Sunday, 10 April 2011

Good News, Bad News, Good News etc etc

Hi people,

A lot to take on board this week. The end of a season and the start of a new one raise lots of questions. Its a mixed bag. I'm still excited though and fully committed (possibly to an asylum in South east London very soon).

Good News: We retained our place in the Premier League for next season. A division that will not contain either SWAT or the Dodgy Curries next season as they will be too busy playing Softball. Its going to be more competitive. say it quietly but with a few useful additions to the squad I think we can be in the mix.

Bad news: OH WE ARE AWFUL. Our performance on One Set Wonder night was truly terrible. Losing all of our games against teams in the lower reaches of the lower divisions. I put it down to a combination of 'having nothing to play for', getting on the beers too early, our new 'Unlucky Mascot' Kate Peebles, my worst ever Dodgeball performance and the high standard of the other teams in the lower divisions. The teams who are getting promoted will be good.

Good News: We're launching a 2nd team 'The Really Awful Dodgers'. You may call me crazy but I've been busy recruiting. Loads of new faces next season It should be exciting. One of the new faces will possibly be our 'Unlucky Mascot' Kate whose new role as a player should hopefully negate her negative impact as a spectator.

Bad News: Jeff has joined Sarah Skyte in the naughty corner. Yes that's right. CBBC double act 'Dan and Jeff' have formed formed their own team. The pirate themed Jolly Dodgers. We've lost one of our star players.

Good News: The Really Awful Dodgers have immediately gained a deadly rival. Andy Stedman (to now be known in these pages as CDP - Chief Dodgeball Pervert) is putting them in the same division as Jeff's team of hopeless luvvies. Also, Jeff has been so busy recruiting that he has a surpluss of players and he will be happy to feed them into either of our teams.

Bad News: A lot of our new players may be hopeless luvvies.

Good News: Norm has been busy recruiting new players and I'm happy to announce the star signing of Truman Tang. Norm has told me to put Truman straight into the A side as he's "a three season Dodgeball player in Canada and wears knee pads." Wow!!!!.....and I would have picked him solely on the basis that he has an amazing name!

Bad News: C'mon guys. A lot have you have talked the talk about bringing in new players with very little results. I'm happy to give priority to friends of friends so get recruiting. The challenge is one player from each of you.

Good News: We'll start and end this post in the positive. The 2nd team gives us the opportunity to make sure everyone plays as much as they want too. If you can't make an 'Awful Dodger' game one week there will be a Really Awful Dodger game the next. I'll try and put the 'more experienced' players in the Premier League but I'm happy to mix it up. I'm going to keep the fiances a little tighter this season (at the mo I could be up or down bu £30 or so. I honestly don't know). I'm looking at setting up a 'club bank account' which as well as being used to collect match fees and buy ill fitting T-shirts we can use to book a few socials.
Keep Derby Day free (Saturday the 4th June). We'll do it the cheap way but it should be a blast.

The sun's coming out. Its going to be a good summer. Trust me :-)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Awful Dodgers 2011 Player of the Season.

It’s the end of our 2nd Dodgeball season and it’s the Grand National on Saturday. Has anyone got any hot tips?
 “Gambling on horses is for mugs” usually works for me.

Here are the runners and riders (in alphabetical order) for the Awful Dodgers Player of the season Winter 2011 (including form guide).

1.Alexandra Bono:
WINNING:  Alex remains one of the most enthusiastic Dodgeballers in our squad with one of the highest numbers of appearances.  (Partly because I’m too scared to drop her). Performances have improved dramatically and this season she can boast to have achieved significant milestones such as “getting 2 people out in a game” AND David has video confirmation of "a catch! "
Who can forget that pink velour tracksuit on St. Paddy’s night? Every chav’s pin up!
FALLING: We also have video evidence of her cheering on the Jammie Dodgers ‘A’ in our first league fixture of the season against them. Can we forgive her?
2.Steven Barrett
WINNING: This is your captain speaking. Some may say that I deserve some sympathy votes for the ‘cat herding’  I have to do every Tuesday just to make sure we have a team to put out. Others may point to me as the only Awful Dodger to have played every week of our history.
Recent attention, however, has turned to my domestic skills and even if I do say so myself. The t-shirts last week were bloody well ironed.
The £31.99 I spent on our new Tefal 200W is undoubtedly the best investment I’ve made in the last 3 months and rest assured none of it came out of Awful Dodgers’ funds.
FALLING: I’ll turn to the stock response my dad always gave me on return returning Parent’s evenings at Southborough Juniors. After another glowing report on my academic and sporting abilities (Where did it all go wrong?!). Dad would respond with “Good but there’s room for improvement”.
I’ll tighten up my throwing for next season I promise.
3. Will Cheverton
WINNING: Will has become the most recent player to break through as a regular in the Awful Dodger’s line up. Will possesses a useful throwing arm and a welcome injection of fresh enthusiasm into a sometimes tiring squad. Will has already contributed a last minute ringer, Joe,  and organised 2 teams from work for the next taster session

(Or the ‘Awful Dodgers’ Need Talent auditions' as I have now dubbed it). Ask yourself. Have you done as much for the Awful Dodgers as Will this season?
FALLING: Every new player takes a while to adapt to the finer intricacies of becoming a Dodgeball legend. Especially when he’s surrounded by so few credible role models.
Will’s goals for next season will be to shake off ‘Barrett Syndrome’  - cowering in the corner of the court and avoiding catching at all costs. A short course of standing centre court bouncing opponent’s shots off a held ball will soon sort that out. It’s working for me!
4. David Chandler:
WINNING: Back in January when we were scrambling for players for week one, my new housemate, Dave answered the call (albeit with –“I’m not very sporty – but I’ll give it a go”).
To me this exemplifies what we were originally all about before my competitive side came out.
Dave’s debut was encouraging and he needs to have more confidence in his own abilities. The abilities he does have are unquestioned. Dave is a ‘YouTube promo’ filming extraordinaire. His amazing efforts for Dodgeball UK are fast becoming a key recruitment tool for the Awful Dodgers   (although the shine is often taken off when I reply to keen new players that “We’re the prats in the flat caps and scarves….yes, the one’s that look like they are losing..)
FALLING: Dave’s a young pup who needs to back himself more. “I might play……I’ll play if you really need me, I’m not that good” are phrases that his Dodgeball captain and housemate does not understand. He interprets them as a reason not to pick Dave. DAVE: Don’t get bullied by your housemate.
However  a black mark for Dave is that last week, when we needed him,he  decided that attending a work leaving do, “because there’s a real fit girl I fancy will be there” was a much better option. Is Dave’s heart really in it?
Incidentally: Awful Dodgers’ spies (and hey are EVERYWHERE can confirm that Dave came home on his own that night and on further interrogation revealed that he’d spent the night “talking to a really fit bird from Essex who had a really awful accent (imagine that…her coming from Essex  and all that. Ed.) She was also convinced that he was gay. Fail.
Dave, play Dodgeball next week.
5.Jason Coggles
WINNING: Jason has always been an integral and popular part of the AD squad. Jason’s tactical awareness and communication during games has been recognized as being a vital part of some of our most crucial victories.  He’s the Wise Old Man of the Awful Dodgers!
FALLING: By his own admission, Jason was very pleased in week 6 that he’d “finally got someone out”.
Is the old man losing his powers?...First Wedding Anniversaries…..Valentine’s Day…Romantic weekends in Paris……..Are these valid reasons to miss Dodgeball? Isn’t it about time you buried your lovely wife under the patio AGAIN Jason?
6. Tristan Cuthbert
WINNING: Tristan is my little brother’s best mate. This mean’s that I remember first meeting Tristan when he was 5 and I 11. Pennington Park, Southborough, ‘Pitch and Putt’ for my brothers birthday party.
 If my memory serves me correctly Tristan posted a terrible score that would have shamed even the worst crazy golf player. I didn’t hold out much hope for Tristan when he signed for the Awful Dodgers.
AS IT TURNS OUT: Tristan has developed into an ‘A’ grade Dodgeball player. He may lack the traditional height and width of the stereotypical SWAT PLAYER (They all come from a test tube in Dunedin University surely) Tristan has a decent arm and his catching abilities are without doubt the strongest and most spectacular of our squad.
I put this down me shouting at him during week 2: “Why the hell did you do for that one.” As he spilled one at floor level vs. the Chinamen. He has clearly learnt.
Tristan also owns the poshest sounding name of the Awful Dodgers’ and on future pre-season world tours his mere presence will surely see us let into some of the world’ finest luxury hotels (in the world).
FALLING: Tristan can get caught easily from the odd lose throw and is susceptible to ‘Delhi Belly’ (although we’ll let him off as he’d actually spent the previous week in India).
Also, what’s happened to Rob, Tristan? And can’t you influence my brother more to play for the Awful Dodgers? Convince him to move to London. He doesn’t listen to me that is for sure!!!…..RANT OVER……I’m getting increasingly pissed whilst writing this. I bet Kyla WINTER can’t wait for her write up!
7. Sara Daughtry:
WINNING: Sara was unashamedly recruited from a desperate text message pre- week one when we were drawn against ‘Any Given Thursday’,’ SWAT’ and ‘Ball Busters’.
Down on players and reliant on newbie’s I sent out a pathetic plea to Andy.
“We’ll be able to field a side no probs. It will just be shit. A ringer will be appreciated to help us will at least one set.”
Andy recommended Sara and we won the first set that night. That was it in terms of team success that evening but since then Sara has proved to be an essential member of our Premier League team. Enthusiastic and deadly with the girl’s ball. Her addition to the squad has undoubtedly contributed to the preservation of our Premier League status.
FALLING: Sara has a tendency to turn her back from the play in search of a new ball and get hit. She also has a propensity for moonlighting as a ringer for the Opium Addicted Chinamen. Although her ‘Wonder Woman’ costume changes are indeed impressive, can you forgive her?
8. Nicholas Evans:
WINNING: My housemate/landlord/school friend Nick undoubtedly provides brains to the Awful dodgers’ squad as well as a decent level of natural sporting talent. His response to the call to play in week one was commendable. With more opportunities to play next season Nick will hopefully feature more for the Awful Dodgers and so will hopefully his lovely girlfriend Shani (now that she’s given up dancing on a Thursday night. Dancing is for fools).
FALLING: It took a while to get Nick on board of the Awful Dodgers. “I’ll think about it….I might turn up” were responses that were met with a curt reply of: “THE AWFUL DODGERS DON’T DO MAYBE”.
On his first appearance he was admittedly a rookie pitched against some of the best sides in the Dodgeball UK. However, this doesn’t excuse Nick’s preoccupation with “the locker taking all my money” and his disappearance when we were about to face SWAT. I few more games under the belt will surely cure this.
9. Mark James:
WINNING: Mark replied to a Gumtree advert and in his one appearance looked like he might he quite useful. This is despite the fact I sent him out on pitch having never thrown a Dodgeball.
FALLING: Apparently keen to play for us regularly Mark pulled out the next week at late notice and hasn’t been heard from since. He won’t be playing this for us again. REMEMBER THIS GUYS!
10. Karen Jeff
Winning: No not that Jeff…the attractive one…. (Before you get any ideas Mr. Turner that wasn’t a come on.)  Anyway….As an ex-Dodgeball captain herself Karen understands the pain of trying to assemble 6 players on a Thursday night. As a result Karen is 100% reliable.
So reliable in fact that she once played whilst pregnant!!!!  OK so its was St.Paddy’s night and she did miss the next week though ‘injury’ but was looking amazingly svelte the next week after leaving the new bundle of joy in O'Neil's, Covent Garden.
According to Wikipedia, 12-13 days is the gestation period of an American Opossum. Karen is there something you want to tell us?
FALLING: Karen: The gym shorts over the leggings? REALLY? Is that a good look?

There is room for improvement on our girls t-shirts.
Unsurprisingly ‘Chief Dodgeball Pervert’ Andy Stedman has highlighted to me that they aren’t the most flattering (The kit will change next season)……but the Karen the shorts/leggings combo?
11. Vi Luu
WINNING: Joint player of the year last season Vi has continued to be a valuable member of the squad. The day that Vi sent me a text massage saying that she was staying in the UK for another 6 months was one of my happiest days of the year (I just hope that she told her boyfriend Nick first as I appeared to have found out before Jason!)
A part of Vi’s talent has been to pioneer new ‘devious’ tactics that are completely within the rules of the game. The ‘ball behind the back technique’ is particularly effective. Unfortunately I’ve started to see other girls use it. Vi you should have patented it. You’d be rich!
FALLING: Don’t go back to Germany Vi!
12. John Murray
WINNING: If John could play every week he would. Unfortunately for us he is fast becoming one of ‘LONDON’s TOP CHEFS. this mean’s he’s busy.
 John has a rocket arm that is a prime reason for our 3rd position last season.
Players Bono, Pearce, Lu and Turner have all had the pleasure of dining at vinoteca and I'm sure that they've played better the next week as a result. John: Next time I meet a girl who’s worth over 3 dates! See you there. I hope you don't have any plans of changing career in the next 3 years.

FALLING: Jamie Oliver can F@*K off.  John needs a Sous Chef who can work every Thursday.
13. Ed ‘Princess Fred’ Pearce
WINNING:  Up until  recent weeks Fred was an ever present for the Dodger’s and the weeks he’s missed have had 100% legit. Fred’s energy and ‘Knockholt Village School Goalkeeper’ skills have proved vital to the Awful Dodgers  “success”. As has his generosity at the bar!
Whilst I’m busy stressing over organsing the team it probably fair to say that Fred ‘s ‘talents’ lie in bonding the team socially. He’s a bit of a Tw@ but we love him.
FALLING: He’s a bit of a TW@
14. Norm Singhavon:
WINNING: Just like Kyla, Norm came to us as a recruit form a Gumtree advert, but such were his credentials that he became immediately absorbed in Sara Daughtrey’s  Softball/Dodgeball team.
On his appearances for us Norm has been an instant credit to the team. The softball pitchers arm is instantly useful. His tactic of crouching at the back of the court to avoid getting hit is great. Miss Winter become a keen exponent. If we’re going to push for the Premier League title next season Norm is vital to our efforts. He’s also a thoroughly nice bloke.
FALLING: Forget those Softballers Norm. TheAwful Dodgers are where it’s at!
15. Jeffacake Turner:
WINNING: Firstly. If enthusiasm was waning for the new Dodgeball season a trip to ‘Dan and Jeffacake’s’ Potted Panto was the perfect  pick me up for flagging troops.
We went to the show the morning after my birthday drinks so we were especially ‘struggling’.
Awesome, Take your kids. If you don’t have any, abduct some. It was that good.
When I first met Jeff I thought he was an over enthusiastic geek. I was right! It soon became clear that he was a useful ringer. Since than Jeff is now an integral part of the Awful Dodgers.
Jeff hasn’t missed a fixture night this season and also provided an iconic ‘Awful Dodger’ moment in “Jeff vs. The Dodgy Curries” last week.
FALLING: Jeff will dive for the odd ridiculous catch but sometimes it works!
16. Joe Watts:
WINNING: The newest member our squad, Joe made a credible debut in week 6. Once he’s confident and is familiar with the rules and tactics there’s no reason why he can’t develop into a star player. If he’s truly to fit in we’ll have to shake him from his ‘non-drinking as I’m running a marathon ways”. I believe Sara is also running the London Marathon and when I left the bar on Thursday she was well on her way.
FALLING: Will has asked me to draw attention to the fact that Joe has a Justin Bieber-esque hair-cut.
17. Kyla Winter:
WINNING: Everyone loves Kyla. She’s a dream to manage. She is keen to take on board new tactics and she makes a very convincing chavette. When I sent a message to Andy begging for a ‘decent girl’ little did I know that not only would we gain Sara but Kyla would join the ranks of ‘A’ grade girls by being an expert dodger and deadly with the girls ball.
FALLING: Does Kyla deserve to be player of the season 2 ‘years’ in a row? She’s definitely put a decent case together. Her only weakness is that she could catch more (This is from a guy who can’t catch his daily train).
Wow. 17 Players reviewed and there’s more to follow next season.