AZ Dodgeball: A true underdog story thatâ€™s still beating the odds
By Clay McNear
I solemnly swear not to mention Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story during the writing of this piece.
Starting . . . now.
When describing an adult-dodgeball affair, itâ€™s de rigueur to reference the 2004 flick. I mean, come on. But if AZ Dodgeball founder Sam Pewitt wants to play coy (the Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller smash isnâ€™t noted once on AZ Dodgeball), weâ€™ll play along.
Pewitt told New Times he formed the league because d-ball wasnâ€™t officially represented here in Arizona, but was popular in his home state of Washington. He garnered a lot of press during the inaugural season of 2006, â€™cause his tale had a couple of irresistible hooks: 1) competition is held in the gym at Phoenixâ€™s Army National Guard Armory; and 2) adult-dodgeball fever was then sweeping the nation in light of the still-recent release of The Movie Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned.
Well, the first blush of romance has long fadedâ€“the pressâ€™s with the novelty of grownups pelting each other with large crimson spheres, the moviegoing publicâ€™s with a four-year-old movie â€“ but Pewittâ€™s league thrives. Go figure.
A new season starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at the Armory, 1335 North 52nd Street, and continues on Thursdays and Tuesdays for 11 weeks. Thatâ€™s a long haul and a lot of whizzing red balls, but bet the mortgage on last seasonâ€™s champs to repeat. Why? The Wild Turkeysâ€“the East Germans of AZ Dodgeball â€“ compiled a 10-0 record and stomped the snot out their closest competitors in total points.
So, class, what kind of story will it be if some other team trounces the Turkeys? You know -- the slingshot and the giant? The defenders of the Alamo? The cartoon dog with the cape? Anyone?
Okay, well, youâ€™re on your own. Iâ€™ve taken an oath.