I’ve been playing sports as far back as I remember, and in my honest opinion, the toughest position to play isn’t necessarily on the floor. The toughest position is that of captain, and in recreation sports it’s quite possibly the toughest spot to have on a team. I for one have played that position for numerous seasons for different sports teams. When your in an organized team that has coaches and is sanctioned by a school, university, semi-pro league, etc., the part of captain is like a de facto on the field/floor leader. This is where it various with recreation sports. The recreation sports “captain” is more like a GM/head coach/director of operations.
My first experience as a captain was in 6th grade when my middle school started an intramural basketball league. I signed up my team (The Bomb Squad) which consisted of guys from my neighborhood and a few kids from school. I had it easy then, I was far from the best player on the team, so I came off the bench and let the guys who’s were the real ballers do their thing. We winded up winning the 6th grade level league, and I looked like a genius! 7th grade I was sick on the days of the sign-up and let’s just say that Bomb Squad II was the worst rendition of the Bomb Squad legacy. Bomb Squad III in 8th grade was by far the best BS team and we went undefeated, leaving this “captain” with 2 middle school intramural championships and a undefeated football championship for the school. (Sidenote: The “Bomb Squad” name lived on for 2 more seasons, Bomb Squad IV and V also won the intramural titles, DYNASTY!)
High school sports was a blur for me, so there wasn’t that much captainship (is that even a word? Why isn’t Word correcting me?) going on, but once I got out of high school, I joined a football league 6 years later called TownBeef. Yes, TownBeef. Look it up, it’s a 7 on 7 no-pads tackle football league that is only made for the brave or the psycho. Me and a buddy of mine started our hometown team, the Rockland Rocboyz. The first season was disappointing, we won our first game and proceeded to lose 5 straight. Now being a captain for these teams as opposed to the great Bomb Squad dynasty was a LARGE difference. We were winning games in our intramural league plus the added factor that it was after school made attendance a non-issue. Fast forward 13 years later, and these grown men needed to be monitored more than a 2 week old child. Constant e-mails, text messages, mass texts and phone calls are sent every other if not every day. Tack on the dismal losing streak and our attendance dropped quicker than the XFL’s TV ratings. The 2008 season we had 25 players at our week 1 win, by week 7 when we picked up our 2nd win, we were showing up with 14-15 guys, tops. Injuries, the overall lack of effort and more importantly the losing made guys not want to show up at all anymore. This left my co-captain and I scrambling for players and harassing the hell out of the guys that still wanted to play. My 2009 and 2010 seasons were better as we went 6-4 (made playoffs) and 5-5 (just missed the playoffs) respectively, but key players were always wishy washy which was why we had the records we had. Without a doubt, if we had our team at full strength every week, we would’ve put up a better record then we did.
This is why I believe the toughest position in recreation sports is the captain and in CAC it’s no different. I’ve seen teams show up with a bunch of guys blow out a team, then play that same squad later in the season and catch an L simply to attendance issues. So *puts up longneck* hears to you, Recreational Sports Captain, for all the hard work you do, because if it wasn’t for you, CAC wouldn’t be alive.