Kevin: Nick Wood, you are now on the The Sea Dog Old Gollywobbler Brown Ale Hot Seat.
Nick: Thanks K-San, I'm as nervous about this as Steve Irwin swimming with the devil rays.
Kevin: It is well documented that if you were awarded a YFFL team you would name it the "Woodpeckers". If you had the opportunity to own a second team, what would you call it?
Nick: Being realistic and looking at the current setup of the league, if the opportunity did occur, and I was able to take on a franchise, it would be unlikely that a second franchise would follow. As for a second name though, I would try to keep that name under wraps as to keep those whose current names are heavily scrutinized for their racist connotations as they may look to 'steal' the name for their ball club. Some to consider though:
- Sligo Roadies - The road I grew up on in Y-town; I'm pretty sure everyone knew that. Gotta reach out to the roots...
- Madbury '86ers - The road I lived on my junior and senior years in college. '86 was a term used in college to not let in the ugly girls when we worked the door at the campus bar Libby's. (Sort of like the restaurant term, but just for running ugly girls out instead of running out of a food.) Plus, '86 was not a bad year for New England Sports.
- Jackondarocks - Would be all one word. Favorite hard booze that I usually have three to six glasses of per night, to calm the nerves after work, Donna Jamison-style.
Kevin: Can you explain how AAA Oakwoods had arguably the best neighborhood baseball team despite only having one true baseball player on the roster?
Nick: Three solid reasons: Two of them obvious, the third is not as obvious.
- AAA Oakwoods had the major home field advantage. The team was able to play intersquad scrimmages on their own field and take extra batting practice. What could be a better way to know the true bounce off of the Vose's shutters or mailbox than repetition through practice? This home field advantage was more important than natural baseball skill. A great deal can be said for having the ability, in between innings, to get a grilled cheese sandwich or snack-pack from home.
- AAA Oakwoods was a "team" without egos and expectations. Not to take away from Bottoms Up, who was by far the next closest "true team," but it's easy to see that the other teams were in a more difficult situation as they had conflicting egos to deal with on top of the pressure that comes with being expected to win. Being the only "true baseball player" on the roster (and Kevin, I would think that Brendan Shank would strongly disagree with that statement) Bobby was able to make the lineup however he thought best, without having to argue his approach or heal a bruised ego for batting someone low in the order. Oakwoods also played themselves to be the constant underdogs, making each win appear to be the biggest upset in the world, forcing us to remember each and every play in their victories, and when they lost, those games were easily forgotten as the other team was, in their eyes, only "supposed" to win.
- This style of sandlot baseball played directly into their skill set. The team had many individuals who, when the pitch speed was slowed down enough, really thrived in the situation. The game was played more like slow pitch softball than anything else. It's a known fact that slow pitch softball is a totally different game than baseball itself. Your swing is different, fielding alignment is different, and general approach to the game is different. Let's face it, many of the participants on the Oakwoods ball club were perfectly suited for the slow pitch game. The DiRobbio twins for example, were monsters at the plate on Oakwood Circle, but the ever increasing pitch speeds of organized baseball moved them to focus on other spring varsity sports such as track and field and the one-act drama productions.
Kevin: We have a saying in the YFFL - the coyote of the desert likes to eat the heart of the young and the blood drips down to his children for breakfast, lunch and dinner and only the ribs will be broken. What does this mean to you?
Nick: This saying originates with the Kinsman brothers and Joey Ricchio. I believe that he was offered the chance, back when the league originated, to participate in the league and he declined because of prior commitments to Liam Paskivan and the Cheverus High School Stags. Joe still passed on the knowledge of the true beast, one who would throw a cat in the air and watch it spazz out for pure enjoyment (AKA Kitty Olympics) and the beast who would never hesitate to talk back to Big Joe in the Blazah. It was this killer instinct that Jon and Mike grew to know well and it now flows like the blood of Travis Strout through the entire league.
Kevin: As you may or may not know, YHS is in an exploratory phase for a football program. Let's go back to your senior year ('97-'98). If a program had been in place during this time, what YHS athletes would have filled each position? Please list as many positions as you can think of, including kicker and cheerleaders.
Nick: Kevin, I am well aware of the YHS expanding its selection of high school sports. The team actually had a relatively successful junior varsity campaign last season and I'm sure its doing the same this season. Soccer is going to be hard for the program to pull kids away from initially, but if this situation came about when I was in high school, I would not have even thought twice about joining the football team as I would have been one of the first to cross over to play football once it became a varsity sport. Now, that being said, if the Clippers had a team back when we were in high school, it may have looked something like this: (This is assuming no one hurt themselves before their senior season (DiRobbio twins) and no one played both ways) Spelling is probably going to be poor as well because I don't have a yearbook anymore as my mom tossed it accidentally when they turned my room into a guest room.
|Free Safety||So.||Brad Coffey|
|Free Safety||Jr.||Kurt Willette|
|Linebacker||Sr.||Harry Gold||(Backups: Nick Rich, Sean Higgins)|
|D-Lineman||Sr.||Andy Kitteridge||(Backup: Nick Pires)|
|D-Lineman||Sr.||Chad Nickerson||(Eligibility Backup: Steve Dugas)|
|Quarterback||Sr.||Nick Wood||(Backup: Mike Kinsman)|
|Runningback||Jr.||Sean LaBrie||(Backup: Brett Wilson)|
|Fullback||Sr.||Obie Spear||(3rd Down Back: Anthony Aceto)|
|Wide Receiver||Sr.||Glenn Gorden||(Backups: Nick Keljgaard, Scott Landry)|
|Wide Receiver||Jr.||Nate Dunlap||(3 Wide Receiver Sets: Jared Connell)|
|Tight End||Sr.||Ben Adams/Jon Kinsman||(Two Tight End Sets)|
|O-Lineman||Sr.||Chris DiRobbio||(Backup: Steve Dugas)|
|O-Lineman||Sr.||Andy Finch||(Backup: Ben Harder)|
|Center||Sr.||Ryan Gibbons||(Backup: Jason Aarons)|
|O-Lineman||Jr.||Anthony Asher||(Backup: Jeremiah Chase)|
|O-Lineman||Sr/Jr.||Pat Dorney||(If Academically Eligible)|
|Return Man||Fr.||Thad Rusinek|
|Return Man||Jr.||Brett Wilson|
|Stat Guy||Jr.||Kevin Sansone|
|Sr.||Kate Barker (Capt)|
|Sr.||Bethany Haynes (Capt)|
Fall 1997 Schedule
Game 1: Clippers 22 - York Wildcats 8
Game 2: Clippers 48 – Lake Region 12
Game 3: Clippers 29 – Wells Warriors 20
Game 4: Clippers 56 – OOB Seagulls 6
Game 5: Mountain Valley 34 – Clippers 31
Game 6: Clippers 17 – Gardiner 10
Game 7: Clippers 20 – Leavitt 14
Game 8: Clippers 49 – Oak Hill 26
Pine Tree Playoff Bracket
Quarterfinals - Clippers (BYE)
Semifinals - Clippers 29, York 16
Western Maine Final - Clippers 33, Mountain Valley 24
Class 'B' State Final - Clippers 27, Brewer 19
Kevin: Last week on the Hot Seat, Mike said that Ryan Delaney should be the next YFFL owner. Without using the letter "e", explain why he is wrong.
Nick: Thanks K-San for this difficult question, I have bad grammar to start.
This will sound almost Indian: Nick in YFFL, a good addition to boost fun for all, Ryan not as good. I will work hard to push my club to top. My club will swap position good if a solid fit is found. Ryan could run his club and things would run normally, but I will bring YFFL to high places Ryan could not. I will solidify rivalry with many clubs. It is up to you YFFL, to bring the right man to the group.
Kevin: If you had a cage match with Delaney, who would win?
Nick: Depends on if weapons are allowed. For example, if we were only allowed to bring weapons from the sports we played in high school, this would not be a close match as my longer reach with a baseball bat (34 inches, 32 ounces) vs. Delaney's hockey stick, would give me a major advantage. Ryan's stick would also most likely break first, leaving me with the upper hand. Also, I would have a great advantage if he had to wear skates in the ring as I would only have to knock him over once and he would have a hard time getting up - yet another major advantage in my favor. That is, as long as he did not blade me and the ring was not coated with ice.
Kevin: Do you follow the YFFL Draft live as it happens on the website?
Nick: Do I follow the YFFL draft live as it happens? Fuck-No. I may not have much of a life now that I am married, but I am not that dull to follow someone else's draft that I am not included in. I do however, check out the trash talk and other comments made about the draft via the articles and preseason team reviews that Jon and Bobby write. I'd say, as a non participant, I still check out the website once a week to see who made fun of Steve.
Kevin: You and I are both married to women who grew up in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Explain to the readers what that is like.
Nick: Well, Kevin, we must first answer the question of how'd we decide to get married. I think I have a good idea as to what the answer is. It most likely has to do with the water down here in southwestern Connecticut. In Maine, we are not used to city water. In fact, Yarmouth was once voted the cleanest water in Maine, so purity is something we are accustomed to. On the other hand, in Fairfield County there are a great deal of chemicals in the water that we are not used to and that most likely had an impact on our judgment, forcing us to cash our chips in earlier than expected. Even though it is too late, I recommend combating cloudy judgment with three to six glasses of hard booze a night as it neutralizes the impact the water has.
That being said, we are both fortunate enough to not have been around a gay biker bar at the time of cloudy judgment from the city water, because if that was the case, we both might be in totally different situations at this point in time. Luckily enough, we happened to be around two individuals who actually care about us, are females, and who let us enjoy participating in fantasys that don't include them. For that, I think we are extremely fortunate and should count our blessings.
As far as what it's like to be married to a girl from Fairfield County, Connecticut, let us cover the stereotypes to help explain things as they are all true and pertain directly to us. First off, we did not marry the individual girl, we married her Daddy's wallet. It has taken some time to get used to driving around in Volvo station wagons, working with a personal trainer, and attending tennis lessons three days a week, but I think we have done a good job adjusting. We both are looking forward to having 2.5 kids, taking 3.8 vacations to Palm Springs each year, and joining the local country clubs just like our new friends Buffy and Skip. We do though, have a number of worries in front of us such as figuring out what top notch nursery school, prep school, and Ivy League school to send our future kids Trevor, Amber, and Thatcher to. Other than that, its just like being married to a girl from Maine.
Kevin: If you were granted your own YFFL team, would you prefer to take over an existing team such as the Llamas or Mallards, or would you rather start your own team from scratch?
Nick: I would say that looking at the current set-up of the league, it would be the easiest transition for everyone in the league if I was to take over a failing franchise. I would look to change more than just the team's name, logo, and groupies, I would instill a winning attitude that was not currently there. This would mean that drastic lineup changes may be necessary, with possible trades proposed, as I am willing to do what is needed to revitalize the franchise.
I am sure that Bobby will do a better job outlining this in his final installment of Simms of Change, but here are two possible ways to do this:
- This would most likely be the easy approach and less invasive to everyone. This would be for me to, like I said above, simply just take over the reigns of a failing franchise from someone. This would reduce the number of franchises owned for one current owner down to a single team, but may provide the spark that is needed to the league as a whole. One owner would need to make the sacrifice of all sacrifices, be the pioneer of transition, and step forward to create positive change.
- Have every owner only run one team, give four of the existing lowest-rung franchises to four new owners, take the remaining four teams and place them into a pool which will be run like an expansion draft, but in a different manner, having the expansion draft order determined by the order of tenure in the league, no snake draft style. This would insure that the elder statesmen of the league, who have worked hard to bring their franchises to glory, would get the top players in the draft and the newest owners would have to work harder, over a longer period of time, to bring their franchises up. Let's face it, the current owners have worked hard for a number of years and no head start should be given to the newest owners.
Kevin: What is Chris Roberts up to these days?
Nick: Well, we do a great job keeping in touch. He is currently living in Silver Spring, Maryland. He asked me to be in his wedding, but I was unable to attend because it was on the exact same day as mine (July 23rd, 2005). The wedding was in Ohio, where I believe that Jared Moore was in attendance. Bridget, his wife, is a lovely young lady. She is the first girl I have been able to see past the wheelchair and really get to know her as a person. Chris has been working for the Federal Government as a test subject for their reaction to nuclear waste project. He said to pass on the following quote: "I hope the class of '98 is finding all the success it deserves. Drop me a line sometime. – C"
Kevin: Nick Wood, you are off The Sea Dog Old Gollywobbler Brown Ale Hot Seat.
Nick: Thanks, K-San.