We’ve lost our mojo. After starting the season at 3-1-1 and riding high in the standings and earning some cred in the power rankings, we've just fallen flat. Three losses in a row to finish the season 3-4-1 and limping into the playoffs. It baffles the imagination really -- a three game losing streak and two of those teams I think we could be 3 out of 5 times. These games have been a series of ‘what could go wrong has gone wrong’.
But the more I think about it, it’s really not surprising at all. Hmmm, is there some “event” that coincides with Dunder’s three game losing streak? Could there be some other external forces acting on Dunder … blocking our regular good-time, keep winning mojo? What could that be you ask gentle reader: the Austin Police Department putting the kybosh on all drinking at Gillis. Seriously, we haven’t won a game or been the same team since alcohol went on the ‘no-no’ list. I don’t think any team has been as impacted as we have. Sure Dunder is still closing down G&S each Thursday but on the fields, we’re a shadow of ourselves. I knew I should have bought the green house right across from the fields 3 years ago – that way, I’d be fully entrenched in the neighborhood HOA by now and could have blocked the call to the police – I blame myself.
Anyways, the playoffs will be at SARC and while they also have no alcohol policy, they just don’t want you to be blatant about it. So hopefully, by bringing back the hooch, Dunder can get back on track.
We’ll face a tough task: One Kick Wonders. This isn’t the same team we played early in the season, they were without Rock (starting pitcher) and that Cody kid (starting catcher). Scott will have them ready to go and looking for a little revenge on Dunder. We’ll also be playing without Ben “The Red Viking” Hegleson while several other players are doing some sort of obstacle course 5K that morning and are questionable on their availability, let alone their condition to play intensive kickball after doing a 5K. We’ll still field a team, go out there, give it 110% and have a good time.
Tony “Nemesio” Gonzalez – There's not much that can be said about Tony that doesn't illustrate his coolness. He's calm and collected. He's friendly and welcoming. He's a busy guy but always has time for a beer and a few words with his friends. Tony is easily the most laid back member of Dunder. He's got solid range in the field, a good kick, and no matter what happens in the game... his hair always stays perfect. He’s the man … look at the picture.
He came to Dunder from the North Austin Free Tail Monday league, where he was playing just about every position on the field, but had been moonlighting in Live for a while playing on an older version of ‘Sons of Pitches’. JDL recruited Tony to come to Dunder and hold down the charger position which he's coolly done ever since. And speaking of JDL, Tony and JDL are about to be parents to the newest Dunder baby -- another future Dunder player in the making.
Tim “The Anvil” Barnhart – Some might argue that we've saved the best for last... Tim MF-ing Barnhart. Browns fan, great dad, man of few words, perennial Dunder All-Star … and no one wears more accessories for kickball. There's a reason we call our end of season award “The Tim Barnhart Male MVP Award”. Tim is the standard by which all other players are measured.
If you kick the ball towards Tim, he will kill himself trying to get to it. Line drive back to the mound? Tim will break his wrist diving for it and still catch the ball. Lazy pop up out of play to the 3rd base side? Not for Tim, Tim will dive into the flip cup table, shatter the table, douse himself in beer, and still catch the ball. Pop up right behind 1st? Tim will ditch the over-sized cowboy hat, slide in on his knees, make the catch and fire it to second for the double play. There’s a reason why the people on Dunder can be heard during a game saying “Tim would have caught it”. Tim's kicking is equally impressive. He's quick on base, gets good power, gets the ball down and past the infielders.
Now what truly makes it all special? I’ve seen other players make great offensive plays and diving catches in the outfield and they jump around celebrating it. Not Tim Barnhart – he makes his play and rolls the ball back to the pitcher – completely nonchalant. To paraphrase the immortal words of Vince Lombardi: Act like you’ve been there (and done that) before. And that he does, it’s not about him; it’s about playing great kickball.
Occasionally his better half and original Dunder member Jenny, along with their brood of future Dunder All-Stars, will make an appearance to root Tim on.
Tim's only weakness? Sparkling water. Dude loves his sparkling water.