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Last Saturday, as the City Paper Shadows neared the end of our final media league double-header, the sun shone unforgivingly upon this ragtag group of Staff Writers, Managing Editors, and Account Executives. We had just weathered a relatively tight game against the Washington Post (17-4[!]), and had nearly finished up an even tighter match-up against the Express (14[!]-3). Bothteams had lucked out that day: According to media league softball lore, if you can spy a City Paper Shadow on the field, you will score many runs.
We were hot. We were tired. We were, well, really bad at softball. It was totally the point in The City Paper Shadows 2008: The Motion Picture where everything inexplicably improves, resulting in an against-all-odds victory involving 33 consecutive home runs, Shadows coach Will Mitchell being hoisted gloriously upon the team’s shoulders as the ump yells “The Shadows Take the Pennant!,” and hot babes.
Behold! In the final out of the final inning of the final game of what, if we’ve learned anything, will be our final season, Circulation Manager Sterling Smith arrived (Back row, 1st from R).
Some say He descended from the sky as a pegasus, His magestic wingspan reaching clear from first to third. Others say He emerged from the forest depths as unicorn, His gallop fast as swunt. Either way, he’d hit really bad traffic, which apparently had kept him away from the field for our first two months of play.
Whatever: He had arrived.
Mitchell performed some emergency surgery on the batting order. Smith was in. He stepped up to the plate. The Express‘s outfield turned around and headed toward the home-run zone. The Shadows held our collective breath. “Is he actually good at softball, or is he just really big?” I remember wondering aloud. No one answered. We would find out soon enough.
Express pitched. Smith swung. There was no mistaking it: It was a swunt, plain and simple. The ball bounced lazily to the pitcher, who lobbed the ball to first. It was over. Finally, it was over.
It was a perfect end to a perfect season. Thanks Metropolitan Media Softball League: It’s been demoralizing.