What if Other Sports Were Like Dodgeball?:
Familiar Quotes, Constantly.
Having played dodgeball competitively for over a decade, I can attest to the following phrases being some of the most overused and over-associated with the sport I love: “Oh like the movie?”, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”, “So you hang out with Patches?”, and “STEVE THE PIRATE, ARGGGG!”. All the fun of the sport is immediately dissipated when these idioms emerge.
While I did thoroughly enjoy the 2004 movie as much as anyone else, the repetition of misunderstanding and assumed amusement associated with being able to quote a film loosely based on an activity I partake in has gotten a tad tiresome. Driving home from work the other day, I started thinking, what if other sports were like dodgeball? When someone says they are a baseball player, is the appropriate response to stare hypnotically into their eyes, lean in closely, and whisper in their ear, “If you build it, he will come”? Perhaps a more suiting option would be to start singing Wild Thing as loudly as I can, or slowly flap my arms up and down as if I were some sort of supernatural spirit, encouraging all whom are around me to silently join. This does not happen with other sports because it would be absurd and embarrassing, but for whatever reason with dodgeball, this seems to be the cultural norm. Someone mentions playing dodgeball? Better pull out a quote from a movie and gaze into the disapproving eyes of the athlete until they are uncomfortable enough to smirk and relay some sort of affirmation into my sad existence. But, I digress.
Football has become an American cornerstone. The prevalence of Fantasy Leagues and competitive gaming has allowed this sport to reach the pinnacle of popularity in our society and shows no signs of slowing. However, when a young person mentions they have interest in trying out for their high school team, I would hope they are not met with a “We are Marshall!” chant, or being asked if they are going to try and work their hardest for four years only to not have the physical stature to actually play in any games until your team threatens the coach with a symbolic strike so you can get two tackles at the end of a game that does not matter. Not only would we look at a moron asking if we can recall some Titans with shame, but it would be highly inappropriate and completely out of context 90% of the time. Dodgeball does not share the same popularity or exposure as football, so I imagine that is why people find it satisfactory to reference the one piece of pop culture about the subject. Maybe it is because we are in a hipster-esque time period where alluding to something seemingly unpopular is thought to reap benefits of sorts. It might be actually a result of good intentions to create a real human connection with someone in order to further develop a relationship. The cause is unbeknownst to me. I just wish it would stop.
It is my hope now that everyone reading this reciprocates the taunts of “Do you play for Average Joe’s or Globo Gym?” and “Ball me, Blazer” with popular lines/mentions of motion pictures about the other’s sport of choice to show the ridiculousness of it all. When someone says they like to play basketball it should only be right you ask if Air Bud is on their team or if We’re All In This Together. A hockey player should be greeted with constant quacking and soccer players can expect a sixteen second, “GOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL” because lord knows an “Ouch-town; population: you, bro” is in the chambers and ready to be fired from their eager mouths. So before you spray Ralph Lauren cologne in the face of the next polo player you meet, be sure to expect quotes from Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story because this beast will not stop. At least, not until the anticipated sequel graces our theaters, to which point we will have a whole new set of annoying quotes to shake our heads at.
I wrote this as a satirical piece so I hope I did not offend anyone. It is just my way of having some fun with words.