July 3, 2016 – Grantville, PA – On the eve of our nation’s birthday, in a small town outside Hershey (an only slightly bigger town), titans clashed on a field of croquet. The first two games of what is sure to be an ugly, hard-fought Angelotti/Skinner rivalry commenced. After an evening full of debauchery, foul language, faulty equipment, and ugly play that surely made the Croquet Gods cry upon their mallets, the two leading members of the each clan squared off with dreams of initialing the coveted Foosball Trophy.
In one corner stands Shawn Skinner, the self-proclaimed King of Croquet. (It should be noted that those claims are largely unsubstantiated, but hey, only a man with an ego the size of Skinner’s can dare call himself a King! An ego so abundant that surely it has begun to eat itself.) A swing so mighty that is equaled only by his mouth, Skinner is able to read the greens and breeze through a course with the ease of shark through water. In the other corner stands Facebookless Joe Angelotti, The Worm. Perhaps no one in all of backyard sports plays the mind games as well as The Worm, able to burrow his way in to the heads of his opponents; masterfully walking the tightrope between legal and illegal; and using all 50 shades of grey to bend the rules to his will.
Game 1 saw Skinner and Angelotti meeting alone on the battlefield after Skinner meticulously eliminated all other comers save one. Angelotti finds himself in contention despite completely disregarding all decorum and abandoning his own game to headhunt the hometown hero. Unfortunately for The Worm Skinner would make short work of him and take Game 1. Despite the odds and his utterly reckless play, Angelotti falls ass-backwards into a second place finish.
Game 2 – the most important game of the evening some say, The Dusk Game – would see more of the Skinner and Angelotti clans take to the field in any attempt to see that the self-proclaimed champ simply close his mouth. This game would see all players reach the coveted position of Poison and thus, the utter free-for-all for domination. At one point Shawn would disappear from the field, leaving his wife to handle his dirty work, yet would conveniently return just in time to finish the game in the much easier position of Poison, having seemingly skipped the hardest part of the game. However, despite no one’s objection to this blatant spitting in the eye of the rules, Shawn and Joe would again find themselves face-to-face fighting for the… umm, ultimate??… prize. Game 2, however, would not go Skinner’s way. After a critical error at the latest stage of the game, Angelotti would capitilize and surplant his name (initials) on the trophy! As they say, Big Players make Big Plays in Big Games and thus The King was overthrown by The Worm.
If the first two games are any indication, we could be witnessing a bloody rivalry, the likes of which are only seen in Europe amongst the worst of the worst soccer hooligans. Who knows what will happen next, who will come out on top, and what lows they will sink to. Only time will tell. In the mean time the Gods, who need an apology and perhaps even a sacrificial burning of a croquet mallet, can only wait and wonder where it all went wrong?