The second half of 2006 was the lowest point in my life. The only thing that l kept me going was a silly idea. I created a logo, made some business cards, bought a domain name and devoted every free minute to building Memphis Dodgeball. In January 2007, all the money and time I spent resulted in the first season consisting of 136 players on 14 teams. It was a messy, rough, loud season… but it was a whole lot of fun.
Seasons blew by, one after another, with sometimes only one week off between them. Teams came and went, but we never had below 12 teams for the first 3 years. Moving to the Mason YMCA, with its location across from RP Tracks, was the first step toward what I will always love and remember about my league: players became friends and some became family.
Looking out at the games last night, it was hard to believe there was not a single person there I knew before dodgeball. I will always be proud of the relationships that Memphis Dodgeball enabled through the years: a couple of marriages between players, a few kids and a lot of lasting friendships are a great consolation and something I never envisioned when I started.
For the past couple of years, Memphis Dodgeball has been on life support; kept alive only to keep these people in my life. It has cost me a tremendous amount of money to keep it going, but I felt I had to do it. Given the most recent series of open plays, I came to the conclusion that just because the party is over, it’s not the end.
That said, Memphis Dodgeball is officially over as a league.
What I’d like to propose is a monthly dodgeball night. One Thursday a month, I’d like to host an open play for $5-10/person depending on turnout. We can run a little tournament, use it as practice for a regional tournament, or just throw around. If that’s acceptable to you, let me know. If participation in the monthly events no longer dictates the need to continue, we’ll just end it completely. we’ll just end it all.
Memphis Dodgeball will participate in the Beale Street St. Patrick’s Day Parade as long as they’ll have us. The next one is March 12th at 3pm with a pre-party starting at noon at my house. If charities like the YMCA want me/us to help with their tournaments, I may call on some of you in the future.
Thanks for eight great years. Without you (and maybe Rachael), I would not have made it.