Well, the dream, or nightmare if you’re sick of all of the soccer hype in America, is over and like I said in my soccer story this week, most of America can now go back to watching NASCAR. We kick ass in NASCAR. From Wondolowski back to Kezelowski.
We needed another miracle. The “Miracle on Ice” was 34 years ago. We’ve milked that for all it’s worth, and rightfully so, that was awesome. But, we needed a Miracle on Grass. No, not a Miracle on Grass where you’re high and you find a crumpled 20-dollar bill in your pocket. A Miracle on Grass where we get outplayed but pull off an upset over a heavily stacked European nation. And, it was there for the taking.
We played 35 minutes of good soccer and 58 minutes of crap soccer only to have the play, the Miracle on Grass, right there at Wondolowski’s feet, six-yards out with nothing but net in front of him. And then, just like that, he did what so many players before him have done and what so many players after him will do. He missed. It was one of those shots that is “harder to miss than make.”
Not that the loss can be attributed to that one play, at all. Let’s not forget the Belgiumers? Belgianese? Flemish? Walloons? Dutchfrancogermanics? outplayed us for most of the game and had their fair share of finishing woes. Didn’t hurt to have Tim Howard stand on his head in net making more saves than probably all of the keepers in the 2014 World Cup combined so far. But that’s how the sport is supposed to work. One team gets run over for most of the game only to have their keeper save their ass and then score in the final minute to pull off the not-so-well-deserved win. For those of you new to the sport, that’s kind of how it works sometimes. Doesn’t make sense. Never has.
Plus, had Wondolowski scored, the world would have been littered with headlines such as:
It’s a Wondoful Life!
Wondo We Do It in the Woad!
Wondo Where I Left My Keys?
Alice in Wondoland!
U.S. Eats Belgium Wondffles for Dinner!
But he didn’t score. The game went into extra time, Belgium scored two goals (the most dangerous lead in soccer, by the way), sat back on defense to hold on, Klinsmann put an 18-year-old kid on the field, he scored a goal with his first World Cup touch of his career, we pulled off a near-flawless set play to set up the game-tying goal but didn’t finish and ultimately lost 2-1.
With that now over (for most of you but not for me), we can now turn our collective local attention back to the sport that does make sense: softball.
Despite a new set of bats and brand new uniforms, i.e. Colorado Avalanche closeout t-shirts, the Avalanche has stumbled to a 1-3 record through the first three weeks of rec league softball. Even more surprising is that this was to be the year. Several years ago, say 20 years ago, the franchise heads of state got together and put into motion a plan to procreate over a four-year period and build their team from the ground up.
This year was when it all was to come to fruition as the Avalanche have not one, not two, not three, not four, but five, count ‘em, five of their kids on the roster now.
Perhaps the kids were more just a product of the Avalanche Happy Hour than a grand plan, and love of course.
At any rate, the plan had yet to play out as expected this season until Tuesday night when they faced the KBUT 90.3ers at Gothic Field.
KBUT is in the midst of a capital campaign, dubbed POWER UP, raising money to boost its signal at the north end of the valley. That energy has transferred over to their softball team as they have POWERED UP their roster with a couple of key additions and opened the 2014 season 4-0, until Tuesday night.
Instead, on Tuesday night, KBUT’s signals appeared somewhat crossed taking the field to start the game missing two players.
The Avalanche pounced on the opportunity, leading off with Michael Blunck. Blunck, who showed no signs of fatigue from riding 200 miles on his townie in the Bridges of the Butte two days before, opened the game with an infield single.
Gabi Prochaska singled and one of the aforementioned Happy Hour children, Ian Dethloff, drove them in with a double. Paula Dietrich then added an error-assisted RBI single to put the Avalanche up 3-0 early.
KBUT’s ranks started filing in to fill the field and the bench but the Avalanche continued to pour it on over the next several innings.
Ben Reaman turned an error-assisted double into an error-assisted inside the park home run, Prochaska tapped a RBI single, Adrienne Edmunds-Weil drove another RBI base hit and Dethloff and fellow procreate plan child Sam Reaman combined for two more RBI hits.
And the hits just kept coming. The Reamans, Edmunds-Weil, Olympian Aaron Blunck, Prochaska, Ron Chlipala all continued to pepper the field with RBI hits, building a 15-1 lead by the middle of the fifth inning.
By that time KBUT had their talent in place but the damage was done and there was nothing that could save them from the Tuesday night drubbing.
Meredith McNamara had a stellar game at third for KBUT and offered a little energy at the plate with a sac-fly RBI and Tucker Roberts and John Hopper connected for some extra base RBI hits in the sixth and seventh innings but the game was done as the Avalanche cruised to a 16-4 win.