Thursday, September 08, 2005

“it ain’t the heat, it’s the humility” (yogi berra)

Game 14... Tues Aug 9th, 2005

It was a game that the Dazzlers more-or-less needed to win against the first place Panthers. A victory wouldn't guarantee promotion to the next division, but a loss would more-or-less knock it on the head.

But the omens weren't great from the beginning: nervous emails flying around in the hours running up to the match;uncharacteristic squabbling out on the field in the first few innings; Isaac cracking his rib just a few days before; the trip down to south London which always seems to send everyone's internal compass doo-lally as soon as they cross the river; plus the Yankees not being able to get a handle on those damn Bosox... it all proved too much, even for a Dazzlers team that arrived early for some pre-game warm-up and practice, riding high on the wave of an exciting win the week before.

And so, against the background of sun-kissed young lovers sunbathing and frolicking shamelessly on an unusually beautiful evening as the streaming sunshine blazed through the leaves and onto the rich green grass of Clapham Common, the team took the field to... come to think of it, what the hell were we doing playing softball in the first place???

The details aren't important. In fact, it's probably better not to go into them. The mishandled ground balls, the overthrows, the scoreless innings at the plate... whatever. There were some bright spots, like Amy's sizzling liner down the 3rd base line in the top of the 1st; Sam's sky-high tape-measure shot to left field that almost hit the Space Shuttle on its way back down to earth; Rob's fantastic grab in deep, deep right-center field (even if it was obviously only due to the magic little pair of white shoes that he had just put on).

Mostly, though, it seems all a blur. And an unfair end to what had been a great season, in an unexpectedly competitive division. But if it is any compensation, it wasn't just that the Dazzlers got beat by a better team. There was a little bit more poetry in it than that. The opposing first-place Panthers were the development team the year before Tony and Gerard put the
Dazzlers together. They had that little bit of extra seasoning that the Dazzlers will hopefully pick up next year. They were one year more mature, been round it one extra loop, this was their 3rd stab at it. Their time had come. They were ready to reap the benefits of the hard work they had invested, the experience they had accumulated. I mean, c'mon. they're a great bunch of people and they deserved it, didn't they? Ah, um, didn't they...?

Finsbury Dazzlers 3 1 3 0 0 0 1 - 08
Sumatra Panthers 8 3 4 6 1 4 x - 26