Sack Attack, Mad Stork, and me

Saturday, March 27, 2010, was a great day in football history as an epic championship played itself out.

For those not chronicling my every move, I am a two time football champion. The football league Planet Social Sports had its championship, and Sack Attack was playing for the championship.

The team was originally known as Slamathon, changed its name to Kiss Da Baby, and is now Sack Attack. After the last championship, there were several changes to the team.

In an incredibly minor change, I retired. In a major change, team leader and quarterback Scott Kirby was traded to a team in Virginia. Not since Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Oilers to the Kings has the sports world been so affected. Actually, Gretzky left for a girl, and so did our leader Scotty Tecate. He and his fiancee are happy on the East Coast, but this year the team had to win without him.

His brother Ryan Kirby took over quarterbacking duties. With Scott as Peyton Manning, the question would be whether Ryan was to be Eli Manning or Jim Sorgi. More importantly, Ryan had to settle for the nickname Rybo, as his desired nickname of RJ never caught on.

Yet like the 1998 Vikings, the quarterback chucking it up has an easier job when the ridiculous all world receiver Andrew Baumgartner is doing his Randy Moss impersonation.

This coed league not only features hot girls, but they play football well. Let me reverse that. Not only are they good football players, but they are hot as well.

Although I am retired, I harkened back to the past and summoned up Mad Stork Ted Hendricks to inspire me in my post football career.

The 1983 Raiders won it all, and Hendricks, like me, retired on top. Yet he could not stay away. In 1984 he would stay on the sidelines and cheer on his teammates.

As the defending champions played the 12-1 Miami Dolphins, Dan Marino was tearing up the league. In Miami, a chaplain before the game asked God to pray for the Dolphins to win. On the last play of the half, the Raiders led 17-13, but the Dolphins had the ball at the Raiders one yard line. Don Shula called for a running back to go over the top. He did, and got rocked backwards by the Silver and Black defense. The Raiders triumphantly went to the locker room at the break.

In the locker room, the retired Hendricks, as intense as ever, yelled at his teammates. He then slammed his head into a locker and said, “That is how you are supposed to hit people. In the second half, take no prisoners, and that goes for that god d@mn minister as well. The God I believe in doesn’t give a d@mn about the Dolphins.”

It should be noted that the locker was dented in, while Hendricks did not have a scratch on his head.

The Raiders won the game 45-34. After the game, Hendricks was standing up in the lavatory when he accidentally dropped a $5 bill in the bowl. It fell out of his wallet. A Dolphins player came in the Raiders locker room and saw him angry about this. He then threw a $100 bill in the bowl, placed his hand in there, and scooped out the $105.

The player asked him why he threw the extra $100 in the bowl, Mad Stork replied, “If you think I’m sticking my hand in there for $5, you’re crazy.”

When you’re a champion, you can do this.

I can’t stay away. Football is a narcotic. I found my league t-shirt, and just before the game started, made my way toward the field. I asked the question every male athlete longs to ask.

“Anybody need a cheerleader?”

I was greeted warmly, and the high-5s flowed. To stay on the sidelines and watch others play football is tough, but if Ted Hendricks can do it, so can I. Besides, Ted Hendricks has nothing on Ashley Debeillo. She is one of our female receivers who broke her fingers because Rybo throws the ball too d@mn hard. To quote Mike Holmgren lecturing Brett Favre (a man who has retired as many times as me), “Are you trying to kill all of our receivers?” Ashley cheered with me on the sidelines.

To quote Alvin Mack in “the Program,” it was time to kill em all and let the paramedics sort em out. It was time to play football.

In the semifinals, Sack Attack had a comfortable 36-20 lead. A furious rally by the opponents had it a 36-32 game. We needed one more score to lock it up. With one minute to go, we had the ball 3rd and goal. Ryan stepped back, rifled high to Andrew, and watched Andrew do what he does. Between double coverage, Andrew came down with it. He is ridiculous, and the 44-32 win propelled Sack Attack into the finals.

While the other team was very good, our lime green jerseys should have been the difference. The other team wore pink. I don’t care how good you are. You don’t lose to a pink team. These guys were so comfortable with themselves that they even wore pink eye stuff instead of the usual black.

The team seemed tight. I think it was because the law banning alcohol from the park was finally being enforced.

Sack Attack led 8-0 when the opponents faced 4th and very long. Somehow our defense broke down, and they scored to make it 8-6. Sack Attack moved methodically down the field, but a rifled pass that could have been a touchdown was deflected and intercepted. In an even bigger shocker, the other team clamped down. A smothering pink defense had Sack Attack trailing 14-8 at halftime.

In the second half Sack Attack went right to work. A touchdown tied the game 14-14, and Andrew, playing like a demon possessed, intercepted a pass, leading to a 22-14 Sack Attack lead. The pinkies tied it up 22-22, but Sack Attack took a 30-22 lead late. With only one minute to play, the pinkos needed a miracle. Sadly, they got one.

Expecting a long pass, I give the pinks credit for going into the bag of tricks. The quarterback lateraled. The runner lateraled it back to the quarterback. He went for the bomb and found a wide open receiver for the touchdown.

Chaos ensued, as this appeared to be the replay of the 1999 Bills-Oilers Adelphia Music City Miracle. Although one of the passes was thought to have been forward, there is no instant replay at intramural football games. I did not Tivo the play. The refs ruled that the laterals were backward. A stop on the 2 point conversion would have ended things, but the pinks converted and it was 30-30 with seconds left.  A final desperation pass that would have been a miracle finish was bobbled and dropped. The championship would go into overtime.

The NFL has recently changed their overtime rules for the playoffs. What this means is that the NFL took something perfect and screwed it up. Whether politics, sports, or anything else, I hate change.

Even more bizarre than the new NFL overtime rules are the overtime rules for Planet Social Sports.

During regular season games, one out of every three plays has to be a gender play. The play has to involve a woman, whether they play quarterback or receive the ball. This is to make sure the league truly is coed, and everyone participates.

In overtime, none of us actually knew the rules. We had to learn them quickly. Every single play had to be a gender play. It was not sudden death. Each team would alternate plays from the opponent’s 20. Not drives, but single plays.

The pinks went first. They fired incomplete. Sack Attack took the field. Ryan had the ball hiked to him, threw to Nikki Fleming in the corner, and Fleming caught it for the thrilling 36-30 victory.

Lime green Sack Attack supporters raised their fists in the air. The empire had come so close to collapsing. It teetered and tottered, but when the dust settled, six straight championships stood as a testament to resilience. Each year staying on top gets tougher, and the pinks took us to the limit.

Tiffany, Nikki, Rebecca, Mike, Ryan, Andrew, and Chris had done it again. Brittney was in Las Vegas, but she is part of the Sack Attack family. Some new players contributed as well. The pregame cheer on three was for our ex-leader Scott. He was with us in spirit.

At the bar afterward, winners and runner-ups alike bonded over flip cup, beer pong, and socializing. One odd fellow regaled us with stories of sniffing cocaine off of a woman’s backside, perhaps not realizing that this was blatantly illegal.

As the team drank beers and I drank my customary diet coke with no ice and lime, the team asked if I would come out of retirement. Like Brett Favre, I said I was retired but am still waffling.

Like Ted Hendricks, I just can’t pull myself away.

Bill Parcells once referred to what he calls “parking lot players.” These are guys who would show up at a grocery store parking lot at 6am on a Wednesday if you told them a football game would be played. The road to a championship is tough, but as Parcells has said to his championship players, “this is why you lift all them weights.”

The only thing I lifted on this day was a t-shirt, the equivalent of a lime green terrible towel.

My teammates are great. Even though I am retired, they are still my teammates. Before the championship, they yelled for me to join the pregame huddle. Once a teammate, always a teammate.

Scott left the team in very capable hands. As for Ryan, forget Eli and Sorgi. I am upgrading him from Rybo to RJ. You win a championship at quarterback, you’ve earned it. Well done RJ.

Well done Slamathon/Kis Da Baby/Sack Attack. Six straight championships…well done indeed.

Knowing how great this team is…I can stay retired.

Like Ted Hendricks, I can still cheer from the sidelines.


One Response to “Sack Attack, Mad Stork, and me”

  1. Well, we’re all getting older. I guess there’ll always be new things to do. I play Madden on my PS!


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