Sunday, April 6, 2008

Flag Monkeys: 1-1

In my book, we're 1-0, since I missed the first game. But it actually did happen. We had a 'power play' for the whole game because the other team was short a player, and still lost 12-0. Clearly the team was a little rusty. We were short on our usual players as well, but at least fielded a full team.

Yesterday's game was different. Let's start with the trip to DC.

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, which means DC is an absolute madhouse. We should have foreseen this and ridden the Metro. We arrived at the fields at almost 12 exactly, giving us plenty of time to warm up for our 1pm kickoff. Foreshadowing: gas tank light was on in Bill's car at this point. Unfortunately, parking was at a minimum. We circled around after our first pass through to find out that our normal parking strip was suddenly blocked by police barricade. One thing led to another and boom, we're in Georgetown with no clue how to get back. A couple of phone calls and several wrong turns later, we finally get to Constitution and park about a mile from the fields. Current time, 12:55. So, Bill, Liz, Zach, and I take off at a brisk jog through the mob of tourists. We took a wrong turn at the reflecting pool and lengthened our journey pretty significantly.

Finally, we arrive at the softball fields where our game is almost underway. Current time: 1:10. As luck would have it, the other team was short a player as well, so they waited for us.

We get ball first. I'm playing quarterback. I had about 30 seconds to warm up my arm. Our first possession wasn't pretty.

Our stalwart defense locked things down from the get go. They had one good player, and she (who I'm convinced was laced up with HGH and anabolic steroids) was all over the place. She was getting ridiculous pressure on me in the pocket. She made a one-handed catch on a severely underthrown ball coming across the middle. And her attitude was terrible.

Both teams traded off mediocre possessions. I had an interception (playing defense). The second half, we finally found our rhythm a little bit. We began to matriculate down the field, but still couldn't find the end zone. On one of our last possessions of the game, we were firing on all cylinders. I found Bill in the back of the end zone with a bomb from about the 30 yard line. It wasn't pretty, but he came down with it. We couldn't quite connect on the conversion, so the score sat at 6-0 with time winding down.

Liz's shut down performance at the boundary corner spot was unreal. Someone decided we should put her on a guy so that we could have a guy man up on the beast girl. She was in his grill all game long. They tried him deep when they saw the mismatch, and Liz closed the small gap (I called it baiting the quarterback) as soon as the ball was in the air and knocked it right out of the guys hands. Play of the game. He complained that she interfered with his route. Picture perfect defense.

They failed to get a first down from their own 20 with under two minutes left, and the referee called the game. Flag Monkeys win it, 6-0.

We began our happy trot back to the car. Bill needed to be at work in an hour, so we thought we were golden, time-wise. Current time: 2:00.

First task was turning around on Constitution so we could get on 395N. Not easy. The excursion through Georgetown had brought his gas level to the final red bar, and the light was a constant reminder of our impending doom. Those of you familiar with DC know it's a horrible place to need a gas station.

After about 45 minutes of trying to find one, while trying to stay near 395, and avoiding the cherry blossom traffic, we are all close to panic mode. When all was considered lost, fate intervened. We are suddenly on 395N about a mile from New York Avenue, where I know gas stations live. How far down NY Ave., I misjudged. After some intense worry, our beacon of hope appeared. A big, green, BP sign. We drifted in to the gas station parking lot as the car began to sputter on its last fumes. Success.

Lunch at Checker's was amazing. It's a rare treat that I get to eat there. Anyone who has never tried their burgers or fries, or even shakes for that matter, it's worth the trip.

Editor's note: We did not actually sputter on fumes, though we were dangerously close to that point. I took the liberty of exaggerating the story for entertainment purposes.

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