Emmis the Menace: Tournament, Game 1

Our company kickball team, Emmis the Menace, walking down the Jackson Tunnel to the Blue Line stop. Today, we entered the Tournament mode, where it’s single elimination – on loss, and you’re out of the bracket.

Our opponents this time were Straight Kickin’ It (Game 2). They had beaten us 10-6 last time around, but we played them early on in the season. With a few more games under our belts, we felt like we were going to be better, this time around.

The other team was still waiting on more players, and though the game was to start at 6PM… we were still waiting around at 6:10PM. As the ref was calling in the team captains to talk (and to give Tim the option to determine whether the other team needed to forfeit), one of Straight Kickin’ It‘s team members showed up.

At the bar later, Tim mentioned to me that he had no intention of forcing the forfeit rule. But it was pretty clear that the ref was looking for a ruling, since they were cutting it on time.

The game started off with a bang. Tim kicked a huge home run, with two runners already on base. We took an early lead and only gave up one run before our next turn at bat. We continued on and scored two more… and had a pretty decent lead. But despite those great early innings, the other team caught up to us, and eventually… did us in, pretty badly.

I had a few bad plays. I’ve been heeding Tim’s advice to not let anything get behind me… but on a few plays, I came up short and I didn’t end up controlling the ball after it hit the ground.

One of my lesser moments involved me playing at third base. A pop fly came up, and I started to go after it and should have let Letty go for the catch. Not only did I run into her, but I also didn’t manage to catch the ball either. Doubly bad.

That said, I did have one of my better catches of the season in our game last night. A ball got kicked my way, but it was super short. I ran pretty hard at it and managed to dive and catch it, with a neat little tumble on the ground as a flourish. Honestly, I’m still surprised that I actually made it to the ball in time. My catch ended the inning, and the girl whose ball I caught passed me on the field. She looked at me with a smile and said I hate you. Made me feel pretty good.

Unfortunately, we lost our momentum from the early innings and it was all about the other team. They got up on us, and the game was called early, 15-5.

As we were finishing up, the next team to play on the field arrived (they were YUUUUUPPPP (Game 7). It became apparent that their opponents weren’t going to show, which was a total bummer. There were a handful of folks who were willing to wait around and potentially play a friendly match with them, but a lot of folks bolted right after the game. After a small while, the rest of us headed over to Union Park Lounge for some post-game drinks.

The team they were waiting on was the Average Joe’s (Game 5). A few of us were commenting how crappy it was to simply not show up to a game. It’s one thing to decide not to show up, but it’s the lack of notification that’s kind of rudeness. They could have at least tried to contact Chicago Social and let them know, since they (obviously) collectively decided they weren’t going to play.

At the bar, we were hanging out as per usual. The owner of the bar came to our table and asked how we were doing, and ended up buying us all a round of Jameson shots. He even offered us free t-shirts (which I wanted, but felt bad about accepting). It was a super nice gesture, and he made us feel very appreciated and very well taken care of.

Here’s one of our toasts (with our server, Natalia).

Same toast. We also had another server join us for the shot. Not sure exactly why, but the more the merrier…

When we left, Chris and I were on the lookout for a cab. As we walked towards the Racine Blue Line stop, we passed by another bar that we’d always seen… but never entered. He remembered there was a pinball machien inside, so we stopped in for a quick game or two.

The machine was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and being one of the more modern games… it had a ridiculously high scoring approach. Shoot the ball to start the game? One million! I know why pinball games have gone this route, but it’s still so overkill whenever I see it.

That said, I had a pretty great high score of 626 Million. I got replay (always a satisfying sound), and might have ended with a total in the 700’s.

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually read Frankenstein, and I don’t think I ever saw the movie adaptation. Ice Cave? I don’t understand…

North Pole? I don’t remember this at all.

One small feature/highlight of the game was the “Sega” sound that would trigger, anytime the ball got near the bumpers by the flippers. It happened with such frequency that it became annoying. I’m sure it was someone’s idea to try to push the audio branding for Sega. What I’m sure began as a good idea in theory turned out to be terrible in execution.

Imagine having a doorbell that would always go off, every time you walked into a different room in your house. Now you’ve played this pinball game. Here’s a taste of what it was like:

Surprisingly, with only about $2 (5 credits), we managed to play for about 40 minutes. Not too shabby.

Before we headed out, we stopped for one game of Ms. Pacman. It was an interesting thing to see how both Chris and I went about the game differently – I tried to clear as many levels as possible, he went for as high a score as possible. The game was set to some super fast mode, so it definitely made play a lot more exciting.

Chicago Pinball Expo, 2010
Chris Buys a Comet Pinball Machine
Chicago Pinball Expo, 2008
Chicago Pinball Expo, 2007

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