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Kickball Opening Day Spring 2014

Easily on of my favorite times of year is the opening day of SJSL Spring kickball. The weather if finally starting to get nice again (even more grateful after this past winter), I welcome back teammates and say hello to opponents whom I haven’t seen in a little while. A great time.

While we still are staying with the majority of our past Honey Badgers kickball core, we do have some changes this season. Sitting out the Spring season are both Geoff and John B. As anyone who follows kickball knows, that’s quite a lot of talent to take from a team. Geoff has easily been one of the best kickers in the entire league, and John B. perhaps one of the best overall players.

New to the team this season are Dave and Meghan. Dave has been a most pleasant addition to our dodgeball roster and should bring a bit more speed to our lineup. Meghan played volleyball with us and as a fierce competitor will surely be a great addition to the team as well.

Our opening day opponent was the Fresh Kicks of Ball Air (clever name). While many of them we recognizable from past kickball seasons, they are a new franchise and we were eager to play them.

Unfortunately just a few hours before game time I found out that longtime Badger Kevin was unable to play. After frantically working my phone, I was able to get John B. to fill in on short notice much to the delight of the team (he’s a well liked teammate of course).

We did start off with a bit of rust defensively giving up 3 runs in the first inning. However, we did answer back rather swiftly tying it up in no time. From that point the game really turned into more of a traditional Honey Badger defensive struggle.

We would pick up a run, they would tie it back up, etc. Eventually late in the game we were able to tack on some extra runs giving us a 8-5 lead. Scarily in the top of the seventh our opponent would load the bases with no outs. With a little bit of luck and some heads up plays we someone we able to escape unscathed and held on for a 8-5 victory!

It was a great team victory with everyone contributing in a big way. Everyone seemed most pleased and seemed to have a good time. I do believe we will have a very competitive team this season and look forward to continued success.

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QR Codes on Honey Badger Awards

QR codeA few years back at work QR codes were really becoming quite the fad. Every industry article seemed to herald them as the next big thing. They were supposed to be on everything by now.

Sadly we had a difficult time not only finding great success using qr codes, but also finding examples of others finding great success with them too.

Well, at the end of every SJSL season I hand out awards to my teammates. It’s a lot of fun to come up with nicknames, haikus, stats, etc. and share them with everyone at the end of the season.

This year one of our dodgeball opponents whom we played twice happened to of recorded our games. He was kind enough to post on Facebook, and I downloaded them all and began to sort and edit all those minutes into personal highlights for everyone on the team.

The really cool part was that I was able to upload a nice little clip to YouTube and then I created QR codes for each clip that were then included on their award. So simple, but also turned out to be a perfect use of the technology.

They can hand their award up with pride on their refrigerators and friends and take out their smartphone and get to view their personal dodgeball highlights right on their smartphones.

This turned out to be such a very simple and effective use of QR codes! I will have to do this again for future seasons.

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Dodgeball Winter 2014 Season

Sadly the Winter season of dodgeball concluded last night. Tuesday night dodgeball is something that I truly enjoy and look forward too all week long. Though frankly, my body will be glad to get a break. The season renders me imbalanced and I’m kinda like a crab with one big claw (right side) and a little claw (left side) from all the throwing I do each week.

This season was very interesting. The majority of the players had returned from our Fall season, with the loss of Jared due to injury and Ed starting up his own team. While we were gifted with a very favorable schedule for the regular season, I didn’t feel that we played up to our potential overall. Though we really did step it up when we faced former teammate Ed’s squad. Those were some great games and our only regular season wins.

I was very pleased with how I played this season, it was probably my best overall season. I’m still amazed at how I’ve been able to throw a year removed from elbow reconstructive surgery. Not only was I able to throw, but I was able to throw very hard and accurately this season! I was only caught once in the 9 games played! Though my reaction time is not what it used to be due to I suspect age and found myself getting pegged when  a few years ago I’d of gotten out of the way and or made a catch. Damn you age!

Though our regular season was a disappointment to me, we really picked the best time to step it up and play great as a team in the playoffs last night. Our opponent the Banzai Executioners had beaten us twice during the regular season, so we knew it was going to be a tight contest.

We heavily went over strategy before the game, and I was extremely pleased to see how well we were able to follow the plan and execute. However, a huge nod has to go out to the opponents for having an excellent plan and executing theirs as well. This was not only a slugfest, but a chess match as well for both sides.

Banzai got up 4-2, but we were able to answer back and tie it up at 4-4. Each and every match was so close and really came down to who didn’t make an errant throw or came up with a big catch. It was really exciting.

Eventually we were able to get the game up to 8-6, and they forced it to a 8-7 with some gutsy play by their girls. Our guys did not want this to go to overtime and really played a great match game. It’s was intense. Got some pegs early on, then used to clock a bit. They answered back with a massive peg with time running down, only for us to make a huge catch and get the numbers back in our favor.

Victory was ours! An amazing game and a true classic. The SJSL and dodgeball were to the true winners after that contest.

As great as our playoff victory was, we now had to immediately play the 5-time defending champs and rested Ghostbusters.

While we would eventually fall to them 9-1, I was really proud of just how hard everyone played that game. We were clearly spent, and sore from the early battle but kept those matches a lot closer than the final score will say.

It was a really great night to be a Honey Badger, and an fantastic end to our season. Thanks so much to all for such a great time!

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Kevin’s 40th Birthday Bonanza

11+ season veteran Honey Badger Kevin always is kind enough to invite me to various activities. From Night in Venice parties, to Eagles games, etc. However unfortunately I’ve always seemed to decline such generous invitations.

Well it turns out the guy just turned 40 and was throwing quite the large party on it’s occasion. He had organized a large birthday bash in Philly including a Flyers game and other festivities afterwards as well.

He also invited Dustin and Jared from the team, but sadly they could not attend. So that meant I would be going solo into a party where I knew no one. A true adventure indeed!

So I drove up to the Holiday Inn in Philly to meet up with the crew. Amazingly I didn’t get lost nor take even the slightest of wrong turns. This is quite a feat for me.

I was interested to meet this crew. Kevin is a pretty interesting guy, and surely his close friends must be characters as well.

These folks were characters indeed. All very friendly and turns out I had many common friends with one of them. So that was interesting and gave the two of us much to talk about for a little bit.

Then we headed over to the Flyers game when Kevin had gotten a luxury box stocked with food and drink. It was a very nice setup, and a very fancy way to take in a game. Despite knowing no one, I was able to make conversation and it wasn’t too bad.

I did depart shortly after the game while the others seemed to be awaiting much more adventures. All in all it was a unique experience and fun to hang out with some complete randoms for an afternoon.

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Honey Badger Rock Climbing Fun Day

Our Honey Badger Fun Day was originally planned to be at an indoor trampoline park. I was pretty excited, it sounded very cool to try out. Sadly as the last minute we had to change plans as it looked like we wouldn’t be able to jump that much that day. The place was all booked up.

So change of plans, we went with some indoor rock climbing at Elite Climbing. I had been there before and it was super awesome, and being Dustin’s birthday too I knew it was something that he would surely enjoy as well. He was always part monkey.

So we all met up early in the day, some of us at Joe time others on Honey Badger time (aka as late). Then rode up in 2 cars. It was pretty exciting. On the way up we stopped to get some lunch before out epic climbing at Panera. It is a fine eating establishment and all seemed please with the choice. I got a Turkey Bravo with an apple instead of chips. I would save my scrumptious apple for after/during my climbing.

We got there without getting lost like my first voyage there. What was super bizarre is that I ran into a friend from high school there who doesn’t live in that area either. What are the chances that we’d both drive all the way over there to do some indoor climbing? Surely it must be immensely miniscule.

Climbing went really well. Our trainer wasn’t nearly as helpful as Gio from the first excursion, but it still went fairly smoothly. It was really great to see everyone get up there and have a good time. I was really impressed with how well everyone had done!

Dustin was climbing all over the place, and Caitlin has an amazing climb on wall number 9. It was pretty amazing to behold, she made several key recoveries and made it over an pretty impressive incline to get all the way to the top. Amazing climb!

All in all it was a very fun day and I was able to climb for a couple of hours with some great Badgers and still make it back in time for my Mom’s birthday. I just with it was a bit closer to where I live.

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Dodgeball Winter 2014 Week 1

Last night was the opening night of our winter dodgeball season. So I was pretty excited as I normally am to see all the familiar faces and meet the new ones too.

However, this start was a bit different in that we had seven of our players not show up for the game! Seven missing Badgers. I wasn’t surprised that we had a few unable to play as it was literally a record cold day last night, but seven was insane! We only had 3 girls.

While we traditionally have fared well against our opponents the Banzai Executioners, the Badgers really stunk it up last night. We just plain old got beat down, and I’m really not certain exactly why. It wasn’t so much due to our lack of girls (though that was a great disadvantage), our guys just didn’t play well.

We pretty much underachieved all night and it showed. I’m hoping that it was just a fluke night and once we get our other players back we’ll start to play a bit better.

All in all it was still a great deal of fun and another exciting opening night to a season.

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