Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shorthanded Crooks Get the Snot Beaten Out of Them

“I was bruised and battered,
I couldn’t tell what I felt,
I was unrecognizable to myself,
Saw my reflection in a window,
Didn’t know my own face,
So brother, are you gonna leave me wastin’ away,
On the streets of P and 17th…..”

The immutable words of The Boss can only capture a glimpse of the scene that occurred this past Sunday in Dupont Circle. Paired with the only undefeated team in the league, the skeleton-crew Crooks were hurting well before the opening whistle. While the Crooks waited in vain for a 6th and 7th player to arrive, the ‘Chupacabras’ laced up their steel toe boots, slid on their brass knuckles and expertly adjusted the steel plates up their sleeves. It was going to get ugly- 7 goals to 0 ugly.
Fortunately, the bloodbath that ensued was only seen by a few – a few that will be scarred for life, for sure. Any fans keeping track of goals, fouls, yellow cards, ejections and blown tempers that afternoon likely needed to make a halftime CVS-run to replenish their notepads and pens.
However, if the Crooks have proven to be anything over these past 4 years, it’s that they are masochistic - err, resilient. Rest assured, those that are back in one piece next weekend will return to Dupont for another shot at victory. Will you be there?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shady Dealings on K Street

Readers, a curious situation is brewing in Dupont Circle. Witnesses to the K Street Crooks first game of the season all testify to a match ending in a 1-0 loss for the pink warriors. An unfortunate result for sure, but one that happens even to the best of teams from time to time. At the second game of the season, onlookers saw an improved squad that battled its way to a 2-2 draw. Again, a bit of an unfortunate result for the storied club, but not wholly undeserved.
Now here comes the kicker.
As the ink began to dry on the El Campo 2-game wrap-up, a masterful, if a bit morose, column on the Crooks fall to the lower echelons of the standings, a diligent little El Campo intern decided to double-check the stats in the story before it headed out the door. A loss in Game 1 yielded 0 points, and a tie in Game 2 yielded 1 point, for a total of 1 point. The intern compared these figures with the official table on, and couldn’t believe his budding young-professional eyes. Clear as day, there on the official table, the K Street Crooks are holding 3 points. A win and a loss are tallied.
Yes, dear readers, it seems the accounting ghosts of Crooks past are with us again. The shady bookkeeping roots of the pink organization are legendary in these parts, and quite frankly, we at El Campo are not surprised at the obvious stat fixing. We’re almost comforted, in fact, by the apparent presence of those long lost Crooks. The Sargent duo, the Hoefs brothers, the elusive Cedarbaum, or the ever-wily former captain Dimbiloglu… whoever is responsible for this latest rec league con surely has the full support of Pink Nation. Onward and upward folks, in any way possible.

Stay tuned to see if the Ghost of Moose returns next week as the Crooks take on FSR Crew at 4pm.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Crooks Steal Silver in Dupont

The final game of the season was a 1-0 stunner, featuring a rare goal by defender/captainess Breznay in the first half. After a classic boot up field, the Crooks looked on as the opposition bobbled the ball in front of their goal and let it roll on into the net. That’s right, an assist on an own-goal. (Folks, you just can’t buy that kind of talent).

So, the final stats are in, and the books are closed. The K Street Crooks have claimed second place in the District Sports Spring 2010 Dupont league with an admirable 6-2 record. First place was claimed by Deportivo Messi who never even had the privilege to play (ahem, lose) against the Crooks.

To wrap up the season, El Campo’s very own in-house statistician ‘Lou’ has come up with a number of interesting facts and figures about the season:
1.Attendance = Wins. It’s no wonder that very few Crooks recall the two losses this season. According to the 2010 data compiled, the Crooks had a 98% chance of winning when more than 4 players showed up.
2.Hair Gel = Goals. Originally considered more of a joke than a legitimate observation, El Campo has in fact concluded that players who used more hair gel than usual – more than 2 globs – scored on average 1.3 more goals than their ungreased teammates.
3.Strangers are Good. For an unprecedented four times this season, the Crooks were forced to beg rival goalkeepers to join their squad. While the idea of having an opponent guarding your own goal isn’t exactly ideal, the move by and large panned out for the Crooks – 3 out of 4 times (Thanks Mom, for telling me not to talk to strangers).
4.The Ref Effect. The attitude of the referee had a significant effect on the outcome of each match. At first it seemed to form a typical direct relationship of how much the ref cared about the game to how well the Crooks performed. This data held fast and true in each match, save the infamous ‘lady-ref-crushing-on-Bill’ match. The Crooks played exceptionally well that afternoon even though the referette could care less about the game behind her. If you recall, handballs and slide tackles fell way beyond her periphery while she focused solely on Bill’s baby-blues and curly locks. Stats from that game completely screwed up our nice, even line graph and therefore El Campo has chosen to remove the data from the system.

Offseason notes: Many of the Crooks will be taking a break this summer to go join in the global search for their long-lost striker Stefan Georg. At last facebook update, nearly 3 months ago, he was getting ready to go out to an underground hippie convention in the Australian bush. There has been no word from him since, and, even more alarmingly, no obscene photos of him have emerged on the internet either. The team is very worried and hopes to find their former teammate sober-ish and in one piece. Pending a successful rescue mission, the team will re-group for the Dupont league again in the Fall.

Monday, June 21, 2010

El Campo, Crooks, Overwhelmed By Hasib Media Blitz

First off, my sincere apologies, dear readers, for the delay in this posting. The media storm surrounding the Crooks match from two weeks ago was so great, that all cable, internet, phone and carrier pigeon lines in and out of El Campo’s offices have been completely tied up until now. This tremendous disruption (in case you’ve been living under a rock), has obviously been due to the extraordinary play of rookie striker Waqar Hasib.
The K Street Crooks were battling Team America that afternoon… a middle-of-the-board team with a bottom-of-the-board goal count. The game started quickly enough, with the Crooks enjoying the bulk of possession over America throughout the first half. Midway through the second half, it became very clear the Crooks were just plain better than America, and it was only a matter of ‘when’ they would strike, not ‘if’. Sure enough, in the 43rd minute, Hasib stepped up. The Crooks’ mighty offense pushed the ball forward, and suddenly popped the ball up in a high cross to midfield. The ball was coming down right into the midst of three giant America defenders, all snapping for the ball at once, when, out of nowhere, our hero of the day sprung up above them all and guided a masterful header like a rocket into the back of the net.
The sold-out crowd went wild. Never before had they seen such power, such brilliant, raw talent displayed on the field. It was breathtaking, magnificent. Hasib was immediately bombarded by the paparazzi, and throngs of Dupont fans threw themselves at him, camera phones in hand.
Post-game interviews with his fellow teammates were equally positive.“Oh he’s going places, for sure,” commented fellow striker Jim “Jimmy” Olsen, “I wouldn’t be surprised if he ditched us for the CPL next year” Olsen added, alluding to the Cardozo Premier League, an elite 7v7 Tuesday night high school gym league, located on the ritzy side of U Street.
Hasib's future was a hot question on many of his stops on the national talk show circuit following the heralded match. No decision has been made yet, but I believe this reporter speaks for many Crooks fans in hoping Hasib remains in the neon pink jersey for many seasons to come.

Stay tuned for a season wrap-up as the Crooks close out their 2010 Dupont campaign.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rookies Shine in Sunday Scorcher

There may be a lot of pink shirts in Dupont Circle, but none were brighter than those of the K Street Crooks this weekend. As the sun blazed down on their neon threads, the Crooks bravely fought their way to a blistering, sweltering, MF-hot 2-1 win.
The goals this week came from two rookies. The first, a rocket from 20 yards out, came off the foot of Andrew Dawson – a close friend and last-minute substitution to the busted up Jimmy Olsen. “I’m no replacement, I’m an upgrade” quipped Dawson. The second goal, the game-winner, was a masterful header late in the second half by the Argentine phenom, Juan Mascheroni. Mascheroni danced circles around the opponent all afternoon, and only decided to score when he “really felt like it.”
With two games to go, the Crooks still have a very good chance to rebound into the top of the standings. Stay tuned for for further updates!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rookie Helps Crooks Rise Above Mere Numbers

In a stunning turn of events, the Crooks defeat (0-2) was overturned by a council of District Sports authorities - proving once again that Providence is on the side of pink warriors. The drama unfolded on the Dupont pitch last Saturday. On a beautiful spring day, the field was dotted with shades of pink and purple…spring flowers you ask? No, the pastel delight was provided by an excellent choice in jersey by District Sports manager Alex Bearman. Although the Crooks did not play to their potential (former crook and soon to be bride Alexis Horn can be blamed for that) squandering many chances to score and leaving an injured goalie to face the purple menace alone, it seems that the Crooks have many more untapped skills outside the pitch on which they can rely.

This tale begins in the off-season. During the winter break, Crook sophomore Jimmy Olsen did some in depth, highly researched recruitment. By this we mean he stumbled in a drunken haze down the hall of his apartment and asked his roommate Bill Gingher “hey you wanna play some soccer?” Little did Mr. Olsen know that his enlistment would have far reaching ramifications.

The game on Sunday was littered with missed calls - hand balls in the box and wrongly called throw ins, just to name a few. Many spectators believed this was the result of an apathetic referee, who had better things to do than stand around all day watching mediocre yuppies kick the ball around. They could not have been more wrong, her calls were not the result of incompetence but rather, love. From the first “goalie are you ready” it was amour – as she stared into Gingher’s baby blues, made ever so vibrant by the background of pink, she realized she had found “the one.” The resulting gazes of admiration left many calls unmade. Not even the jeers of numerous crooks fans could re-focus the smitten referee.

Crooks defender, and astute observer of randy glances, Joanne Breznay was first to notice the ref’s fascination. After she informed Bill of his power over the fairer sex, he really turned on the charm, asking the ref to take a stroll with him along the alleyways of Dupont field. Now, this reporter cannot say for certain what happened in those bum-lined, trash-filled haunts but, based on the outcome of the game we can all guess what went on. Upon return, the referee came up with some half-baked story about the other team’s inability to field a team or something like that. As a result, and despite the numbers, the Crooks were able to record the win. Such shameless favoritism speaks volumes of the new recruits “soccer talents.” When asked to comment later about the reversal Mr. Gingher choose to speak through a representative “my client adamantly denies using his sexual prowess to influence the outcome of the game, the Crooks win was indicative of league rules and nothing else…but anytime district sports wants to use a lady-ref is just fine by him.”

While a win is a win, this reporter and the legions of pink army fans out there hope that next week can provide a more traditional win.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Slawinski is Hat-Trick-Tastic in Crooks Win

On an unseasonably hot-as-balls day in our nation’s capital, the K Street Crooks arrived at Stead Park Sunday with the hopes of extending their winning streak to a whopping ‘3’. The odds were well stacked against them- the early morning start time left much of the team in a sleepy haze and hungover stupor. Others fared even worse. Rookie striker Gingher ran out of his favorite hair gel that morning, leaving his curly locks in an absolute tizzy; defender Lovell was painfully reevaluating her decision to eat a chocolate cake for breakfast; and striker Pfeil, the scoring phenom from seasons past, got lost on his way to the field and was reportedly wandering the streets of DC asking passersby if they’d seen any ‘pink ballers’ around.

Shut down for much of the game by one superstar opponent and his cronies, and down 2-0 at the half, the prospects of a third Crooks win were looking rather bleak. The Crooks were going to need some serious heroics to get that big, shiny W.

Thankfully, the Crooks never give up, err, don’t give up easily. In a brilliant display of courage and skill, rookie striker Slawinski stepped up when it mattered most, lifting the fading Crooks onto his shoulders, and delivering three magnificent goals, securing a third win. “Enjoy it while you can El Campo.. I’ve already gotten calls from some of the more elite rec leagues in Virginia. I’m movin’ up,” Slawinski said after the match.

Stay tuned next week as our forever pink warriors take on Covington United at 1pm. Go Pink!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Streaking Crooks

Two games into the Spring 2010 campaign, the K Street Crooks are riding high atop the District Sports tables with a 2-0 record. Sitting pretty with upwards of 264 goals for, and just a measly 1 goal against (a total fluke, by the way), the Crooks, it seems, have returned to their glory days.
The back-to-back victories can be attributed to many things – agile and inventive offense, rock-solid defense, a simply magical guest goalie names Wes. But, without question, the greatest ingredient in this year’s Crook stew is the return of the most sacred Crooks icon. No, we are not referring to Warren Doyle, the masterful striker, or Tony Pappas’s infamous sideline glares (two things we have undoubtedly been missing)- but rather this is something more fundamental. The game changer this season, dear readers, is the mighty pink jersey. Yes, the pink is back. And more vivid and dashing than ever. “You can’t help but feel like a total badass in these jerseys” rookie forward Hasib said. “Chaos has been restored, and all is right in the world again. This is how soccer was meant to be played” a starry-eyed Ferguson added.
So Crooks fans, hide those dreadful orange kits from seasons past in a dark place and break out the pink! This season promises to be one of the best yet.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Crooks Debut on National Stage

This past weekend, the K Street Crooks competed in the 5th annual Cherry Blossom Soccer Tournament (CBST), held on the National Mall. After 5 months away from the pitch, the Crooks battled their way through 3 grueling matches Saturday, pulling every muscle in their bodies, and posting a shocking 0-3-0 record. What could have caused ‘the pride of Petworth’ to fall three times? How could the ‘Capitol Hill league champs’ not land a single W? Could it have been the 5 months off and no stretching? Doubtful. Or maybe the 2-hour beer run between games 2 and 3? Impossible. El Campo were determined to find the explanation.

Now, it is common knowledge that the CBST is set up “World Cup style” – 32 teams starting in round robin group-play, followed by multiple elimination rounds until a winner is crowned. Beyond the play format though, our formerly-pink-but-now-orange tournament rookies were unaware of just how ‘World Cup style’ this tournament really was. Searching merely for reasons to explain the lopsided results, El Campo's investigation uncovered the wicked truth about the other teams: 23 of the other 31 teams were actually premier national teams headed to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Under the guise of such kitschy team names as “Hello Kitty!!” (Korea DPR), “Ron Burgundy” (France), “Sparkle Motion” (Spain) and “That’s What She Said” (England), it seems the likes of Ronaldo, Kaka and Messi were just having a bit of a tune-up before the big show in South Africa. An anonymous premier player from team “AC D.C.” (Australia) had this to say: “We’ve got a very busy and stressful pre-World Cup schedule, and the [CBST] just gives us a chance to relax and really do what we love to do – beat the snot out of DC area rec league teams."

So, there you have it. All things reconsidered, the Crooks actually fared quite well at this weekend “rec” tournament and they should be very proud of themselves – they fought some of the most gifted footballers on the planet, and lived to tell the tale.

Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming Spring season, where the Crooks try to dominate yet another DC neighborhood – Dupont Circle!