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Fear and Loving
By Simon Vishnu, Field Reporter
PKL Poulsbo Field Office

July 14th, 2007
Aldo Freda Field, Olneyville

Week five. The days stretch hot and thin like salt water taffy. July is an endless waste... teams do get lost in it. Few are prepared for this desert experience that will rob you of your poise, your purpose, your very identity. The headstrong squads of June are soon aimless and wandering, like Israelites in the wilderness, searching for the Promise Land of the Post Season.

Experienced teams close ranks and hunker down. With measured steps and slitted eyes, a handful will trudge through the heat and stinging sand to emerge on the other side of these dog days -- August -- with a winning record, and that flickering tiny flame of playoff hope.

Mississippi Shakedown vs BSRmadillos

he only hits me when i deserve it

Despite their 0-2 record, the Shakedown entered this game with perhaps even more than their usual so-southern swagger. It was as if they knew something that the casual observer did not. Sure they were 0-2, but true students of the game look deep into the numbers, seeing the blondes, brunettes, and redheads within the cascading lines of green code. The Shakedown just played two of the toughest teams in their division, and they didn't go down like bitches, either. The rest of their
schedule was going to be like gravy over hominy grits. Soft and tender, like bellymeats.

Skeeter. Cuzzin' Merle. Sally Mae. Uncle D'wayne. Today, arrayed against this already infamous pack of friends and possible relatives was another, slightly less recognizable group: "That Bearded Guy." "The Ringer." And, "Those Other BSR Players."

Okay, the Brown Student Radio Armadillos are a complicated team and time is short. Their tactics, their minds: probably more complicated than most "non-artsy-types" can comprehend. Their theater: Pure Dada. One week they will be crowned with hot pink baseball caps, and have armadillo asses growing out of their foreheads. The next: the team's best players will be completely naked. Stop trying to understand it. It's like a Buddhist koan.

Brown Student Radio is attuned to life's Deeper Mysteries. They are held sway by Sounds of the Apocalypse (Saturdays at 12am). Their brains are ever pounding with Sage Francis and polyrhythmic world beats. Why can't they catch for shit? It's the polyrythmic world beats.

Them Duke boys sent Sally Mae back to the truck, then they set to whuppin'.

The Death Squad vs
Providence Steamroller

is Chicago / is not Chicago

The Providence Steamroller has yet to reveal its true self. Week One showed us sort of a clumsy mud golem. In Week Two they were a
glad-happy paving party, cheerily crushing the Highlander underfoot. If Steamroller Captain Julie Wolfson had her way, this squad would be skipping to the playoffs, tossing out hearts and sparkles as they pass. But the road to the Stephen T. Olney Cup is not paved with hearts and sparkles. Ohhh, no: it is paved with crushed Gansett Tallboys, scabby knees, and thumb sprains that hurt real, real bad.

Lots of teams have a theatrical veneer at the outset of the season, but this is the part of the summer where teams are forcibly separated from their fancies. July takes great delight in chewing the bark off many a smiling theater troupe, and July wants to know what is inside the Steamroller. July will not be denied.

When you scrape off the rouge and theater glue, some of the showy teams will surprise you with a toothy little savage. One thing is for certain: The Death Squad is not made of softer stuff than they let on. Beneath the stogies and tattoos, the Death Squad have a core of gristle and pig iron.

The Death Squad took the field. And shat themselves blue. Experienced knollsitters know: these games! They are not made of statistics. They are not decided by "ought-to's". They are the stuff manifest of desire. And not being the team that fucks itself with stupid mistakes.

Every three weeks or so this happens: one team or another gets it in their head they are a shoe-in, and they can win a game without

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