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Unit Division Tetherball Championship: Frank the Tank vs. Coach Duggs

Coach Duggs had been hinting for a while that after he was vaccinated he'd be making a trip to Boston and when he did, he'd take a ride to Norton and do a "Duggs Den" from my Man Cave where he could get a firsthand look at my vintage baseball glove collection. After going back 'n forth with Duggs for weeks he finally messaged me that both he and Frank the Tank were driving to Boston to see a Red Sox-Mets game at Fenway with Jared Carrabis, and that they'd have some time to come to Norton. Sweet!

I started imagining a Backyard Olympics featuring the two Barstool Units. I have a make-shift mound with a pitching rubber and home plate that's regulation distance 60' 6", a tetherball court, and a basketball court. I knew we'd all be eating a lot of South Shore-style bar pizza courtesy of Dave Garfinkle, owner of Pizza Tyme in Norton, so I figured what better way to burn off some calories than to set up a little competition between Barstool's popular Units, Frank the Tank and Coach Duggs.

The Backyard Olympics got underway with each of the contestants throwing a ceremonial first pitch from the mound.

Frank was wearing his favorite glove of mine, a Rawlings Wing Tip Tom Seaver signature model...

Duggs chose a MacGregor Dick Drott signature model when it was his turn to toe the rubber

Then it was time for the best of five tetherball tournament to begin…

Round One was a feeling out process and Duggs definitely used his height advantage to overpower Frank, but there were strong indications that Frank wasn't done yet. He avoided serious injury and appeared to be a fast learner… (1-0 Duggs)

Frank led off Round Two with an impressive serve, but was forced to play strong defense when Duggs made some very hard returns. Frank tried to stave off Duggs, but in the end, Frank's vertical leap wasn't enough, and Duggs dominated with a rally that was clearly out of Frank's reach… (2-0 Duggs)

Frank led off Round Three with a serve that clearly had bad intentions and Duggs did everything he could to avoid taking a headshot. At one point, a Duggs' return knocked Franks cap right off his head, but even that did little to stop the determined Tank. Later in the round, Frank sent another message to Duggs in the way of a second headshot, but even that did nothing to stop Duggs' momentum. These two Units were leaving nothing on the court… When Frank saw his best path to victory was to change direction, he cleverly pulled the move off, and all a confused Duggs could do was question Frank's sense of direction… The judges were very lenient and gave Frank the win! (2-1 Duggs)

After his win, Frank refused to put his cap back on claiming, "I play better without it", and that's exactly how he began Round Four, capless! Duggs countered by turning his cap around and wearing it backward. This was getting personal… Thirteen seconds in Duggs sent another headshot in Frank's direction, but Frank appeared to shake it off and he mounted a strong defense. Duggs then pulled off a brilliant move, hitting the ball in both directions in an attempt to confuse Frank, and it worked. By the time Frank got control of the volley he was hitting the ball in the wrong direction, giving Duggs the tournament win. Frank was a lot like a football player who picks up a fumble and runs it into the wrong endzone. Frank had the game-winner, but for the wrong team!

Despite his loss, Frank the Tank owned the highlight reel with this beauty!

After Coach Duggs clearly dominated Frank in winning the best of five, feeling his oats, Duggs decided to challenge me on my home turf for a one-game, winner-take-all. Could a 65-year-old man hold off a younger, taller Unit who clearly displayed some skills while beating Frank the Tank

Next up in the Backyard Olympics, Unit Division Basketball Championship: Frank the Tank vs. Coach Duggs. Stay tuned…