Alumni Team fails to make it 4 in a row – Plans to focus on rebuilding for 2009
Highly anticipated as always by its long-time followers, the 2008 HSR Cricket League season was about to begin, with its exciting single-game format, where all two teams make it to the final and a champion gets bragging rights for nearly an entire year.
“This has been an excellent strategy to build up the kind of rivalry that keeps the fans coming back” said league commissioner Kevin Bell (89-93, 05-08). “We don’t charge admission, so we have to find other ways to generate income for the league and its teams. Nothing’s worked yet, but by golly, if we wish hard enough, the money will come!”
As always, the HSRCL pulled out all the stops to make sure that 2008 would be its best season ever, with plans to make eventual inroads to untapped markets that up until now have shown little interest in this brutal, fast paced and furiously exciting sport. “We think that this is a new beginning for the HSRCL” said Bell. “We’re going to be bigger than the NFL within two years”.
Despite the hopeful tone of the commissioner (and perhaps because of the obvious absence of any kind of business strategy or sense of reality whatsoever), the real story was the speculation that if the Staff team had posted a third consecutive losing season that its board of directors was going to consider folding or relocating the franchise. Either decision would have been a disaster for the two-team league.
“We came in to win, as always”, said long-time Alumni captain Gordon Fleming (84-88) when asked to comment on the future of the league. “I don’t pay much mind to the suits in the Admin office. We mind our own business. Our business is winning matches.”
Clearly lacking a business strategy of its own, the Alumni team played its worst match ever, failing to capitalize on the weakest offensive numbers yet seen during the HSRCL’s modern era, on the losing end of a score that is too embarrassing to print (ed. Note – you just don’t remember!). Bats for both squads were deafening in their silence, leading to speculation that the clearly superior Alumni team’s performance was directly related to the rumours of the league’s potential demise.
“That’s a bunch of codswollope”, said returning Alumni veteran and resident anglophile Jamie Kissick (74-76, 88-98) following the game, as he held a large bag with a dollar sign on it and a note that read “to the Alumni team from the Staff, with many thanks”. “We tried as hard as we ever do. Sometimes the effort just doesn’t pay off.” He refused further comment and threw the bag of money into his trunk, nearly slamming Commissioner Bell’s fingers in the process.
“Maybe we were a bit complacent after feeding the Staff team its lunch in five of the last six final” said a clearly preoccupied team manager Gord Fleming, holding a similar bag. “We just couldn’t pull it together today. We know this is a great team on paper, but we don’t play on paper. We play on grass.”
Star bowlers Scott Turner (98-00) and John McVeigh (98-02) commented briefly on the match, curiously without bags of cash like those that were distributed to the rest of their team. Turner, with a bag over his head, could not be clearly heard, but the words “disgusted to be associated” were clear before he trailed off again and left the field.
McVeigh, when asked about the significance of his traditional First Nation outfit, replied cryptically that he wanted to honour his ancestral origins in the Alaskan Bowledmyassoffand Nevertookabribe tribes.
We may never know what he meant by that, but it does appear that the narrow Staff victory will ensure the survival of the HSRCL into the foreseeable future. In that sense, everyone’s a winner.
See also 2008 Reunion Weekend posting.