(HALF OF) THE STORY OF THE 2006 CHUCKHEADS
Yes, that's our very own Angry Tim modeling the most righteous new rag. And, in case you're having a hard time making out the handsome face on the t-shirt. That'd be the great Texas Ranger himself, Chuck Norris (at least he plays one on TV).
Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.
There are many who have doubted the greatness of Chuck Norris. There are even more who cannot name one Chuck Norris movie. There are those who think Charles is a cheeseball and the turd from Hollywood's anus (shut yo mouth!). But the citizens of Amarillo and, moreover, those who play softball on Thursday nights, are learning otherwise. They have learned by the very presence of his face on your t-shirt, you too can play like a champ. You too can emulate the very greatness that is Chuck Norris.
Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting infers the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.
It began when we started kicking around a new jersey for the office team. Since the office wasn't paying for any of it, we thought, "Why pay loyalty if we're the ones paying?" Makes sense. Alright, so what's it gonna be? The names started flooding in. Even the name Kathleen Turner Overdrive was considered. But Angry Tim and I thought, we need something iconic. Something that needed very little explanation. Something that struck fear in the hearts of opponents. What we needed was the badass of all badasses. We needed a little Chuck.
Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn't stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.
We thought, at first, that it'd be nice to have a name that captured the very essence of Chuck. And we thought, with his spectacular kicking abilities, that The Roundhouse made perfect sense. I suggested the amplifier "crippling" be added as in The Crippling Roundhouse, but it didn't snag. Some suggested it be plural, but it was kept singular (as in the Heat, the Jazz or the Picture Hanging on my Wall). We then thought, "Let's just drop the 'the' and make it Roundhouse." Now we were onto something. We had an identity. Still, many weren't really sure what to make of the new identity. Some giggled like it was still just a passing joke. Others warmed up to it. While others were still confused as hell. We were dead serious. Chuck serious.
According to Einstein's theory of relativity, Chuck Norris can actually roundhouse kick you yesterday.
So, one day, when my last computer was still up and running, I brought a photo of Chuck (Mr. Norris to the rest of you) into Photoshop, flattened it and made it two colors and sent it back to work. Upon my arrival back at work, I sent it out to the team and waited for the replies to come back. Again, even though I provided the actual artwork for the jerseys, some still thought, "Certainly, this is a joke." Nope. Some asked, "Are we really gonna have Chuck Norris on our jerseys?" One commented, "People are gonna think we're gay."
Chuck Norris appeared in the "Street Fighter II" video game, but was removed by Beta Testers because every button caused him to do a roundhouse kick. When asked bout this "glitch," Norris replied, "That's no glitch."
We put our foot down and said, essentially, if you don't want a jersey, then don't pay for one, but we're getting new jerseys because these old jerseys fit like freaking socks and I didn't really like hitting the field looking like a tube of sausage. Plus, these jerseys meant something. It meant we weren't gonna get toyed with. And even if we did get our tails whooped every night, it represented the fact that we were really just having fun with it and enjoyed getting out there playing ball. Sure we don't like losing, but we're not gonna lose sleep if we don't win. At last second, we made the decision to drop the name altogether and just go with the image of Chuck Norris and, boy, am I glad we did. Angry Tim collected the dough from each player (actually, I'm not sure if that's true--Angry Tim can, and will, clarify). He took the image to the printer and we waited.
If you ask Chuck Norris what time it is, he always says, "Two seconds till." After you ask, "Two seconds to what?" he roundhouse kicks you in the face.
About a week and a half later, the shirts returned. Angry Tim delivered them like freakin Santa Claus. I draped mine over my chair at my desk like Ol' Glory. The rest of that day, no one spoke to me. And I got only one phone call who nervously said, "I'm sorry. Wrong number," and abruptly hung up. I thought to myself, if we can get the same reaction from our competition, then we might be onto something. That night, they made their debut.
Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.
It was obvious that some guys on the team had some anxiety about putting the shirt on. Some showed up with it in hand. Others walked up just putting it on because they didn't want to be spotted wearing it on the way. One guy pulled it out of his bag like it was a bloody rag or something. Not I. I showed up with Chuck's head like the Superman symbol across my chest. Smile from ear to ear. Even busting out in a good belly laugh when I saw the look of confusion on some people's faces. It was awesome. Dare I say rawsome. It was game time. And Chuck, like always, was ready for action.
There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.
Six games later, we're 8-0 with the most dramatic of wins coming last week when we were down by ten runs going into the final fifteen minutes. As home team, we got last at bat either way. What happened when we took the field was downright magical. Not only did we eat up all fifteen minutes in the bottom half of that inning, but we came back from ten down to win by one--scoring eleven run in route to our sixth win of the season. Undefeated. Not sure where we got the energy to win that game. We one our first game that night, sat around for an hour, went down by eight runs right out of the gate. We were cold (cold front), tired and emotionally flat. But then, down ten runs, we caught it. The rhythm. The flow. The Chuck. The other team didn't know what hit them.
In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Chuck Norris could use to kill you, including the room itself.
Tonight, another double-header and another two teams left bloodied and bruised as we continue marching forward. Doubt if you want, but I would contend that we haven't been off to this kinda start since I started playing with these guys. The swagger's there. The plays are getting made. We can only draw a crowd of a few loving wives, but damn it, they're there. And we got Chuck on our side. Some thought he was the Marlboro man or Kris Kristofferson. Someone apparently thought it was Hasselhoff (which sparked an amazing idea for next year).
After tonight's game, I'm heading out to the car after everyone had left and, whaddya know, flat tire. I swear God does that to me just to make sure I still know how to change a tire. With it slipping off the jack only once, I got it fixed and headed home with a low gas light just in time to see the Sox finish off the Spanks, 4-3, taking 3 out of the first 4 of 19 this season with the Spanks. Good thing is that we took the series in the Bronx. Better thing is that Johnny "Paycheck" Damon is 2-16 against the Sox. Pressure's a bitch, Damon. But I'm sure he's still happy. I'm sure. Oh yeah, my wife thought it was distasteful, but I cheered at the fact that Matsui went out with a fracture in his hand after diving for a ball causing him to miss his first game in nearly 550 games. See you in August, Matsui.
So, what did we learn tonight? Chuck Norris is a badass. The 2006 Chuckheads are legit. And even if your world is falling down around you, if your team wins, it's all gonna be alright somehow. Tomorrow's Friday. Sunday's Mothers' Day. Love your mom.
When Chuck Norris goes to donate blood, he declines the syringe, and instead requests a hand gun and a bucket.