The Eighth Page

The Backyard Sports Kids

PABLO SANCHEZ Pablo “Secret Weapon” Sanchez was once the undeniable MVP of the Backyard Baseball, Soccer, Football and any other fictional sports league endorsed by Humongous Entertainment. But the secret’s out: Sanchez is now homeless. Having never mastered English, Pablo dropped out of grade school and spent a few years juicing with some stuff he scored from teammate Reese Worthington. While the doping revelation came as a shock to sports commentator Vinnie the Gooch, the rest of the Backyard community was not surprised. How else could such a small kid have had such solid stats in every single area? Sanchez is currently working on a way to smuggle his relatives over the U.S. border. “I figure it can’t be too hard. I mean, I’ve gotten my share of baseballs over the fence. Why can’t I do the same with my 17 brothers and sisters?” Keisha Phillips Keisha Phillips is currently checked into the New York City hospital due to complications of morbid obesity. “When I was younger, I thought if I made a few self-deprecating jokes it would all go away, but things only got worse. People said ‘Keisha, we love you! You’ve got great power in the open stance, all because you can put some weight behind the ball!’ And I listened, because I was a star. I gave people sass. I was large and in charge. I was the success story. I had been brought up from the streets, and I was going in the first three rounds of almost every Pick ‘Em. But I let it go to my head. Now look at me — I’ve got 1/16 of a working kidney and a severe case of glaucoma. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a very large woman, which is what I am, let’s face it.” dmitri petrovich Dmitri Petrovich has come a long way since his time spent in the Backyard Leagues. Infamous for his calculative strategies and worn-out pocket protector, Dmitri was a threat both on the field and in the classroom. He had a knack for inventing new types of gadgetry, usually assisted by his loving dad. However, ever since his dad went to the grocer that fateful night and never came back, Dmitri has never been quite the same. “It’s been tough living alone. The milk. It curdles. But I drink it anyway. You know I was #1 in my class at Princeton? You hear that, Dad? #1! Just for you, pops. I haven’t slept in three weeks. I’ve just been doing physics problems by myself. They’re the only things that can dry my tears. Sometimes, when I’m deriving a formula, I forget how sad I really am.” Ernie Steele Taken from Steele’s blog, Angst: Ernie Unleashed “Okay, so I hit puberty a little earlier than the rest of the guys, and all of a sudden I’m this unmanageably lanky goofball who doesn’t even have home run power? You would think with legs that come up to my shoulders I might be pretty quick on the base paths, right? Wrong. I don’t think there’s a more frustrating feeling in the world than watching me awkwardly amble over towards a fly ball and then watch it fall harmlessly to the ground. Were Da Vinci’s proportions even vaguely consulted during my construction? I’m 35 years old and I feel like a third of my life has been spent responding affably to the question ‘how’s the weather up there’? If the ridiculous shape of my body didn’t make me so easy to topple over, I would beat you senseless.” Amir & Achmed Khan Known for being the musically-inclined athletes of the neighborhood, Amir and Achmed Khan now sport full bushy beards and turbans to match. Tired of being stopped at airport security, the brothers co-founded “The Tali-Band,” an indie rock group. Their band broke out onto the scene with their hit single “HYAAAH! MUHAMMAD!” Topping the Middle Eastern charts, the Khans’ genre of music never seemed to catch on with American audiences. Since, Amir and Achmed have gone their separate ways after an argument over who was more radical. Achmed now writes letters of complaint to airlines in his free time. “They are so ignorant! I am always the one searched. Always the one they pat down. And it’s not like it’s comfortable! They touch all over. It’s humiliating. I demand free miles as compensation!” Pete Wheeler Pete “Wheelie” Wheeler has always had quick legs and a slow mind. Wheelie never seemed to run out of energy as a kid and continues to maintain his stamina to this day. Some say he’s running away from his deep-seated family problems. Others say he’s running after some common sense. “I don’t know why I run so much. I like it. I just run. Lotsa times I run into things, and then I hafta back up and turn around and run in a different direction. I started running down my hallway. I got to the end and thought I should run some laps around the Backyard Kids’ Clubhouse. I did that a buncha times and then thought I should run to the mall. I even ran all the way to Wall E. Weasel’s. Then I thought maybe I’d run for office. Now looky here. I’m a senator of Alabama, and I’m runnin’ this state. That’s what I do. Run.“