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Last night something happened that no one thought possible. Ok, maybe a couple of people thought there was a chance.
While not as long lasting as the Curse of the Billy Goat or the Curse of the Bambino, the Curse of Giovanni Crotti was starting to cause nightmares.
Giovanni Crotti has been playing adult league dodgeball longer than most in Sacramento, having participated in leagues in Portland, Oregon prior to XOSO's beginning in Sacramento. As XOSO has grown from 50 dodgeballers to hundreds, Giovanni has maintained his hold as one of the top players in the league, yet a championship title remained illusive.
Giovanni was rivaling Jim Kelly with a streak of playing in five championship games, and losing them all, the most recent of which was two days ago in the Wednesday night league. After creating an all-star roster in the Wednesday dodgeball league, many thought it was Gio's team's title for the taking, and the team did it's best to bring Gio his first title, to no avail. Many thought the curse was just too powerful to be overcome.
Little did they know, the curse was to be lifted the very next evening, at the site of many of his previous failures. Last night, Kwiturbichen triumphed multiple times to squeeze into the title game, and WON IT ALL!
This story is not all about Giovanni. There were plenty of amazing matches last night, by every team in the playoffs.
In the first round, The Spread Eagles, who had stormed through the regular season, regularly triumphing by more than a ten game spread, had their hands full with Axis of Awesome. In fact, they beat Axis of Awesome by more than ten games just a few weeks ago. But last night magic was in the air. Axis of Awesome took an early 3-0 lead, only to see The Spread Eagles battle back to tie it as time expired, forcing a final overtime game to decide which team would move on. Even the final game came down to the end, with The Spread Eagles winning.
The other first round matchup between Hot Dogs and Tacos vs. The Ball Gobblers was just as intense, featuring momentum changing swings and a tight finish, with the Hot Dogs and Tacos prevailing.
The semi-finals featured The Spread Eagles vs. OMG Steve Has a Brother. OMG Steve Has a Brother had earned a first round bye, and was well rested. The Spread Eagles were coming off an emotional first round comeback. Who would move on to the title game? The Spread Eagles, by a score of 6-4.
Kwiturbichen, the #1 seed in the tournament, had been waiting for the chance to end Gio's curse, and to send off Josh and Kellee. Josh and Kellee have also been on fantastic teams over the past year, and are moving to Sweden in a week for two long dodgeball free years. The team wanted nothing more than to send them off with a championship in their final game, showing their support with face and body point symbolizing the Swedish flag.
Kwiturbichen took the early lead and went up 3-1, then 4-2. The final game was won by the Hot Dogs and Tacos but it wasn't enough to tie the match and force overtime. Final score: 4-3
The title match featured some great rivalries. Josh and Kellee have played on a team with two of The Spread Eagles in the Wednesday night league for the past year. Which portion of the Out Like a Fat Kid team would win? In the end, there was no doubt. Kwiturbichen won the title 4-1 with dominating catches and performances by the entire team. In the Spread Eagles furious quest to come back, they got Kwiturbichen down to one player, Giovanni, only to see him sink a clutch Ollie Shot, bringing his team back into the game. Not to be phased, the Spread Eagles proceeded to knock 7 of the 8 Kwiturbichen right back off the court, in under 30 seconds, leaving Chris Dalangin to help seal the title for his team. In his first shot, he sank the Ollie, bringing his team back in and in the end, clinching the match.
Congratulations on a great season to Kwiturbichen, the entire Thursday night dodgeball league, all the fantastic playoff teams, Giovanni for breaking the curse, and Josh and Kellee for winning your last dodgeball match before your adventure.
Thanks to everyone playing last night for keeping tempers in check and being great teams to ref. It makes the league a great place to meet other people and have fun!