The Good Neighborhood- March 18th, 2011
By Seamus Gallivan
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Practice?! We don’t need no stinkin’ practice! The reigning champs are ready to defend our throne at the second annual Heart of the City Neighborhoods Kickball Tournament, just announced for Saturday, June 4th, at noon in Lasalle Park.
The fundraiser is part of Heart of the City’s efforts to support neighborhood revitalization through creating, facilitating, and supporting housing and neighborhood development in the central core of the City of Buffalo. This is accomplished by creating programs to improve the quality of residential housing, assisting private developers, neighborhood leaders, the City and other not-for-profit organizations to develop sustainable projects to improve Lower West Side neighborhoods.
The tourney will feature local organizations, community members, and friends and families from across Western New York. With a ten player minimum per team, registration is $15 per player – with a $10 early bird special for those who register before April 8th – and includes two food tickets, one water ticket, and one beer ticket. The family-friendly event will have all-day activities for all ages, including games and small competitions for teams who don’t move on in the tournament – such as yours, should you run into the juggernaut that is The Good Neighborhood. In the inaugural event last year, spearheaded by Heart of the City’s Americorps ace Casey Higgins, The Good Hood’s ragtag team tore through the competition on our way to becoming the People’s Champs.
We’d set up a hype-up event with the band Peanut Brittle Satellite at Pearl Street Grill & Brewery – who supplied beer for the tourney and hosted the after-party. In announcing the event, PBS put down a challenge to all Good Neighbors to field a team and face them in the tourney. Luckily, we drew the band in the first round – while they’re phenomenal musicians, they were awfully hapless on the kickball field and were no match for our instant chemistry.
Team WGRZ Channel 2 – obviously not On Our Side on this day – put up a good but futile fight, and we followed by burying Grassroots Gardens, who wilted before our relentless offense and smart defense. This led to an epic finale against a team of heels that had the entire park on the side of The Good Hood.
Dressed in black Jagermeister shirts and matching orange shorts, our finale foes had trounced each team with scurrilous swagger before bumping into our buzzsaw. As the crowd gathered round and audibly aligned with us, we neutered their offense early by eliminating their manhood-questioning bunt strategy in a relatively close, low-scoring game.
We all had a few laughs at Pearl Street afterward, and even let the Jagerbombs hold the beautiful trophy given to the People’s Champs. We’d be happy to do the same for your team when we win the tourney again this year – might even let you pose for a photo with it. But you won’t take it home – The Good Hood will reign again…for the greater good.