Idle Time Games III: Winter, 2008

2007 Winter Games in 2008 at Natomas – January 26, 2008

Thank you everyone for ensuring that The Idle Time Winter Games can now officially justify its claim as an annual event.  The 2007 Games in 2008 was well worth the wait.  More teams, more players, more fun, but less rain.  In an unbelievable stroke of good fortune, the only dry window in two solid weeks of downpour happened to fall on the exact daylight hours of our festivities.  I spent two weeks stressing about a repeat of the monsoon wiffleball misery of ’06 for naught.  Fortune truly favors the frivolous.

Gold: The Pocket Protectors — Amanda, Brian, Jill, Joey, & Kevin (4-1, +40)
Silver: Team Sweden — Matt, Mike, Rex, Sherice, & Will (4-1, +31)
Bronze: Banditos — Adam, Annie, Dan, Jim, Jimmy, & Serge (4-1, +10)

All three medal teams finished with an impressive 4-1 record in the round robin tournament.  In the end, however, Pocket defended its ’06 gold (despite losing an emotional final round match to Sweden) thanks to an overall forty-one point differential.  Joey the Ringer, to his credit, only drilled the ball in our face one time (Will: “I was hella scared”).

Dylan Hanley made his Idle Time Games debut playing with the Poppyseed Bunch and ate shit immediately and repeatedly.  His heroic dives into the slop may have cost him a pair of jeans, but he earned a place in our hearts.

The Black Hole Society welcomed two new players — Ian the Stoic (later christened Dragonforce Ian) and Brendan not Brandon — as well as sweet new uniforms that were well-chosen for both the weather and the requisite twirling performed seemingly every spare minute.

Gold: Team Sweden (3-0, 4-3)
Silver: The Capers of Solomon Lox and the Poppyseed Bunch — Dylan, Greg, Jeremy, Jessica, and Nate (4-2, 3-0, 3-4)
Bronze: Banditos (0-3, 1-0)

This time it was Sweden’s turn to defend its title, which it did so thanks to a bloody-sock performance by Will Howell.  Returning from a fractured pinky injury that kept him out of May Games, Will shut out the Banditos in the preliminary round, then (between fits of spastic coughing), held the surging Poppyseed Bunch at bay in the final inning of the Gold Medal game.

The Poppyseeds, to their credit, feeling the momentum from their Gold achievement on the kickball diamond at May Games, beat BHS 4-2 in the wild card game, then shut out Pocket 3-0 before losing the 4-3 nailbiter in the Gold round.  Jeremy’s hustle is the stuff of legend.

In an attempt at retaliation for the abuse that has been heaped upon decades of umpires, Dan Figoni, during his time calling balls and strikes, turned the tables with a steady Jack-fed stream of shit-talking directed at participants and onlookers alike.  Dan’s team, however, only managed one run all afternoon.  Luckily that was one more run than Pocket put on the board, and the Bronze game went to the Banditos.

The Black Hole Society took advantage of their early exit from the event and, after a visit to the paradisaical land of Taco Bell, In n Out, and A&W, spent two hours playing in the flooded soccer field.  Pretty sure there was more spinning.

Disc Golf

Gold: Pocket Protectors (15.5 points)

Silver: Poppyseed Bunch (15)

Bronze: Sweden (12.5)

Down two points in the overall standings to Sweden, Pocket knew they had to step it up in Jill’s favorite event.  In the tightest battle of Idle Time Disc Golf history, Pocket came away with a half-point victory over second-place Poppyseed thanks to round victories from Joey (course best -4), Kevin (-3), and Jill (yes, Jill).  With six points apiece in the final standings, that set the stage for a decisive battle between last year’s overall winners Sweden and the May Games overall champs Pocket…

Nobody got hit in the head with a disc this time, but one long toss did manage to plunk Ian Powell right in the middle of his black hole.

Obstacle Course

Gold: Black Hole Society — Brendan, Donald, Ian H., Ian P., & Will U.

Silver: Pocket

Bronze: Banditos

I asked Donald earlier in the day if it bothered them that they didn’t win any of their volleyball games and had an early exit from wiffle (they also didn’t score any round points in disc golf).  By means of reply he pointed to the twin turrets of the playground structure off in the distance and smiled. “That’s our event.  We are young and limber.  You wait and see.”

Nate’s obstacle course was incredible.  I have to admit, when I saw his post on the boards Friday afternoon saying, in essence, I still need all this shit…, I was a little nervous.  Nate, I will never doubt you again.  Even the broken shopping cart was ably converted into a chariot to ensure that the relay concluded with the proper blend of clackety excitement and threat of bodily injury.

Natomas Security was kind enough to shine a spotlight on us as soon as we were done to assist with the cleanup.

And who won…?  With the world rooting for them, the Black Hole Buddies made good on Donald’s promise and dominated the stopwatch for their first Gold Medal in an athletic event ever (they did get awards for Best Theme Song at May Games — an award they could have won again had there been such a distinction).

Pocket may have finished a distant second to the Dirty Jumpsuits, but that Silver Medal was all they needed to lock up the overall honors at this year’s Winter Games.  Congratulations, Protectors.  You are the New England Patriots of the Idle Time Games.  Mostly everybody wants you to keep winning.

Overall Standings

Gold Pocket Protectors: 8 points

Silver Team Sweden: 6 points

Bronze The Capers of Solomon Lox and the Poppyseed Bunch: 4 points

Black Hole Society: 3 points

Banditos: 3 points

Medals Ceremony and Festivus Post-game Hoo-hah

Thanks to a once-in-a-lifetime holiday alignment, this year’s Idle Time CD Release Festivus coincided with the Winter Games.  Big Phun Nelson Wong rolled out three delectable deep-fried birds, Jill honored the death of other teams’ hopes with her signature Funeral Bars, and Dan ate all of the potstickers (“I want you all to have a terrible time.”)  Special thankyous to everyone who brought food, joy, Shufflebeer, and Wii guitars.

Hustle Award Nate Cramton
Justly-awarded for pulling off this year’s shenanigame in stellar fashion.  Past Hustle recipients have been Sherice for racing to Roseville in a raging tempest to retrieve the keg, and Nelson for rolling out a repast of ridiculous proportions for May’s lunch buffet.

Spirit Award Kim Robinson
Kim braved the cold and mud to cheer us on and take lots of great pictures of our frolicking, despite being afflicted by a cold of her own.  What a trooper.  She joins Matt Isenhower and Shelley Salas as past Keepers of the Idle Time Flame.

Big Phun Award Nelson Wong
This award is named after Nelson because he usually bestows it upon the athlete he feels most exemplifies his virtues of cynicism and apathy.  Since he spent the entire day getting our food ready, he wasn’t able to actually interact with any of us, but because he spent the whole day getting ready to feed us, he deserves the medal.  Plus, now he’s happy to have one more Idle Time medal than his dog.  Past winners are Matt Isenhower for being the epitome of athletic avoidance and Jervey Kong for seemingly caring about nothing other than barbecued chicken marinades.

Who’s the Shit? Award Dan Figoni
His over-the-top Shufflebeer-fueled insult-o-rama chased more than a few teary-eyed partygoers from the garage.  The one thing that separated him from a Downright Asshole award was the courteous warning he gave us early in the evening: “After I have one more beer, you should really lock me in the bathroom.”  Last year’s winner, and eternal inspiration for the prize, was Jill “JTS” Pellerin.

Uncle Barfy’s Music Trivia Challenge
Special thanks to Matt Isenhower for putting together an excellent 30-question trivia round (regardless of what the now-aptly-named Rex “Loudmouth McFuckface” Flores had to say).  Thanks to the timely arrival of Carina, the Poppyseed Bunch triumphed and earned the coolest award of the night — a full six-disc set of Idle Time’s Best of 2007.  They also managed to leave with Team Sweden’s runner-up prize, Midget Mania 2.

Once again, thank you so much to everyone for contributing and participating.  I had a blast.  Extra special thanks to Sherice for helping and putting up with me during a week of typing, stapling, burning, fussing, and otherwise stressing in anticipation. Couldn’t have done it without you.
Kim’s pics from the day can be seen here: and if anyone else has photos, stories, or corrections to share, let’s have ’em!

Until May (June), Goodwill!
– Mike

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