The Worce: Within All of Us? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lukas Pederson   
Tuesday, 14 July 2009 05:00
7/14/09 by Lukas Pederson
The Worce: Within All Of Us?

As the 2009 KWL regular season approaches its conclusion, every pitch becomes infinitely more important than the last; each at-bat transforms from an inconsequential statistical moment into a fulcrum on which a team’s playoff life may teeter in the balance. Each out could be the difference between combing Tom Selleck’s glorious

flowing mustache or continuing the treacherous but rewarding road to the legendary Township Series. And so, as teams and individuals realize this glaring truth, they’ll try anything that might work to gain that sought-after advantage that will push them over the edge.

Often times, despite all powers of logic and reason, players lean on what some might refer to as superstition to get them this edge they seek. On the other hand, according to some, superstition has nothing to do with it. Some players insist that unobservable forces of the KWL universe are very real; they’ll go so far as to justify its existence with statistics and personal accounts of it’s power. Belly Itchers’ star Adam Bontrager has named this universal power; he calls it “The Worce.”

“You know, it’s like The Force, but I cleverly replaced the ‘F’ with the ‘W’ from ‘wiffle.’ The Worce is within all of us; you just have to learn how to channel it,” explains Bontrager. (Young Adam pictured at left, learning the Worse).

Well, channel it he does, as he leads the NL in all three triple crown categories. Not to mention his NL leading 6 wins as a pitcher. “Channeling The Worce is different for everyone,” says Bontrager. “For me, I’ve found that if I wear the same pair of tightie whities for at least three days prior to game day, my batting numbers significantly increase.” As I looked at the numbers, I saw that Bontrager might be on to something. Last season, with fresh undergarments ironed and set out by his Aunt Tillie before each game, he bat .370. A respectable average, certainly, but that’s nothing compared to his current NL-leading .443 average (all at-bats with 3-day-old briefs).

The supporting evidence doesn’t stop there, though. Monday Night 40s slugger Mason Everett has found another way of channeling The Worce. He explained to me the routine he completes before each at-bat. “I like to count up from 8 to 17 three times, followed by a silent recitation of the lyrics to my favorite song.” Mason declined to comment on his favorite song. I happen to know from a prior conversation, though, that it is Beyonce’s hit single “Single Ladies,” also a favorite of mine. Needless to say, all this has led to Mason being a leading candidate for the 2009 KWL NL Rookie of the Year.

Snowsuit and the Icy Road fielding extraordinaire Johnny Blue-jeans has a bit of a different thought on The Worce. “Despite what some believe,” says JBJ, “The Worce is definitely NOT within ALL of us. It actually seems that The Worce stays as far away from my fiancé as possible.” Statistically, it seems that JB may be right. When she is present, SIR’s team batting average is an abysmal .118. It doesn’t stop there, either. The team ERA balloons to 9.98 with her in attendance.

As always, though, there are those who believe that The Worce is nothing more than the rantings of the overly-superstitious. League co-commissioner Mike Raber has been around the KWL block, to say the least, and he maintains that the only things that will give a player the edge they need are good old-fashioned steroids. “You don’t have to believe in PEDs,” he says. “I’m here to tell you that they are physically observable and 100% real.” Raber, one of the few vocal proponents of pokes in the butt (with a needle, folks), goes further to say,

“You guys can do all the ridiculous panty-wearing and poetry reading you want, but I’m sticking with the scientifically-proven methods.”

Still, it is rumored around the league that Raber sleeps with his 13-year-old little league jersey under his pillow on pre-game nights and wears golden wingtips in the outfield when no one is looking. “That is homage to one of the early wiffle greats, Wiffle McWiffleson! It has nothing to do with anything as ridiculous as The Worce!” insists Raber.

What about me, you ask? Well, I don’t take any chances. I observe the mighty power of The Worce. I wear a sweat band every week during games that was given to me by league commissioner Brian Meyers. He told me that it had been dipped in a vat of The Worce. When I asked what that meant, he sheepishly replied, “You don’t want to know. But let’s just say you probably don’t want to let it in physical contact with your purple-headed yogurt slinger.” Still, I can’t argue with Mike Raber’s logic. To that end, he and I have butt-poking parties every Sunday night before bed (with needles, you sickos!).

In the end, whether you believe in The Worce or not, the fact is that its influence has an effect on all of us. And whatever your method may be for getting the most out of your wiffle abilities let me be the first to wish everyone the best of luck during the remainder of the season and into the playoffs. Or should I say, may The Worce be with you...

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