that talking back to a cop, even the useless, chip on their shoulder Park Police, is never a good idea. Given that, am I alone in thinking this is complete and utter bullshit?! "Because I said so"? Hey, um, horse's ass, that's not a good enough reason. My assumption is that this guy was too stupid to know why he was following orders from some park service puke and probably hasn't gotten laid in a year and so tries to be a tough guy on a horse. Meanwhile, I doubt that calling him an asshole would stand up in court as "disorderly" conduct; but I am damn sure that 12 witnesses testifying that they saw some Park Police punk dragging a guy around by his backpack would qualify as police brutality.

Just a rough draft to the Park Police

Next, the idea that one is to do anything an officer tells her to unless it is unlawful sounds a bit like a police state, doesn't it? Let's see, if I get pulled over and a cop tells me to take my pants off I believe that's not unlawful, and so I should just do it. Apparently the police in the District have been granted the supreme authority over all of us mere mortals. All praise the Park Police, they know the truth!

Destroying the grass, one blade at a time

Finally, a look at the whole cause of this - the poor grass. God save the grass! I'd like to thank the National Park Service for being so concerned about the condition of the grass around the Washington Monument. Most of it has been fenced off since mid November and is scheduled to remain so through March. I anxiously await the unveiling of the lush fields of green once those red fences come down. Of course, the NPS isn't too concerned from April through October when they routinely flood the grass by running the sprinklers all day, creating a swamp like situation. And they certainly aren't concerned when the keystone cops are driving on it. But kickballers - we're the real threat!