Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Brawlers Roll On

OK, so we didn't get a chance to put up a post about our epic 3-1 victory over rival SLAKA last week, but this week the Brawlers moved to 7-0 and strengthened their position as the team to beat in DC Kickball by coasting past Vote for Pedro with a 6-1 win. Before the game started, it was unclear whether or not we'd have enough people to bring a competitive game with us, with only 12 people, including 5 girls, expecting to show up. As it turns out, Vote for Pedro was the team undermanned, and we came out firing from the start with 4 runs put up in the 1st inning.

The game found itself in jeopardy, though, after Anthony deftly skied a foul ball to the left of the field, as the ball just barely bounced over the fence and into the hillside of shrubs below. About 15 minutes later, though, a search team emerged with what may or may not have been the original ball, and the game went on. By the end of the 3rd inning, Vote for Pedro was ready to call it quits and hit the bar, but we managed to convince them to play out one more inning before ending it.

The Blacktop Legends kept pace with the Kickbrawlers with an alleged 15-0 beatdown of Third Base or Bust, but with only 2 games to go, the Brawlers are poised for at worst a # 2 seed in the playoffs, with a # 1 seed and an undefeated regular season in their sights.

No pictures this week, because we got lazy, but we do have some video clips of some Flip Cup Death Matches (with drunken play-by-play by Anthony):

Match # 1: Sarah vs. Mukti



Match # 2: Mike vs. Matt

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Don't Call It a Comeback

OK, so it wasn't pretty, but in the end, the Brawlers proved that they can play clutch kickball in what turned out to be one of the more epic games in our team history.

Before the game, the captain of the Big Ballers decided to make a few changes to their strategy, telling her team to bunt on us as often as possible, to take advantage of their speed and get baserunners on to pile on the runs. In the first inning, their strategy worked out perfectly, as Mike was roughed up for 4 runs due to our inability to stop the bunt, and a couple of costly errors. Unable to get on the board in the first couple of innings, we knew that it was going to require one hell of an effort to get back into the game.

In the bottom of the third, the Brawlers finally showed some signs of life, thanks to some strong baserunning from Anthony, Joanna, and Mike. We managed to pick up 3 runs to make it one a one-run game, and we were back in it. In the bottom of the 4th, Steve led off the inning with a clutch bunt single, ultimately scoring. With the bases loaded, no outs, and Eric J up to bat, it looked like the game was over, but the Ballers managed to tough it out and prevent us from scoring.

In the top of the 5th, Ballers struck again, getting their 8'4" leadoff hitter on base and then home on an overthrow one batter later. Down by one going into the bottom of the 5th, we knew we had to come up big or risk ending our perfect season. Anthony led off the inning with a bunt single, narrowly beating out the throw to first, then moving to third on a ground ball by Joanna, and trotting home on an overthrow, assuring at least a tie. With two men on, Mike then came up to bat and rocked one into left center to end the game in a walkoff.

We're now 5-0, and keep on rolling...

Post-game photos

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Uni Watch 2006: The Look of a Champion

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I can only assume Rex was talking about our Brawler uniform accessories here when he stressed the importance of image.
(Warning! This is an audio clip.)

Kickbrawlers Week 4 Recap vs. Team 16

Well, it'd be great to say we came out strong after this week's game, but the fact that only about 4 of us were still around by 9pm makes that pretty tough to do. But who are we really kidding: can flip cup really compete with attractive young doctors who all have sex with each other and find themselves entangled in romantic-professional webs of intrigue and drama? It's not even close.

With only 2 girls available to start the game, Team 16 faced the possibility of a forfeit, but the Brawlers simply don't do things that way, and opted to play the real game, with Team 16 only allowed to put 9 players on the field. Despite being short on numbers, Team 16 played us hard all the way through, holding us scoreless through the first couple of innings. The pitcher's duel was finally broken open, though, with a 2-out double in the 3rd inning by Steve, who got a speedy Kim all the way home from 2nd. We managed to tack on a couple of insurance runs in the 4th, and pulled off a tough 3-1 win to up our record to 4-0.

Because of his clutch hitting and an amazing play in the outfield that should have doubled off a runner on 1st, Steve is our MVP of the game:



Steve's play turned out not to be a double play, however, due to a questionable call on first. Issues with officiating, as always, seemed to be at the forefront of the game:



Mike lets Ishu know just what he thinks of her strike zone...



Nevertheless, everyone played a great game! Thanks for those who did stick around afterward, and let's keep it going next week!



Jen hustles out a single!



More Week 4 Photos

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Little Brawler History


Kickbrawlers Inaugural Season (undated photo)


For many of you who stumble upon this website, you're probably asking yourself: just who are these Kickbrawlers? Where did they come from? And why should I care?

You probably shouldn't, but to give our new teammates, fans, and cyber stalkers a better idea of of who we are, here's a brief history of one of the most storied franchises in DC Kickball history.

It all started way back in 2005, when the Kickbrawlers formed as a spinoff team from the WAKA Independence Division to become one of the original members of the District of Columbia Adult Kickball Recreational League. Back then, things were very different: there was grass on the field, there were only 16 teams in the entire league, and Carter Rabasa was still a Wall Street Journal cover away from local celebrity status.

The Kickbrawlers quickly became a flagship franchise of the newly formed league, starting off the season 8-0. The Brawlers ran neck and neck with Rabasa's Fockers, their ancient rivals, who also went undefeated the first 8 games. The perfect season came to a crashing end, however, when a smash-drunk Kickbrawlers team stumbled onto the field against a shorthanded but eager Peter Northstars and were beaten like a redheaded stepchild. Determined as ever, though, the Brawlers bounced back and entered the playoffs as the # 1 seed with a 9-1 record.

All things appeared in place for a championship, with a 6-1 lead with 1 out in the top of the 5th inning against SLAKA in the semifinals. What happened after that is a story rarely recounted among the local fans. Almost as if touched by God, SLAKA rattled off 8 straight hits to take a 7-6 lead, which proved enough to dash the Brawlers' hopes of winning it all.

In the Fall of 2005, the Kickbrawlers took the field again with renewed hope, winning enough games to enter the playoffs as the # 2 seed behind undefeated Hot Sundae. Destiny found itself at our doorstep yet again, as these two teams clashed in the championship game. Seemingly outmatched, the Brawlers climbed their way to a 3-run lead in the bottom of the 5th inning, when disaster struck again. Unable to get the final 3 outs, Hot Sundae rallied back to win it all.

According to legend, in the inaugural season, during a flip cup match after one of the games, one of the Brawlers spilled a pitcher of a beer on the table, causing a member of the other team to lay a curse on them for the rest of their existence. Some believe the Curse of the Spilled Pitcher is what will prevent the Kickbrawlers from ever winning a championship. Others dismiss it as an excuse for choking at the most crucial moments.

As the Brawlers enter the 2006 season, the game barely looks the same as it did in the olden days. The hallowed fields of Adams Morgan are now a barren desert, the ball is bigger and bouncier, steroids have made the players faster and able to kick further than ever before, and the salary cap has made it difficult for teams to hold on to keep franchise players. Will this be the year the curse ends? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Brawlers: The Dallas Cowboys of Kickball?


It's come to the attention of more than a few Brawlers, some former teammates, and hell, the rest of DC Kickball that we Kickbrawlers are not a force to be reckoned with. But, this rep may have come at a bit of a price.

What is this price, you ask?
HATERS.

Monday, this particular Brawler visited the bathroom (multiple rounds of flip cup can do this) with a friend, bemoaning how the Brawlers somehow have gotten the rep as league bully. Because let's face it--we approach our games on the field as we do our flip cup--competitively. Plus, mix in our new pimp uniform additions, and we are just en fuego.

As I worried about how we're a big target, drunk girls start piping up from the stalls. One yapped, "You guys are just too competitive." Another squealed, "I heard you ran up the score tonight." Another yelled, "No no no. You all know they're not hated because of their players. You're just like THE team to beat in the league each year and so everyone wants to beat you because they wish they were as good too. You're like the Dallas Cowboys."

The Dallas Cowboys, huh? While I'd usually rather gnaw off my good kicking foot than be compared to a team supported by big haired people with even bigger drawls, it made me think. Sure, we may set out to soundly win each game, and yeah, it may give us a bit of a rep, but at the end of the day, we're about having fun before anything else. And isn't that what kickball is all about? Well, that and massive amounts of drinking, anyway.

So, I'm here to support and defend our brash and ballin' Brawlers. We may be starting off the season known as the jerky Dallas Cowboys, but here's to hoping we end it like the Pittsburgh Steelers--with class and a championship.

Week 3 Wrap-Up: We are Badasssss


OK, so maybe we run around the bases on an overthrow and taunt the other team with a 10-run lead.

And maybe we do pump ourselves up a little too seriously for flip cup:




But if the end result is a 12-1 win and another awesome showing at the flip cup table, then maybe it's all worth it.

The much anticipated clash with Just the Tip turned out to be not all that much of a battle. Matt "No Longer the Biggest Douchebag in Kickball" Gruenberg brought it early with some nasty english on his pitches, but it quickly turned ineffective, as the Brawlers exploded for 6 runs in the first two innings, thanks to some aggressive baserunning and timely kicks by Eric J, Fernando, JD, and Jen. A great job on the mound by Mike, Eric J and Anthony, who combined to give up only 1 run (in the first inning) and a few scattered hits.

Sporting our new gear, we upped our record to 3-0, and are poised to make another run for it all this year.

Sure, we have a reputation in the league as being a bit cocky and badass:


But at the end of the day, we come out as strong as any team in the league:


Great game for everyone, and for those of you who came out to Adams Mill afterward ... yikes.

Yeah, we're classy!



Even the Grand Poobah of DCK can't hide his allegiance.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Week 2 Flip Cup






In the end, only one team could stand tall. After beating Boozy McKicksalot 7-1 on the field, the Brawlers stepped into the flip cup ring looking to keep things going.

Having ended our 4-match winning streak last week, the Sea Cocks came in with swagger, but left walking the plank, getting spanked not once, but twice over the course of the night.


The Sea Cocks brought the trash talk...




... and the Brawlers took it out!


Our greatest feat, however, was the epic comeback against How's It Taste to keep the winning streak alive. Down 3-1 and facing elimination in this best-of-7 series, the Brawlers waited patiently during a 10-minute pitcher refill intermission, and tried to rally around each other.

Mike dug deep for words of inspiration: "Listen guys, you own it, you better never let it go -- you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime." His words in mind, we stormed back to take the match and walked away the champions of the night.



You can't stop the shining.



More photos

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Game 1 Recap: A Little Less Cowbell

This past Wednesday, the 'Brawlers got their season off on the right foot, taking down a very strong Hot Sundae 4-0 in what was a rematch of the fateful championship game of the Fall 2005 season.

The Kickbrawlers brought the pressure early with a few runs manufactured through aggressive baserunning, and tacked on a run in the 3rd and 4th innings to give them a comfortable lead.

A lead of 1-0 would have been comfortable, though, as Mike "The Heat" Carlton, pitching with a personal vendetta, shut down Hot Sundae's offense almost entirely, letting up only a few scattered hits through 5 innings of work. "They came out here, they taunted me, I showed them that I own them just as much this year as I did last year. Nobody fucks with the Carlton!" he told us after the game.

The performance on the field was followed by further domination at the flip cup table later at Tom Tom, as the Brawlers cakewalked through their first 4 opponents before the Sea Cocks stepped in and ended their reign. They'll be back after they both play in Monday's games, so expect a little revenge!

All in all, a great start to the season.