AZ Dodgeball: A true underdog story that’s still beating the odds

By Clay McNear

I solemnly swear not to mention Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story during the writing of this piece.

Starting . . . now.

When describing an adult-dodgeball affair, it’s de rigueur to reference the 2004 flick. I mean, come on. But if AZ Dodgeball founder Sam Pewitt wants to play coy (the Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller smash isn’t noted once on AZ Dodgeball), we’ll play along.

Pewitt told New Times he formed the league because d-ball wasn’t officially represented here in Arizona, but was popular in his home state of Washington. He garnered a lot of press during the inaugural season of 2006, ’cause his tale had a couple of irresistible hooks: 1) competition is held in the gym at Phoenix’s Army National Guard Armory; and 2) adult-dodgeball fever was then sweeping the nation in light of the still-recent release of The Movie Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned.

Well, the first blush of romance has long faded–the press’s with the novelty of grownups pelting each other with large crimson spheres, the moviegoing public’s with a four-year-old movie – but Pewitt’s league thrives. Go figure.

A new season starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at the Armory, 1335 North 52nd Street, and continues on Thursdays and Tuesdays for 11 weeks. That’s a long haul and a lot of whizzing red balls, but bet the mortgage on last season’s champs to repeat. Why? The Wild Turkeys–the East Germans of AZ Dodgeball – compiled a 10-0 record and stomped the snot out their closest competitors in total points.

So, class, what kind of story will it be if some other team trounces the Turkeys? You know -- the slingshot and the giant? The defenders of the Alamo? The cartoon dog with the cape? Anyone?

Okay, well, you’re on your own. I’ve taken an oath.

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