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Shtickball: How The 4skins Came To Dominate The Zog Universe

So apparently sports have excited and enthralled us for far too long, and have now decided to depress the shit out our collective selves. Between the awful goings on at Penn State and the long, painful trudge towards a cancelled NBA season, most sports-fans would be better off turning their attention to 30 Rock and Mad Men re-entering their lives early next year.  Therefore, I submit to you a triumphant story, one that combines all the uplifting elements that keeps us coming back so sports year after year. Nestled within an innocuous Manhattan intramural basketball league, a furious rivalry has been brewing for over a year.  And this past Monday night, one team reigned supreme.

Zog Sports (not to be confused with the radical conspiracy theory purported by the Aryan Nations and like-minded folk) is a non-profit started by a Jewish guy who showed up late to his office on 9/11, watched his entire floor get destroyed and decided he needed to do something more charitable with his time. While the goal is an admirable one, the basketball league contains dimly lit, slippery locations, shoddy refereeing, and a no overtime policy. But then after the game you go to a ‘official Zog bar’ and get a dollar off your beer so it’s all worth it. My team, the 4skins, has been a rotating cast of characters going on two years, with a firm belief in drafting white, mediocre Jewish talent and making sure the refs clearly grasp the terrible job they’re doing each and every game.  Our team’s first season was the winter of 2010, in which we emerged as champions of our league. More importantly, we caught the eye of one Chris Gethard, professional comedian and member of The Del Harris Marathon. DHM was made up of a loose collective of comedians, mostly from the Upright Citizens Brigade (we once had the privilege of playing against Jason Sudeikis, who hit at least two lefty bank-shot threes. Then he got too famous and never showed again). For some inexplicable reason, Gethard decided the first time we played DHM that the 4skins would be his team’s rival. Please do not imagine Gethard as a serious baller who looked at our team as fresh meat. He is petite, pale skinned, wears sports-goggles, and looks like a somewhat overgrown child. Sometimes he shoot ill-advised 3 pointers, but usually is content to get technical fouls called on him from the bench. However, his passion for the game is undeniable, and all credit goes to him for recognizing the unmistakable chemistry/enmity that existed between our two squads. Unbeknownst to us, DHM was posting hysterical, extremely NSFW tweets and facebook messages about us all season long (isn’t that how every great rivalry gets started?). We finally found out about the joke, and went to one of their UCB shows, where they preceded to ream us out much to the delight of everyone in attendance.

Gethard is now host of The Chris Gethard Show, a hilariously wacky show that airs on public access TV. The show consists of weird call-ins, elaborate shenanigans (serious props for this one) and delivers consistently low-budget chaotic nonsense. Gethard thought an episode should be devoted to our budding rivalry, and organized a friendly, fight-to-the-death battle that took place this week. 4skins fans came dressed in our traditional Kelly green bearing signs like ‘Cut Em’ Up’ and ‘The Decision: Circumcision’. Gethard’s crew  got some primo pre-game interviews from both teams on what this rivalry means (A female DHM member claimed she was excited about beating some ‘dirty fucking Jews’). DHM got some quality heckling in, but the 4skins prevailed in a tightly contested game. In any case, be sure to check out the November 30th episode of Gethard’s show, it’s gonna be a doozie. Also if you want to come to our playoff game this weekend, please let me know.

Update: In an incredible ending to a storybook season, The 4Skins won the Zog Sports ‘Players’ (the highest level, a markedly different echelon than ‘Sorts Players’ or ‘Fuck it, I Signed Up for the Cheap Drinks’) championship on a last second shot by new recruit and season MVP Neil Goldman. Down 1-0 in two consecutive best of three matches, the Skins reached down to the depths of their boychik reserves to display some of the most gutsy, gritty (insert obligatory sports metaphor here) plays ever seen on a basketball court. We look forward to defending our title and rekindling our rivalry with Gethard and the gang. Robert Herzog, I’m waiting for your congratulatory call.

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