“April is the cruellest month [for whoever has to lose again to The Daily Cardinal softball team].”
Historians can debate and be wrong all they want, but T.S. Eliot was referring to one thing and one thing only in 1922’s “The Waste Land.”
Anyone and everyone who has come to Vilas Park in April to play The Daily Cardinal in softball has left with shattered dreams and profound disappointment.
In the 1920s it was Babe Ruth’s Yankees who struck out 35 times in one seven-inning game (math was harder back then). In the 1950s it was Ted Williams’ Red Sox who were the victims of the Cardinal’s diamond domination and committed more errors than pitches thrown.
Since being banned by former MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn in 1969 for demoralizing major league competition, The Daily Cardinal found a new opponent to dismantle—The Badger Herald.
The Daily Cardinal has beaten UW-Madison’s second tier news outlet for years, but softball dominance comes particularly easy—the Cardinal has four straight softball wins over the Herald.
Editor-in-Chief-elect Jim “Tupac Back” Dayton fondly recalls scaring the shit out of the Herald during last season’s game—a 10-9 win for the Cardinal, thanks to seven runs in the final inning.
“[The Badger Herald] intentionally walked me—in a slow-pitch softball game,” Dayton said, ignoring all reporters’ questions thanks to the Schoolboy Q coming from his Beats By Dayton headphones. “That happened. Many people might think that’s a joke, but they really did that.”
What a comeback! The Daily Cardinal comes back in the final inning to win it 10-9! Good game @BadgerHerald! pic.twitter.com/4nG9APo15d— The Daily Cardinal (@dailycardinal) April 26, 2014
In going for what’s known as the “Gerber Five,” the Cardinal is en route to winning its fifth straight softball encounter.
Managing Editor-elect Em Gerbs knows how to get around the competition, having dodged several Daily Cardinal Employee Complaint forms to keep a “spotless” record.
“We’ll probably be up 35 points after the first period,” Gerbs said with a pile of forms building up at her desk under a large VOID stamp. “We’re ready like a one-legged duck swimming in a circle.”
We weren’t sure what that meant, but moving on—blowing a six-run lead might seem sloppy, but the Herald saw it as a much-needed break from a bigger fear—spelling.
Haley Henschel, running out of space to tally misspelled headlines from The Badger Herald in her 13,000-square-foot studio, did offer some support.
“ICYMI: It’s ‘Wisconsin,’ ‘Kaminsky,’ still ‘Kaminsky’ the second time and also ‘labyrinth,’” Henschel said, preparing to tattoo Oxford commas on Herald batters as they strike out. “More errors in production or on the field? Hard to say.”
Graphics Wizard Cameron Graff, conductor of the Hype Train, is ready to turn everyone the fuck up for Saturday’s game.
With “Old Man Graff” taking care of energy levels, secret weapons on the field this year will be freshmen Theodore Berry and Elleanoure Herman, whose names have been altered to keep anonymity.
“Fuck. Them,” Berry said referencing the Herald as she ate her daily dose of glass and rusty nails while sharpening an arsenal of iron hunting spears. Herman then asked how everyone’s day was going.
If The Daily Cardinal secures another 10-run cushion thanks to those secret weapons, Sex Columnist Alex Tucker isn’t worried about holding that lead firmly in her grip.
“I’m never nervous about blowing anything,” Tucker said, referring to the game and only the game. Maybe not? “Yes, blowing.”
Outgoing Editor-in-Chief “Cactus” Jack Casey, clad in the “freshest there ever was” Kevin Durant signed KD7’s and a “chill” hat—tilted sideways—knows exactly how this game is going to go.
“Oh, the Herald? I’m not worried,” Cactus Jack said after dropping a triple-double of blocks, steals and fights in a pickup basketball game at the Kohl Center against Wisconsin’s starting five. “Remember when they called me a 10-year-old and lost in the chug-off? Me too. Then I won.”
Cactus Jack was a little distracted during his interview because of his mysterious tendency to leg-press 600 pounds of meat he hunted in the Arctic during most of the day.
After the Cardinal football team went Marshawn Lynch and said-it-was-easy against the Herald 42-21, Casey vowed to spend the winter months training for this Saturday in Vilas Park. The snow is gone, Cactus Jack has a lot stronger calves and The Daily Cardinal is ready to win its fifth softball game in five years.