Monk • May 23rd, 2019
"They ARE who we thought they were'
- Double Barrel
NEW ORLEANS – On May 18th, 2019, Twenty men took to St. Patrick's Field. Five emerged as Champions. William Wallace would describe them as Warrior Poets. Flapjack would call them Dickball Legends. Both would be correct. The 2019 D$$ Hearts Ship team of Ay Caramba, the Butcher, Flapjack, The Natural & Sugar was one of the greatest teams ever assembled in Stickball's Modern Era. Their game was relentlessly brutal, demoralizingly destructive, and epicly beautiful. In short: it was perfect.
Losing 4-2 stings. Losing 11-3 will make you want to slam your dick in a door. Losing 32-2 is... it's a sight to behold. Having a front row seat to the never before-seen onslaught of the Hearts' offense felt like being an Egyptian chasing down the Israelites right after Charlton Heston parted the Red Sea. There's a moment where you're surrounded by a two-story wave and right before it comes crashing down, you just have to pause and marvel in awe at its destructive beauty. And that wave kept cresting and crashing, over and over and over again, all day long.
Two thoughts came to my mind after the Ship. One was: "well, I've seen perfection, and I don't think I ever need to see that again." And the second was: "I want to play against that team every week." Was it an anomaly? Was it just a perfect storm of talent, chemistry and field conditions? Or was it a glimpse of what's possible? A peek inside the Game above the Game? An invitation to climb higher and ascend to another level? Because I want to see that Game, and the Game beyond that one. And I want to play the Game at that level while I'm blasted out of my mind laughing my ass off and having the greatest time ever.
While the Hearts showed us what's possible with a Stick & Ball, the Clubs showed us what's possible when you play with nothing but Balls. The Club Party of Czar-Brah, Double Barrel, Heartthrob, Johnny Appleseed & Kool-Aid started showing the D$$ what perfection off the field looks like the minute they drew their cards, and will go down as one of the greatest Party Teams in the Universe. From their barrage of late night emails to one of the dumbest, most amazingly inspired BPs of all time at 45 Tchoup, their fucktastic antics will live on in the annals of Stickball History now and forever. Some would call them dipshits. Fuck that. Those men are Stickball Heroes: they are the People's Champions™.
And what do you get when you combine a Legend and a Hero.
Saturday made me see what's possible. And I want to see more. I'm sure someone in the history of the game has batted 1000. I don't care about seeing someone hit a perfect game: I want to see someone pitch a perfect game. I want to see someone scale the fence and actually stop a ball moving 70mph. Because that's what it would take to beat the Hearts. And I want to be the one that does it, and I want to do it wearing a Dickies Jumpsuit over a Cookie Monster Costume over a pair of Motorhead Shorts & a Rowdy Roddy Piper T-Shirt while tripping on Ayahuasca so that I can be Katfish being Young-Gun being Heartthrob while exploring my inner cosmos and destroying the game. I want to expand until I implode. I want to be a Stickball god.
You may be thinking: "Monk, there's no way to top everything we've done." And to that I would say: "You're a fucking lame dick idiot who lacks drive & imagination." I overheard someone's friend at the Ship saying "Yeah, I went out there once and made a fool of myself and never came back." That's a sentiment that I understand, but can't relate to. I don't know about you, but for me it was love at first swing. Even so, coming out to play in my first game was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my adult life. I don't care how much fucking swagger you all pretend to have, all of you have had a moment where you've stepped out onto the field and thought "Jesus, I hope I don't fuck this up." And the thing is: we all have. Each and every one of us have shit the bed in one way or another at some point. Nobody's perfect. Nobody. We've all dropped a clutch ball, or gone down swinging in the 9th, or thrown one into the dirt on a 3rd pitch. And the thing that separates us from everyone else is the fact that we came back and asked for more. And we've all gotten better. Everyone had a good Ship this year- there was no contender for Worst Performance by a Grown Man. The game has evolved exponentially in the 4 seasons I've played, and I don't see it stopping. That is, unless we just keep sucking each other's dicks and talk about how amazing we are without digging down deeper into the well and seeing how far it goes and how much majestic buffoonery we can pull out.
There's a moment I'm sure we've all experienced where it all starts to make sense- your heart rate is jacked, time slows down, everything gets quiet, and that little voice in your head finally shuts up and you can see everything. The ball blows up to the size of a balloon and we can pluck it out of the air, or stroke it onto the interstate, or place it exactly where it needs to be, and for a moment, you are the Game and the Game is you. The Buddhists call it a moment of Satori; we alcoholics call it a Moment of Clarity; some call it Glory, but I think it's closer to Perfection. I've had my fill of Glory- what I want is Perfection. And I want to see each and every one of us get to that place.
In order to do that, we all need to get better. And not just at Ball, but at Life. Because the Game isn't just Bat & Ball, it's Character, Heart, Bravado, Dedication, Desperation & straight up Fuckery. It's the Hearts AND the Clubs. We've come this far because we're a melting pot of sheer stupidity & raw talent: we get to the next plane by doubling down on everything we're bringing and adding more weapons to our arsenal. If you get stronger, we all get stronger. Whatever your thing is, whatever your Game is, bring more. If you're spending the Summer out on the links, go full Tiger Wo-Wo and smoke a 370 yd ball off the tee on a Klonopin & Ativan cocktail while singing the National Anthem full out. If you're into Swag, make your next Merch order hotter than a Supreme Drop. If you're taking care of your kid, read Moo, Baa, La-La-La better than James Earl Jones and become the Magic Johnson of Peek-a-boo. Whatever you do: be D$$ as fuck about it. Because whether we're on the field or off the field, we're always the D$$.
Having been on both the giving and receiving end of a team that totally destroyed a tournament, I can say that while Victory is sweet, it can make you take a moment to breathe, pause and relax. Having just had my ass handed to me, all I want to do is get stronger, faster & dumber and beat the fuck out of everything and everyone. And if you think that the other 36 guys who got rolled in Baja are sitting around blowing the D$$- they're not: they hate us and they're plotting and scheming and fighting to figure out a way to rip out our fucking hearts next time we step on the field.
Fuck an off season.
Season 8 started 5 days ago.
STAIRWAY TO SEVEN SHIP CHAMPS
❤️❤️❤️: Ay Caramba, the Butcher, Flapjack, The Natural, Sugar
THE PEOPLE'S CHAMPIONS
♣️PARTY : Czar-Brah, Double Barrel, Heartthrob, Johnny Appleseed, Kool-Aid
♠️: Buzz Armstrong, Fugitive, Katfish Global, The Red Menace, Young-Gun
♦️: Cap'n, Diamond, Jolly Roger, Rooster, Spider
2019 Ship Box Scores
♠️16 V ♣️3
❤️ 17 V ♦️6
♦️15 V ♣️7
❤️ 32 V ♠️2
♦️11 V ♠️2
❤️ 17 V ♦️1