Coming off an upset victory over the Dirty Birds just a year ago — and it is only referred to an upset simply because the Birds were so upset over their loss that they decided to throw entire pitchers of beer at the opposition — the Gentle Clowns are more than ready to defend their title in the annual softball game Saturday.

While the Dirty Birds went through a brief era of success, the Gentle Clowns finally managed to breakthrough in last year’s event, but with the majority of the talent from last year’s squad doing bigger and better things, the Clowns will look to revamp the roster to assert that last year wasn’t just a fluke.

This year’s squad will be captained by sports editors Nick “I’m two degrees of separation from Mark Cuban” Brazzoni and Eric “Goldy the staff turkey” Goldsobel. In last year’s outing, Goldsobel played prolifically in center field while Brazzoni was a late scratch from the outing because he got too drunk and refused to leave the keg alone.

“I don’t understand why Nick is listed first,” Goldy whined.

Rounding out the infield will be the power arts duo of Henry “Where is the closest Urban?” Solotaroff-Weber and Frankie “Where’s my bunny?” Hermanek, along with catcher Yusra “Yurso dumb B.o.B.” Murad, who plans to distract the Dirty Bird batters with her wit as she compares their body types to the animals at Henry Vilas Zoo. Her partner in crime, Aaron “Crapz ‘N’ Carrotz” Hathaway is listed as questionable, as he may be out searching for castles and bomb shelters somewhere in Madison or a bathroom to analyze.

Among other team leaders will be the powerful upper management trio of Aliya “EVERYONE TAKE A SHOT” Iftikhar, Rachael “When the fuck is Beyoncé’s album going to be released I’ve already used up two free TIDAL trials” Lallensack and Briana “I really don’t like this opinion story” Reilly.

A fourth member is potentially set to be added to the trio, as Hayley “I went to space last summer, what did you do?” Sperling is set to take over The Badger Herald as the new Editor-in-Chief. While she has been practicing her chugging for weeks now, she has also been working to get the game broadcasted in space because she swears she is an astronaut.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZ and NAAAASSSSAAAAAAA,” Sperling said while chugging a Kül Premium.

Luke “Pretzel” Schaetzel swears he’ll be in attendance but it’s more than likely he’ll show up 30 minutes late due to a hangover after a late night out with his buddy Ron (Diaz) because that is literally his only friend.

“But dude, you should have been at my party,” Pretzel said as he knocks all the doorknobs off of Goldy’s doors. “Every single athlete that ever existed was in attendance — I swear!!”

Should Schaetzel fail to show, Aaron “Luke put these stories in here” Reilly will be sure to fill in and take all the blame for Schaetzel’s miscues as he has grown used to doing on a regular basis, while Phil “I manage to never get yelled at” Michaelson will quietly prove he’s actually the best player on the team … by far.

Rounding out the dangerous Clown squad outfield will be Teymour “Take you out” Tomsyck, Riley “I’m running out of cover ideas” Vetterkind and Connor “One time I lit myself on fire” Dugan, while Saturday’s inactives will include video editor Nyal “Still looking for a new house to film a BH Cribz at” Mueenuddin, banter associate Nolan “Still trying to find out what the difference between a JPG and a JPG 2000 is” Ferlic and social media coordinator Kevin “Can’t risk missing the surprise release of TurboGrafx 16” Castro.

Self-Proclaimed Old Guy Polo Rocha will probably show up unannounced.

“Branding and stuff,” Polo said as he is seven beers deep with a bacon costume on counting his gray hairs.

It’s most likely that photo editors Marissa “Are these pics good for Instagram?” Haegele and Katie “Wearing a cool hat in a canyon” Cooney won’t be able to take pictures come Saturday seeing as though no one put in photo requests in the Google Doc.

With this mighty of a squad, there is no doubt the Gentle Clowns will send the flying phonies back into the dirt for the second straight year behind power hitting, tremendous base running and headlines that aren’t diagonal.

And while the final outcome of the softball game will be very important, it will not be as important as the postgame dance off, as Lallensack and Copy Chief Amy “Don’t write an Oxford comma or I’ll put you to” Sleep look to defend their title for the second and final year.