Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Open Letter from Sparkles

Fellow Herdspeople,

I apologize for my delayed response to the final HERD Report. I was away on my honeymoon all last week without access to email, and I was running around that Friday doing wedding stuff. Apparently the smoke signals I sent from Mexico werent big enough to reach my Herd brothers and sisters.

I was told that the water in the Caribbean was an unbelievable shade of blue and that I wouldn’t believe it until I saw it. I'm not sure if its a seasonal thing, but the entire time I was down there, the water was a breathtakinglyradiant purple. I saw purple beaches and met purple people. Kristin's eyes were purple and I saw some amazing purple sunsets every day. I'm not sure why everything was so different, but I've got a doctors appointment this week and hopefully he can tell me why everything I see is in purple…… After some googling, I've found some online banter from people who have had the same symptoms and blame it on some scientific garbage about weak electromagneticfield pulses, blah- blah- blah (http://forums.wrongdiagnosis.com/showthread.php?t=39444).

I spent many hours digging and digging for more information, and I finally stumbled across a disease that I feel best describes my condition. Only about .0007% of Triad citizens have ever shown the symptoms and been diagnosed with this, and yes it is recognized by every single medical book/society/expert/genius in the world, especially the Gesundheit Institute. Please view the following information and if you are exhibiting these same symptoms- consult your doctor, drug dealer or preacher (in my case all the same guy) immediately.

Purpleoscious amblyopiatic herdacious wewillcrushallthosewhostandinourwaythisspringwithacreepysmileonourfaces-itus


&#8226 Seeing everything in purple
&#8226 Bleeding purple
&#8226 Crying purple
&#8226 Constantly googling the word “purple” to see if there is anything new in the world to become obsessed with
&#8226 Inserting the word "purple" or "herd" when those words have no business being in purple a sentence. (see how I did that?)
&#8226 Dreaming about purple softballs scaling outfield fences while the opposing team cries and melts into the ground like the Wicked Witch in Oz, bleachers full of old women with purple perms and tuxedo t-shirts cheer “Herd, Herd, Herd,” Chuck Norris repeatedly round house kicks the other teams coach who looks like Hitler, and Tracy Chapman sings “Fast Car’ from our dugout wearing tie-died jeans and a sport coat, and plays a guitar with a picture of my face painted on it. (or maybe that’s just me?)

&#8226 The strange desire to eat purple foods e.g.- eggplant, purple cabbage, Herd Stew (herd stew is not yet an actual dish. Once I find a combination of purple foods that, when mixed together in a low sodium beef broth and boiled, tastes even close to half the deliciousness of a Herd victory, I will share the recipe and sell it to Wolfgang Puck for a large fortune, rendering all future league dues and equipment purchases unnecessary, also fulfilling the large need for a purple Lamborghini/school bus for team use on gamedays (maybe some Chrystal too))

Chuck Norris’ tears….. too bad he never cries

Notes: In some cases, even death won’t cure Purpleoscious amblyopiatic herdacious wewillcrushallthosewhostandinourwaythisspringwithacreepysmileonourfaces-itus. Once infected, the host can only succumb to the power of the purple.

Please share your symptoms you may have with everyone else.

Together, we can beat this awesome disease. (Not really, once the Herd has taken over, abandon all hope.)


Friday, June 10, 2011

A-well-a everybody's heard about the Herd...H-H-H-Herd, Herd, Herd, H-Herd is the word

I don't want to talk about it.

I don't want to talk about that, either.

I need a hug.

Whew.  What a roller coaster ride, huh?  In a day whose pregame excitement would surpass the anticipation of March Madness, the Super Bowl, and the World Cup combined, your Mighty Purple Herd was not able to deliver the goods and fell to a tenacious, if not oddly unfamiliar, group of groomers (seriously, who were half of those people and did anyone check their paperwork?).

The day's festivities would start early and would continue often as a barrage of emails, video clips and Facebook posts would whip the Herd faithful into a frenzy not seen since Lady Gaga shot machine guns out of her hoo-hoos.  Just like New York's hottest nightclub, Unnnnngggghh!, pregame had everything; Rod Stewart, Auto-Tune, Queen, Purple Lightning, Purple Tears, Garth Brooks, and Garth Algar (schwing!).  And lest we forget that through the power of Twitter, ASU standout and Panthers wide receiver, Armanti Edwards, confirmed what we've known for some time - an athlete of his caliber can't help but love the Herd.  And while the enunciation seems a bit off here (is it a B or an H?), it would also appear that your Herd is now also known among the animated world.  And if you're still not convinced, just Google it.  For realsies.

PGF introduced even more excitement, as Lindsey "Maggie Gyllenhaal" Yarborough came all the way from LA to sport purple, Dave "the cooler/unofficial photographer" Allred made a Herd jersey from scratch, and Nobu "ready for the storm, ready for the sun" Hatanaka made the trip from Japan (via the local SRT office) to provide that extra little bit of pep for the team.  At the field, the support for the Herd would continue to grow as Ginger "I taught C-Nix everything he knows" Nixon brought unofficial Herd mascot Leroy, and in an unprecedented and record-breaking attendance move, Dawn "EVERYBODY loves Dawn" Stafford appeared out of the steam of the evening to cheer on the Purps.

As for the game, well, it started off slow, then got kind of awesome, then got really not awesome.  The Herd bats chose to emulate Lindsay Lohan - locked up for a while, free on bail and reckless/crazy, then put back on house arrest.  The end result would be a lead for most of the contest that would just melt away in the late innings.  Sniff.

The Herd outfield played solid all night, as both John "Yes, that Sparkles nickname is gonna stick (sorry about that, pal)" Spivey and Bryan "when IS the last time you hit a double, doubles?" Timmons performed a double axel and a triple toe loop, respectively, on the slick outfield grass while still making (somewhat awkward) catches.  Great fielding wouldn't be enough for Spivey as he went deep for the 2nd game in a row, paying the metaphorical bail to the Herd's batting imprisonment and getting things started on offense.  Heather "Ice Cream sure would have been a nice treat on such a sweltering evening" Miller saved multiple extra base hits with her gold glove in RF and Erin "The Voice, Tuesdays on NBC" Haneline was nothing less than a brick wall on her return to LF, not letting a single ball by all night.  These sisters also put a hurt on the ball like Herd Management put a hurt on two delectable Mexican meals in a short matter of hours.

The fun wasn't limited to the grass, as there was sparkling play in the dirt as well.  J-Mill "Dyson, yes Dyson (because it's better than Hoover, duh)" Miller closed out the season with impeccable play at 2B.  Shannon Craft Award's job behind the plate was only slightly edged out by her bat slinging.  For you standardized test fans, SCA is to batting as Chuck Norris is to roundhouse kicks.  Chad "Biggie, or Big E if you're John Spivey" White found the groove again and reached base repeatedly on pure will and his gazelle-like saunter.  The high standard of play, sportsmanship, and pure excellence required of all Herd athletes was on full display last night by Scott "Goooooooooose" Walkush and Christopher "Leroy's Dad" Nixon.  Goose was just a few well-place hits away from pitching us to victory, and C-Nix - well let's face it, that dude probably eats cereal better than the rest of us.

It is with great pride, a quivering lip, and a box of tissues at the ready, that we come to Ashley "The Legend" Perdue.  Competing in what is rumored to be her last game with the Herd, AP did what AP does best.  Everything.  Her final at-bat couldn't have been written better.  A-Dub steps in, gives the terror stare (TM), and proceeds to drill a beauty of a shot well beyond the dogs' left fielder, cruising in for a double and sending the Herd bench into near hysterics.  The Herd, past, present, and future thanks you for all that you've done.  We'll miss you.

And that, faithful readers, does it for Spring 2011.  Preparations for Fall 2011 started 10 years ago and should be complete in time for preseason practice en route to a return to form and undefeated championship season.

Random Herd Facts:

One day the Herd wanted to prank the whole world, and so Justin Bieber was created.

ADD is not a chemical imbalance, it is a condition caused by the fact that it is impossible to concentrate knowing the Herd may strike at any time.

Superman and The Flash have a race around the world. Who wins? The Herd.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based on a true story: the Herd once swallowed a turtle whole, and when he spit it back out, the turtle was six feet tall and had learned karate.

Friday, June 3, 2011

That's the way (uh huh, uh huh), Herd likes it!

Herd 11, Formerly average hair band that was forced to retire 7

Herd vs. Groomingdale's, 6:30 WP #1, then WHEN we win
Herd vs. Crew, 7:30 WP #1, then WHEN we win
Herd vs. Crew (yes, again), 8:30 WP #1
Missing next week:  No one?!?

Yes!  Abbreviated PGF will return to Foothills at 5:02

Peaches come from a can, they were put there by a man, in a factory downtoooooooown.  You know what also comes in a can?  Whoop ass.  In a performance that would have made the Presidents of the United States of America proud, the Herd opened the proverbial can and unleashed the fury on the Motlee Crue.  The season-long plan to lull the competition into complacency then strike in the playoffs was executed to perfection last night on WP #4.  After an epic showing at PGF, discussion of strategery, and team bonding over a record number of samplers, it was off to the field to get down to business.

With the impending retirement of superstar Ashley "you're my soul and my heart's inspiration" Perdue, the awesomeness of the Herd made a collective decision not to lose on this sweltering June eve.  Bryan "PGF MVP, FTW" Timmons set the tone early with a gapper into left field and wheels that didn't stop until the dugout, at which point the wheels did not want to start again for the rest of the night.  AP did her part to secure a game next week by laying down clutch hit after hit and RBI after RBI, in a breathtaking display that is only equaled by the quality of NBC's Thursday night comedy programming.

It wasn't all roses for the Herd, as the Motlee Crue came to play.  But in the face of adversity and elimination, the battery of Scott "the goose is loose" Walkush and Shannon Craft Award would prove to be too much for the Crue's hitters, enticing them into double plays and pop-outs much like the Greensboro black bear was enticed out of the woods by the delicious aromas of pic-a-nic baskets.  This combo wouldn't be satisfied with only strong defense, oh no.  Both Goose and Award out hit and out hustled your average bear all night.

And how about that offense, huh?  Christopher "Freaknik" Nixon, oh my word!  Nixon tacked on another home run bringing his season tally to approixmately 42.  In retrospect, perhaps their pitcher made the right decision giving C-Nix that free pass last time.  Not to be outdone, John "no food for me, thanks" Spivey attacked this game like a man that has been over-served on Tom Haverford's Snake Juice.  Spiv has hit the ball hard all season, but none better than last night.  After deciding that a line drive triple wasn't enough, Spivey found pay dirt in a towering home run that very likely served as the nail on the Crue's coffin.  Erin "hand her a mic" Haneline continued her new duties of making this Herd more like the old Herd again this week with the hitting we all know and love as well as her newfound ability to loosen up the Herd through song.  Words can't express how great it is to smile, laugh, and generally freak out the opposition on the field.

And while home runs are great and all, let's not forget the barrage of base hits that made those homers count.  J-Mill "don't steal my yell" Miller made the Miller family proud by putting together a blistering batting display and accounting for 16 of the Herd's 11 runs on the evening (it's just math, folks).  Chad "call him straight drive, 'cause that was clutch" White came up big in the field and at the plate, providing that blinding gazelle speed that is such a joy to watch.  Amanda "A Squared" Able also stepped in admirably to not only make it to the right field, but also keep the Herd afloat and in this contest until the end.

And on such a triumphant evening, let's not forget the 11th man.  Herd Management's enthusiasm,nervous nausea, and real time Facebook updates always inspire the Herd to take things to the next level.  But on this evening, a quick look down the line would show nearly full bleachers!  Unconfirmed reports would even suggest that the Herd's fanbase performed a textbook wave in the 7th inning.  Thanks all for the Herdastic support (and please don't forget us next week at 6:30).

This report can't end without recalling the way the game ended.  Golden glove nominee Christopher Nixon made what will undoubtedly be the greatest catch in the history of the Thursday league.  This over-the-shoulder diving grab ended a late rally by the Crue, brought teammates to tears of joy, and moved the Herd into the next round.  You, good sir, sweat excellence.


The Shannon Craft Award for being Shannon Craft award goes to...Shannon Craft!  You were putting the hex on their hitters, weren't you?  It's OK, you can tell us (and you can please whatever you did again next week).

The Redding/Haneline award for most gut-wrenching slide goes to...Erin Haneline!  We're all glad you didn't go an entire season without an amazing slide and strawberry.

The Herd Management's Sabbatical Spirit award goes to...John Spivey!  He hits!  He fields!  He does cartwheels (sorta)!  And he takes the brunt of Herd Management's postgame exuberance!

Random Herd Facts:

The police have developed a new, high tech bullet proof vest - it's a T-shirt with the Herd printed on it.

A watched pot boils instantly for the Herd.

The Herd isn't a cat person but if he was, he would own 3 lions, a snow leopard, and cougar.

The Herd once got a record deal for playing the air guitar.  Two days later he started Metallica, then quit.