Sometimes good things happen to bad people.
That’s the only possible explanation for The Daily Cardinal’s Dirty Birds’ recent softball success of the last half decade.
But the karma that has waited for far too long will finally unleash its hellbent revenge in the form of The Badger Herald’s Gentle Clowns at Vilas Park this weekend.
“UW Hospital told me they’re good to go for Saturday,” BH Publisher and club general manager John “@Johnnieb2good” Batterman said, still sporting sunglasses in response to a hangover possibly related to the Fiji Islander party. “You shoulda been there, man, but anyway they’ve got like 100 beds reserved, plus another 50 for the all those Dirty Bird groupies, who just keep multiplying. I swear to God.”
Due to an underground smuggling operation that involved the exchange of pamphlets — or “newsletters” as the Dirty Birds refer to their product — for a a few paperclips, a couple of buttons and some lint clumps, the filthy fliers managed to purchase some rather talented hobos to win a certain number of games in a row.
However, no one at the Herald, including current Editor-in-Chief and field manager Tara “Slow-Mo” Golshan, can remember the exact number of valiant, yet unsuccessful, attempts by the Gentle Clowns in recent softball bouts.
Coupled with her working knowledge of sports and absence at last year’s spring affair, she’s quite speculative about any supposed losing streak from her club.
“Wait is baseball the one with goal posts,” Golshan mumbled, in between mouthfuls of her new favorite restaurant of the week, Palmyra. “Do you want more or less points in — what’s it called again?”
With recent changes in upper management, this year’s collection of Gentle Clowns might just be their most dangerous group since whenever they last won.
The hard-charging Aliya “I’m not even a journalism major” Iftikar, next year’s EIC, will literally lead the charge as designated chugger, lead off hitter and home run queen.
Between round trippers, Iftikar will shout her signature rally cry, presumably from a slumped position on a wheeled office chair that she will bring to the park herself, to spur her team to its bludgeoning of the Cardinals.
“You guizzzzzz, noooooooooozzz,” Iftikar belted Wednesday night in preparation for the big game.
While Golshan distracts current Dirty Bird EIC Jack Casey with an empty box disguised as a present for his half-birthday — Casey will reach his first full decade on planet Earth early next fall — Iftikar will be focused on taking out newly elected DC kingpin Jim “Ginger or Strawberry Blond?” Dayton.
Gentle Clown pitching coach and News Editor Rachael “Smelt it, Dealt It” Lallensack and her Features Editor sidekick Alex “Snack Time” Arriaga have worked on a foolproof scouting report that will render Dayton and the Cardinalistas bats as useless as their out-of-date journalism practices.
The duos’ plan rests on young, but untested ace Dan “He’s Still Here” Corcoran.
With Grandpa Corcoran too senile at the time of publication, associate sports editor Chris “Diesel” Bumbaca, who will play the hot corner, spoke unnecessarily loud on behalf of the Gentle Clowns’ sports editor.
“Yo,” Bumbaca shouted boisterously. “That’s a straight power move.”
Starting shortstop Eric “I Woke Up Like This” Kohlbeck rounds out the sports section and will help provide some balance with his neatly groomed goatee and unusually even-keeled demeanor.
The rest of the Gentle Clown infield includes the first known conjoined twin second baseman in Allie “Hashtag” Johnson and Alice “Social” Coyne, who will be on Twitter during most of the game. Soon-to-be fifth year senior Polo “Victory Lap” Rocha stands a good chance at entering the game as a defensive substitution at second, barring a shortage of Diet Coke, of course. Meanwhile, photo editor Jason “I’ve Done It All” Chan, the highly touted freshman, will provide a much needed boost in the field and at the plate while likely trolling his fellow Gentle Clowns.
Then there’s the Herald outfield, also commonly referred to as the place where fly balls, and dreams, go to die. Leading the charge is the BH’s most intimidating, yet suprisingly amicable, player in center fielder and design all-Star Emily “I’m Kinda Busy Right Now, But I Guess So” Shullaw. Left fielder Selena “Laugh Attack” Handler and right fielder Katie “Something About Poop Here” Caron will provide sharp defense, but also very distracting chatter about God knows what.
“And then, I [inaudible]” Handler blurted, while trying to stifle her laughter and explain her defensive approach to no avail.
With the Herald pitching and defense certainly capable of a perfect game, the only questions left to be answered revolve around the Herald’s offensive attack and the Dirty Birds’ misguided sense of style. Nick “Cardiac Kid” Rush and fellow ads man Max “Swag on Steroids” Rosenberg will answer the call for both questions, with Rush’s lifetime average still somehow more than 1.000 and Rosenberg’s sense of fashion likely to finally solve several Cardinalistas’ preoccupation with literally wearing receptacles filled with refuse instead of human clothing.
There are also several other important bats in the Herald lineup, including a wealth of pinch hitters. That includes copy editors Jen “Black’s The Only Color” Small and Amy “Don’t Sleep On Her” Sleep, who have both ascended to the top of the copy department with limited playing time and should do the same in the batter’s box. Former copy chief and current Arts Etc. editor Audrey “Orange” Piehl will play a pivotal role at the bottom of the batting order.
But the Gentle Clowns will certainly have their work cut out for them with a disabled list longer than most years due to a stressful semester. That list includes photo editor Erik “Too Cool” Brown (broken finger from shooting too many photos), design’s Alix DeBroux (putting together a last minute design), and video editor Nyal Mueenuddin (in a tree somewhere).
Then again, despite the inactive players, the Herald should have the odds aligned in its favor to take the flightless flappers to a new low, which is pretty hard considering they’re already rumored to be below ground.