(Editors Note: Among our staff, Gavin Borchert knows very little about softball and Mike Seely knows very little about being gay. But Gavin knows a lot about being gay and Mike knows a lot about softball. So who better to discuss the Gay Softball World Series 2008? Games and related events run Fri., Aug. 22Sat., Aug. 30 at multiple venues; opening ceremonies are this afternoon at Seattle Center. See www.series2008.org. for full schedule and details.)
Seely: Softballs are largelarger than hardballs. Hence theyre easier to see, although from experience I will say that it can be easier to catch a hardball than a softball, as it fits better into the webbing of ones mitt. Unlike hardball, softball pitchers throw underhandno 90-mile-per-hour fastballs or backdoor sliders. This means that anyone who cant hit a softball is borderline retarded. It also means that anyone who steps to the plate looking to earn a base on balls (i.e., a walk) is certifiably retarded, from standpoints both ethical and physical. Softball is something to do before (or while) you drink, whereas hardball often leads to arguments with umpires and pitchers-mound brawls. Anyone who approaches softball with the same tenacity as hardball needs to chillax.
Borchert: OK, free associationtell me, off the top of your head, which of the following items call to mind gay men and which lesbians. Ready? Big dogs or small dogs. Indigo Girls or Pet Shop Boys. Sunday afternoons at IKEA or Saturday afternoons at Home Depot. Easy so far? How about: softball? Gotcha! The sport swings both ways this week, as the boys take over one of the girls cultural touchstones. The competition features both co-ed and womens-only divisions; for diversity, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliances bylaws allow two straights per team. Mike, Im looking at you. Also, if gay men (stereo)typically arent much interested in athletics, we are, to a man, interested in athletes. So the arrival of all this fresh meatincluding the Houston Force, Atlanta Mudcats, and Chicago Spin Cougarsin Seattles notoriously cliquish and inbred scene should provoke a social feeding frenzy.
Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater. Free. 46 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 22, 2008