Bad at Sports
Bad At Sports is a weekly podcast about contemporary art. Founded in 2005, focuses on presenting the practices of artists, curators, critics, dealers, various other arts professionals through an online audio format.
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Megin Wardle didn’t plan to play kickball last Saturday. All she was going to do was cheer for the West Town Banditos in the inaugural ArtLeague Kickball Tournament.

"I am so bad I would make you cry," said Wardle. But when the Banditos needed another player, they called on Wardle, who played two games in a blue cheerleading skirt.

Organized by Caroline Picard, the volunteer coordinator at ThreeWalls gallery in the West Loop, the tournament was originally intended to bring together different neighborhoods with discrete art scenes.

"Everybody here has something to do with the arts," said Picard.

The tournament kicked off exactly at 1:13 p.m., with the West Town Banditos kicking against the Mullet Heads, who jumped to a quick lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a three-run homer by abstract painter Nevin Tomlinson and a grand slam by sound artist Philip Von Zweck. Sadly, the Banditos couldn’t recover, eventually losing 9-1.

"We had a bad first inning and that was it," said Elanor Leskiw, a trombonist for the Astounding Punk Rock Circus marching band, of the Banditos’ defeat. "We’re just hoping to walk away the biggest losers," added Leskiw’s teammate, Cynthia Castiglione.

Game two was dominated by the Record Players, who outdistanced the Flying Pigs 8-4, advancing to the championship round against the Mullet Heads.

"I don’t see a challenge, honestly," said ThreeWalls Executive Director Jonathan Rhodes of the Record Players after the game. The West Town Banditos dominated the third-round game, but fell apart in the fourth and fifth innings, eventually losing to the Flying Pigs 11-5.

"We just fell apart, basically," said Castiglione, and actress. "We’re proud being the biggest losers."

The championship round started as a defensive battle. The Record Players held the Mullet Heads scoreless through three innings until the bottom of the fourth. The bottom of the fifth was the last chance for the Mullet Heads. With one out, Brian Taylor, who was too hungover to make the first game, singled. But line-outs by David Roman and Von Zweck gave the Record Players the title.

"It was a really good experience," said the Record Players’ Britton Bertran, curator for Gallery 40000 in West Town, who said the secret to the victory was "finesse and the play of one Mr. Jason Smith," who made several impressive catches in the outfield.

Taylor thinks that next year, he’ll better prepare for the tournament so he doesn’t miss a game.

"I think instead of the beer and margaritas, I’ll just have a lot of vitamin water and coffee," Taylor said.

The Mullet Heads, despite the loss, seemed in good spirits after the game.

"We kept it in there," said Roman. "It’s fun. It’s the only time I’ll get a tan in the summer, right?"

Category:Art Events! -- posted at: 8:05am EDT