Tuesday, July 23, 2013

PREVIEW: Pittsburgh Comedians' Softball Game

By James J. Hamilton (Pittsburgh Comedy Intramural Sports Beat Writer)
Team captains Zach Funk and Brad Ryan displaying
a disappointing lack of hatred for each another
BLOOMFIELD—At noon on Sunday, July 28, approximately 25 of Pittsburgh's most self-described "comedians" will meet at Wilson Park in Green Tree to play softball. Last night, captains Brad Ryan and Brad Ryan Spirit Award winner Zach Funk got together at the Pleasure Bar open mic to draft their teams.

The lack of excitement was palpable. "Oh, right, I guess that softball thing is happening this weekend" was the prevailing attitude. Instead of a lot of trash talking, the comedians mostly did the only other thing they're good at: Not giving a shit. At press time, the captains had not even come up with wildly inappropriate team names yet.

Here are the teams, if anyone cares:
The draft board
Brad Ryan's team
1. Tom Musial
2. Tom Kupiec
3. Ron Renwick
4. Day Bracey
5. John Dick Winters
6. Sean Collier
7. Jeff Konkle
8. Matt Wohlfarth
9. Ed K. [I assume he still wants his name redacted]
10. Tim Ross
11. Amber Schiefer  

Brad Ryan said his draft strategy was to target "veterans," but Matt Light told him "your team's average age is 46." Ryan pointed out that Tom Kupiec played college baseball, but Aaron Kleiber said "that was 45 years ago, when he still had all his fingers." "I probably should have mentioned that I am not actually related to Stan Musial," said first overall pick Tom Musial, who reportedly has fifteen children who are older than most of the players on the opposing team. During an interview in which he denied age would be a problem for his team, Ryan was called "sir" by a younger woman.

But not all of Ryan's players are AARP members. One relatively young person is John Dick Winters, who looked at his team's roster and said it was "the least funny team in history."  

But not all of Ryan's players are unfunny. Ryan decided to "go for comedy" as opposed to athletic ability with his seventh round pick of Jeff Konkle, whose "one year of fifth grade little league experience" will be put to the test.

Early reports say Ryan's team is a big underdog, but anything can happen on the field. "It's not a Brad Ryan team until I outrun police helicopters and tear gas is shot onto the field," said Ryan.

Zach Funk's team
1. Ray Zawodni
2. Matt Light
3. Aaron Kleiber
4. Dustin Dowling
5. Derek Minto
6. Zach Simons
7. Sereny Welsby
8. Shannon Norman
9. Alex Stypula
10. Jesse Irvin
11. John Pridmore

Zach Funk said he drafted his team with a Moneyball-like system of player analysis called "Funkametrics." Using Funkametrics, Funk looked at a composite of the player's overall body type compared to the 1993 World Series-losing Philadelphia Phillies, averaged in the player's funniness, and then just picked people he thought would do well. 

On the '93 Phillies factor, Funk ended up drafting several players with "good John Kruk bodies." On the funniness factor, Funk's team has a total of one television creditEither because of or in spite of Funkametrics, Funk drafted a team that has been described as "nasty." 
John Kruk: A comedian's physique
Matt Light asked confidently "Will we use a 10 run rule, or 35?" Light said he hopes to win the game's MVP award in order to complete his quest for a "Triple Crown" which already includes the comedians' flag football game MVP and the comedians' fantasy football league championship. "Those are my only accomplishments in comedy," he added.

"I'm probably gonna have to go shirtless and scalp myself this time," said Alex Stypula, who also announced plans to charge the mound and hit a lot of "quadruples." Funk said he drafted Stypula because he figured "if he's on my team, he's less likely to assault me with a bat." We'll see.

Funk said his team has youth on its side. "Everyone should be able to run 90 feet," he predicted boldly. Funk also stated that getting drunk is an integral part of softball and that he expected his team to be proficient in that regard. 

In the end, everything could come down to John Pridmore's ability to swing a bat while holding a can of Colt 45.