Thursday, June 6, 2013

Familial Territory

I'm puttin' it in the books!!!
They're new books that say Tuesday on them... Tuesday, the shiniest of books (Except for Tuesdays with Maurie... that's depressing as shit).

A new season begins gloriously ladies and gentlemen!

I'm Kick James (1-0) 11, Our Grass is Blue 2

It is no surprise for anyone associated with the formidable I'm Kick James Rochester Kickball club, that after Tuesday nights performance some lives were changed.

I'm not saying my timeline is perfect or even based on reality, but let's start with the highlights!


Based entirely on in game performance, Phil and Renee got engaged to be married during the game! Phil has been quoted as saying, "You gotta snag up a pitch like that, yo." Abruptly stopping the game between innings, Phil dropped to one knee and fashioned a ring out of long strands of grass. Thank god she said yes, Phil is not used to putting himself out there in front of a crowd.

Congratulations to the happy couple and to many years of I'ming Kicking and Jamesing!

Close calls

Some old themes popped up throughout Tuesday nights performance.

Pride was torn from the clutching grasp of multiple Jamesers...

Pearson thought he was a lock for MVP, his quick hands, nimble fingers and lightning reflexes led to a one man double play before single handedly 1,2, 3'ing an entire inning. Phil hates Pearson.

"Brian" stepped into the Captains role quickly realizing it wasn't an easy job and that it is completely understandable that the captain praises themselves incessantly. First up kick of the season was the first Kick James home run of the season! I don't know what happened from there, but "Brian" didn't even get nominated to be the Captain... early signs of trouble for the new leader? Violent coup on the horizon?


Despite her recent betrothal, Renee was not safe from the sex based aggression of our very own Shandy (what do you think, should we make it stick?) who tried his best to peg her in the face with the ball.

The men of Kick James also must have done something to the ladies in the off season, as our very own Dingleberry left the team to "work", Sanchez had a baby in order to avoid the team, the Box Swan was nowhere to be found, Pee Ashley chose an Ivy League job over a kickball team, and Pooper Scooper purposefully worked late to avoid the game. We're eternally grateful for some...

New Faces

Kick James was decidedly small compared to it's typically ragingly ridiculous numbers. Audrey and Dods stepped in to offer their plums to the team.

Jamie also broke the reigns of his creatively stifling Friday Kickball Team to add some much needed Miller Lite drinking to the team

Brandon continues his love affair with the sideline, but wore a purple shirt to show support.

In opposition to a quote that may or may not have been referring to him, a newly inspired and huggy Ben fought through years of shoulder pain to prove his love for Kick.

Welcome, you've entered a new world, try to relax and just take it all in. Embrace the ambiance and ideologies, but whatever you do... do NOT pull a vagricept!


Amber Alert aka Jim is still the fastest to the sideline and it still looks "cool." We're all anxiously awaiting our first rainy game so we can get a showcase of those stems.

Reports vary, but the noble opponents had either a tuba or a sousaphone with them, which is awesome. Upon hearing this, Jesse "No Pictures" promised a mini Vassar Brothers reunion throughout all the leftover games.

The official wrote an official note to the Kickball League of Rochester citing the team cheer as almost certainly damning I'm Kick James for the rest of the season... and I quote.

"They were a great team. I loved everything about them and I really felt like they were going to take the cup this year. Especially at the end when they got together and said. "Good game Our Grass is Blue..." that was perfect right there. But they didn't stop, I don't know what would compel them to keep talking after such a perfect game ending chant, but they kept going. "... and thank you officials." What's that shit? They don't need to thank me for doing my job. That's some pandering bullshit. They had it all, but I'm really scared they lost it. I think they did a prayer though, so that was nice."

- The Ump, dictated, not written

The team reportedly became uncharacteristically religious for a bit. Who are we to judge though, right? If your team prayer makes total sense and completely makes you feel better about who you are as a well rounded individual and close knit kickball team, then pray away, two three times a game. During stretches. Between innings. Whatever! Pray away!

The showing at Marshall Street had some impressive numbers, but not nearly enough drinking, juke boxing, hugging, tots to go along with the shots, pictures, hula hooping, butt touching, or hugging. It's just the beginning... we'll wipe these cobwebs off and see you next Tuesday!

Monday, June 3, 2013

"Kick James, am I" - A Basic Research Paper, sans the Research about the Intricacies of Developing, Fostering, Observing a Successfully Fun and Efficient Kickball Team. The Kick James Story. Foreword by Dingleberry

"Kick James, am I" - A Basic Research Paper, sans the Research about the Intricacies of Developing, Fostering, Observing a Successfully Fun and Efficient Kickball Team. The Kick James Story.
Foreword by Dingleberry

First Draft: No research was harmed in the writing of this blog.

I'm Kick James is a well oiled and fine tuned machine.
As with any piece of equipment, the first version off the assembly line is far from the impeccable glistening specimen we all know and love today.

It hasn't been all polish and glitter, some real elbow grease has gone into developing Kick into a James I'm interested in being a part of.

Without further ado, let's start from the beginning.

Team Development

Part I: Foundations

Bringing the individuals together to form a team is not a willy nilly endeavor.

The foundation of a team is not built on the individuals involved, on the contrary the individuals involved in a team must fit onto and support the foundation.

When choosing the foundations for a Kickball organization, you must ask a few questions:

1 - What kind of competitors do you want to be? Do you want to play to win, have fun, just hang out with friends, train for regionals, sing at nationals, qualifiers for the Hunger Games?

2 - How much drinking should we encourage?

3 - Should there be a blog?

4 - Are we a team of friends first or a team first who may or may not be friends?

My recommendations for the above foundations are as follows: Winning is fun, but being an asshole isn't, play for fun, winning is a bonus. Drink as much as you can without getting arrested. Yes, of course. and last but not least, we are friends first who happen to be on a kickball team.

The entire team should have an active respect and understanding of this foundation. If they do not, they will be the wobbly brick that falls out and kills someones great aunt who was on the way to update her will that includes all of us and now we don't each get a house in the bahamas... thanks wobbly brick bastard!

Part II: Assessment

Now that the team has come together, it's time to assess strengths and weaknesses. Since we have already established that picking and choosing teammates based on ability is unnecessary (kicks before dicks, pals before punts, friends before triple plays... working on it) strengths and weaknesses are a combination of personality traits and how comfortable an individual is with their talent level, rather than their level of talent itself.

When I speak of personality traits, I am mostly talking about level of competitiveness. As an established group of friends, it should go without saying that everyone has a working understanding of how to navigate through the variety of personalities present. The foundation established in Part I is not easy for everyone to get behind, which is extremely important to understand. A great many of us have something brewing beneath their law degree or comb over hair or what have you, that tells them winning is a necessity and anything goes in order to get there. This is not an issue of overcoming or changing these traits, but working with the traits in order to find a happy medium where they feel heard, properly respected, and are still a part of a team where winning is a value if not a requirement.

This is accomplished with some patience, conversation, and encouragement.

A leopard can not change his spots. It will eat your fucking face. But if you put them in a position where they can productively compete, even on a personal, if not a full team level (first base, shortstop) they are getting some of the adrenaline they need.

When aggression takes over, it is not to be scolded or made to feel ostracized. Why is the aggression taking over? What happened? Who needs a hug? This is a prime example of talking through a situation reminding both the individual and the team at large who we are, why we're here and where our focus should be.

Unfortunately, in the great game of kickball these antagonizing factors are most often the opponents themselves, but also primarily taken out on teammates. We all do it. We're human. Accept it, apologize, hug the shit out of Sweeney, he doesn't like being yelled at. It makes him sad.

Opponents should have fun because you are having fun.
Games should end, win or lose, with both teams feeling primarily pleased and satisfied for the adult interaction of the last hour of their lives.

If opponents refuse to have fun because they are douche nozzels, the only thing to do is light mockery (focus on the light) and increase the fun level your team is currently having. This can typically be accomplished with increased drinking, hugging, or singing.

Lesson learned: Vast changes to the fielding line up freak people out. It is fun for those making the changes, but stresses other people out. Namely the team captain and other individuals who might be forced into a new fielding position where they are not comfortable: A Kickball Team should be focused on team happiness and satisfaction, there is no individual in team or else it would be spelled tindividualeam and that looks ridiculous.

Part III: Camaraderie 

This brings us perfectly to the third part of our foundations.

Team: This is where I was the last time blogger saved what I had written before my computer froze. I had written for another half hour and there was a whole lot more gold. NowI'm frustrated and I don't feel like doing it all over again, so this is what you get. I'll finish the rest later. It was good too. Really really good. 

I'm Kick James and I won't be around all that much this season, but I will be there in spirit. Since I assume you all look at me as your leader, mentor and inspiration, a Jesus or Buddah figure if you will, try to think of me often. When you are frustrated, ask yourself, what would Thomas do? When you are in need of direction, think of me and my warm eyes and loving life perspective. When you succeed, say a silent thank you and know that it was probably because of something I did or taught you. If something doesn't go well or ends poorly, now it is because you did something I wouldn't have done. Don't forget to stretch. Don't forget to hug. In all situations, Love Each Other.

No... we're Kick James.

Who should be the Kick James Fall MVP?

What was your favorite Kick James moment?