John Liu is a junior at UCSB. He plays third base for a winless co-ed softball team called the Ex-Presidents, and hopes that writing this column will somehow help his team win its next game.
John loves intramural sports. It gets him out of his room and gives him an hour a week when all he has to think about is catching a ball, throwing a ball and hitting a ball. Everyone on his team wants to do well, but the competition is friendly. John knows that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, even if the Ex-Presidents haven’t won just yet.
John Liu still enjoys it though, but he won’t say it hasn’t been hard on the team. Obviously they all want to win when losing is the other option, but how much more can you expect from a team than to go out and play as well as it can?
But with four notches already under the “L” column in a seven-game season, the squad is getting a tad desperate. John Liu won’t deny that the Ex-Presidents have resorted to cheap superstition and voodoo magic, and it’s true that all the guys on the team have agreed not to shave until they win a game, but are all these things that strange? John Liu thinks maybe going 0-7 doesn’t exactly equal failure, but 1-6 does feel a whole lot better for the ego.
In the first game of the season, the team was ahead 5-2, but proceeded to give up eight runs in one inning and lose 10-9. The second game needs no description but the score: 20-3. The third game was close, but the Ex-Presidents came up short, 10-6. Finally, last Wednesday; they played their best game of the season, losing in extra innings, 17-16.
John Liu thinks the team has been playing better every week and he believes this coming Wednesday will definitely be its day. The team is confident in its ability and confident that there is at least one team that it can defeat.
Player/manager Bill Walsh has been working on how the Ex-Presidents can change their luck and get into the win column. First baseman Dustin Maxam really wants to win. Second baseman Katie Barry is ready to play. Shortstop Noah Peter is on the ball. Left fielder Milton Wong is getting limber. Center fielder Dana Stribling is warming up her arm. Center fielder John Harter is running laps. Right fielder Bree Zimmerman is tying her shoes. Catcher Becky Brown is checking the wind. Third baseman Marci Dinis is putting on her hat. Designated hitter Ryan Rodrigues is practicing his swing. Right fielder Vicky Hemingway is running the bases for fun. Catcher Susan Cohen is catching pop-ups. Center fielder Marguerite Blum is waiting to start the game.
But in the end, John Liu knows it doesn’t really matter if the Ex-President ever win a game. Even if they go 0-7, he is sure that they’ll be able to laugh at themselves and go on with their lives. That’s what John Liu loves about intramural sports: In the end, it really doesn’t matter to anyone whether you win or lose. Nonetheless, he has promised the team a financial reward when they win.
John Liu is a staff writer at the Daily Nexus. He has no reservations about self-promotion or bad writing.