It’s a Nike dry-fit short-sleeve tee with a navy blue base and gold lettering that reads: “2015 SOFTBALL INTRAMURAL CHAMPIONS” in massive block letters on the front. Retail cost for average losers would probably range somewhere between $30-$50. But for me, it was free. That’s because I am a champion, and champions get nice things at no cost. Just ask Michael Jordan or Tom Brady, they haven’t paid for anything in years.
Life is nicer as a champion. The sky is a little bluer, the weather is a bit nicer and the food tastes slightly better. I wasn’t always a champion. This lifestyle is new for me. I have joined the bourgeois while still being surrounded by the pitiful proletariat. People to whom I’d give my seat on the campus bus — girls, the elderly, veterans — can stand now. I’m keeping my seat, because I deserve it.
I can’t stop playing the championship game over in my head. Seven innings of pure, textbook softball resulting in an 8-5 victory by the good guys, and I was an integral part of it.
Some may argue that 1-4 with two RBIs from the plate isn’t necessarily “good,” or that I shouldn’t consider that “1” a hit because it was a meager ground ball that the shortstop threw over the first baseman’s head. Sorry, in my scorebook, that’s a double. Those same people might also try and shame me for striking out looking with two men in scoring position. What did you expect me to do, swing? The ball was clearly outside.
“Yeah, and don’t forget about the back-to-back fly balls you dropped that cost your team four runs,” is a valid argument a loser might make. I am not a loser, so I wouldn’t know.
An intramural championship is one of the most coveted in sports. College guys, who only a few short years ago were hairless, chiseled athletic beings, have slowly deteriorated into lumpy, saggy sacks of garbage whose daily intake of double meat cheeseburgers and Chipotle burritos is slowly killing them from the inside. Their once sculpted bodies are now filled to the brim with unawakened cancers and terminal diseases. If the male body was its own conscious being it would beg us to stop. It would plead with us to put down the giant slice of pizza and fourth beer and go to the gym.
“You’re killing us,” it would cry. “Please stop killing us.”
But the body is merely a portal for the souls of champions to operate from, hitting dingers and infield singles until it falls apart and dies. The soul seeks out sluggers for one reason only: to win championships. It’s only goal is to have a team photo hanging in the school gym, immortalized forever.
That’s why any athletic feat for the average college guy is something that should be celebrated, and I’m still celebrating. I’m not saying I am better than you guys, because I don’t have to. My shirt says it.
Maybe next year will be your year. This year is mine.
Team Captain and Bronze League softball champion
Image via YouTube