PERFECT RECORD REMAINS INTACTNew faces, an extreme case of confidence, and large dose of optimism was not the formula that would propel the Antlers into the post season playoffs. This softball season ended on Monday and we all walked away from the beautiful Ford Fields feeling like gladiators. We did the best we could, but in the end we lay bloody on the field, clinging to life. We would re-group and do it again, for 8 weeks, as the frenzied crowd chanted “death to ghost” every Monday. We lost every game, again, but returned to please the masses as the life was kicked out of us week after week after week.We did make several huge leaps toward respectability and this beat writer would like to point out some differences from last years inaugural season and share some player comments with our loyal fan(s).No major injuries for one. We lost a few arms and legs and I remember a couple of eyes that were taken out and we’re still looking for Eric’s ear, but other than that, nothing serious. Just a few cuts and bruises that were worn proudly and displayed for all bar patrons to see whether they wanted to or not.I asked coach/pitcher Tom Schlader what he was most impressed with this season and he replied “On 3 different occasions, players from other teams said you guys don’t suck as bad as last year”.Darci Walls, the ever so consistent catcher and team leader added “We only lost by 4 runs in one game”.Crissy Greenawalt, the swift right fielder that has been recruited by teams as far away as Washington made this observation. “We would have beaten Loaded Joes but some guy in left field makes this rolling, tumbling catch when we were only 3 goals away from overtime”.One of the new faces on the team, Amy Scherm, who could play anywhere on the field, knew in her heart “Our record is no indication of how bad we are. Let me re-phrase that”.Randi Davis, the wily veteran and stellar 2nd base person seemed relieved. “I can’t promise I”ll be back next year. All the other old guys on the team never showed up.The beer after the game is good though and I do remember catching a ball or making an out or getting a hit or something”.As it is, no one has quit their day job and we are all back to where we belong. We can only watch the playoffs from behind the fence as fans now. We hold are heads high and know we did everything we could to try and be part of the post season, but we just came up a little short. No, we came up a lot short.I asked Rob LeVine as he was cleaning out his locker, a blue Toyota Prius, how he felt about the season. His eyes gleamed and even though I saw a trace of sorrow in them, he said “This is a great group of fighters and I assure the softball world the funding is there for next season”.The Saint that leads his martyrs into battle. Stay tuned.
Every year for the past four years, some variation of Team Antlers has ridden in the late-July Colorado River Ride … one of the best and most fun bicycle centuries there is. In addition to the 100 mile route being spectacular (much of it paralleling the Colorado River from Burns to Dotsero) the aid stations are more like big parties then most other rides. That’s because a significant number of the 1,000+ riders are locals that all know each other.
This year was Team Antlers’ finest hour (so far) with 15 people riding in Antlers jerseys. It was an all-star lineup, including:
Randi Davis (our controller) and her architect husband Danny on their tandem (hanging out about six inches off of their back wheel is truly one of my most happy places in the whole world)
Bert Farin … the most fun-loving employee in the history of the Antlers. Period.
Kent Rose … past mayor of Vail, a stalwart of our regular Wednesday night mountain biking group, and the only guy I know to once ride to Steamboat and back (200 miles) in one day
Ray Tuomey … Bert’s friend (and ours) from Chautauqua in Boulder and now solar panel guru (pictured here using his “portable changing room” aka a Mexican poncho)
Erin Kelly … son in law of Ebby and Lex Pinson (of Vail Symposium fame and Wednesday nights respectively)
Lee Rimel & Charlie Dolan … Both Wednesday night vets. Charlie’s a builder extraordinaire and Lee built and owns the 10th Mountain Division Hut System’s newest hut at the top of Tennesee Pass … the Continental Divide Hut
Cathy Craig … Durango’s finest product ever and one of my very best buds from Colorado College
Nate Free … past Antlers employee (last millenium), who now runs club sales for the Sonnenalp golf club and frequent biking pal of Randi & Danny
Sadly, Ratz, Sarah and Marco Pierotti decided to start from Beaver Creek, whereas the rest of us started and finished in Eagle … so we missed them. Deputy Sherriff Jeff Layman, caught us midway as well. So too bad … no photos, but they all proudly wore the Antlers Burgundy and Cream as well.
Coming out of Eagle we were full of piss and vinegar … constantly challenging each other for the head of the paceline. Well, maybe not … but you get the idea.
However by the end of the ride, it was a slightly different story.
Thanks to Kent and Rayma Rose who threw an AWESOME post ride cookout and picnic at their magnificent Eagle Ranch home, the wear and tear of all those road (rode?) miles wore off pretty quickly. On the other hand, I suspect everyone slept pretty darn well that night … I know I did.
By the way, we’ve got some open slots for next year’s ride …