Motivational Words for the Boys of Summer

By BOB WIRE

My softball team went 3-17 last year. Needless to say, it was a huge disappointment not reaching our standard .500 record. Did I go home after that 17th loss and throw my glove in the trash can and pee on my hat and set my jersey on fire and kick the potted plant over in the living room? Hell, no. Once you do that in little league you’re kind of branded. I went out and drank beer with my team.

See, we’re in the Men’s E League, which they had to invent when the D League became too competitive for guys like us, who typically lead the league in PBRs. When I snap the top off a can of beer in the dugout and say it’s the top of the fourth, it might not mean what you think.

But this year…this year it’s going to be different. We actually had several practices before the season started, no one is injured or on the verge of divorce, and we even got a couple of key players back from rehab and/or probation. So this may just be the breakout year for the Kent Bros Automotive/Great Burn Brewing boys of summer.

Picture1

Fly Ball Hazzard? Wasn’t that the reclusive third brother of Bo and LukeDuke?

To inspire my fellow denizens of the diamond, I’ve prepared a motivational speech that I’ll break out as soon as we hit our first slump. It won’t do any good, obviously, until we’re on the verge of being demoralized and scouts for the Blind League begin showing up at our games. It goes something like this:

“Men, we’ve been pushed into a corner and our backs are against the wall, it’s true, so we’re going to put our best foot forward and take it one step at a time. We got a long road ahead of us, and we need to start at the beginning. We just have to hold our heads high and not look back. It’s time to stand on our own two feet and learn to walk before we can run. We need to keep from getting in our own way, and try to avoid tripping over our own two feet. We might have to take two steps forward for every one step back, but nobody else is going to be able to fill our shoes.

We’ll have to cover all the bases, from A to Z. Although there is no I in Team, there is a Me. And a Meat. It’s gonna be all for one and one for all, but it’s every man for himself. Leaders are born, not made, so you’re going to have to lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way. It’s going to be an uphill battle, so we can’t coast on our reputation. And we won’t be resting on our laurels, because there’s no rest for the weary and we’ve got miles to go before we sleep. There’ll be plenty of time to sleep after we’re dead. No sleep ‘til Brooklyn!

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Yeah, I got this fixed. Cleared to play, but no more celebratory backflips.

It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, unless we don’t win. And nothing succeeds like success. In order to succeed, we have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps so they don’t catch us with our pants down. But if push comes to shove and we get the short end of the stick, we’ll just have to go back to the drawing board and start at square one.

But don’t write this team off before they sound the final gun because it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings, even if the song remains the same. Besides, who knows what’s in the cards for this team. I don’t have a crystal ball and the future ain’t what it used to be. Now, I might not have a fancy college degree and I do come from a broken home on the wrong side of the tracks, but I will tell you one thing—and you can take this to the bank—when the chips are down and it looks like the end is near, when all is lost and it’s time to throw in the towel, I know you guys will dig deep and give 110%. That’s because you don’t know the meaning of the word quit, and danger is your middle name.

So call me crazy and pardon my French, but this dog’s gonna have his day come hell or high water. To the victor go the spoils and it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. There’s lots of softball left to play. That’s why they play the games. We’re not looking ahead to the tournament because we have to take it one game at a time and I lost my copy of the schedule. We’re going keep the pedal to the metal until we’ve achieve our goal, and that’s an official Men’s E League Certificate of Participation.

It’s going to be a long season but we got our game faces on ‘cause it’s a fight to the finish. This team only knows one speed, and that’s full steam ahead. Because we’re family. We got our eyes on the prize and there’s no turning back, gentlemen, because this train has sailed.

Play ball!”

 

   Check out all of Bob Wire’s posts in his blogarchive.

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Have an off-white Christmas with Bob Wire.Think of it as Gonzo meets Hee Haw: Missoula honky tonker Bob Wire holds forth on a unique life filled with music, parenthood, drinking, sports, working, marriage, drinking, and just navigating the twisted wreckage of American culture. Plus occasional grooming tips. Like the best humor, it’s not for everyone. Sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, sometimes savage, Bob Wire demands that you possess a good sense of humor and an openmind.

Bob Wire has written more than 500 humor columns for a regional website over the last five years, and his writing has appeared in the Missoulian, the Missoula Independent, Montana Magazine, and his own Bob Wire Has a Point Blog. He is a prolific songwriter, and has recorded three CDs of original material with his Montana band, the Magnificent Bastards. His previous band, the Fencemenders, was a popular fixture at area clubs. They were voted Best Local Band twice by the Missoula Independent readers poll. Bob was voted the Trail 103.3/Missoulian Entertainer of the Year in 2007.

You can hear his music on his website, or download it at iTunes, Amazon, and other online music providers. Follow @Bob_Wire on Twitter.

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