“You can put it on the board, YES!


By Raf Czarnecki

In the mists of a bitter cold afternoon, with a blistering north wind annoying enough to make a sports journalist shed a tear or two, two softball teams would not be denied their two minutes of fame.

That’s right my friends, the Dirty Balls and the Misfits of HPER went at it Sunday afternoon in a clash of intramural heavyweights. Positioning themselves for next week’s championship tournament, each squad knew that a high seed was at stake for the winner.

We’ll pick up the action in the bottom of the first inning, when I was discussing the NFL Draft with the Misfits’ adequate leftfielder Chris Franck.

“You watch any of the draft this weekend?” Franck asked.

To answer Franck’s question accurately, not only did I spend a few quality hours dissecting the Mel Kiper Invitational, but I came away with a few takes that I’d be more than willing to share with the hundreds, and hundreds (The Rock = Big-time) … you get the picture.

First things first — if you watched the entire 30-some-odd-hour marathon (I think the Redskins are still on the clock) known as the NFL Draft, than you should seek counseling. Secondly, was it me, or did every team pick up a Miami Hurricane?

Anyway, I’m not a fan of grading each team’s draft for the simple fact that I’ve never heard of half the players in the final 13 rounds, but a few teams that I thought helped themselves over the weekend were San Diego, Dallas and Oakland. On the flip side, the Bengals, Vikings and Jets surprised nobody, coming out of the weekend in worse shape than they came into it. As long as Jets fans start booing now for next year’s first round pick, everything will be all right.

Now, back to the action at Caniglia Field, where the Misfits were leading by an approximate score of 10-3 in the bottom of the third inning. Dirty Balls’ sporadic shortstop Kyle McCellan’s diving effort for a sharply hit ground ball came up short as the Misfits built their lead. Watching the Misfits destroy their competition in humiliating fashion, I had a chat with the Misfits All-World Intramural stud Sean Johnston.

“You paying any attention to the NBA playoffs?” Johnston wondered.

About two weeks ago, the answer to Johnston’s query would have been a simple “Not until late May, when the Kings and Lakers decide the championship,” but unfortunately (not having a life has its minuses), I’ve fallen victim to the hype of the NBA’s postseason. With the playoffs in full stride this week, it’s only fitting that free association be brought to you in part by our friends in “The Association.” Hit it, boys:

Kevin Garnett … “I’m about to break!”

John Stockton … “It had to be the shorts.”

Paul Pierce … “Just don’t put me on the cover of *SI.”

Tracy McGrady … “Where’s that [bleep] Grant Hill when you need him?”

Mark Cuban … “Damn, I really do look stupid.”

Jermaine O’Neal … “We thuggin’, rollin’ on…”

After all was said and done, slugger Mark Kaipust and the Misfits crushed their opposition. Dirty Balls’ gritty catcher Durk Bassia’s passion for the game was unprecedented, but Bassia’s crew got waxed by an estimated final of 22-8.

Kaipust shared his final thoughts: “I changed [bats] to a 54-ounce Gray Goose and mass times velocity squared equals home run.”

Are you ready for the drama of the intramural softball championships? Uh, right. I’m late.


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