The Game We Almost Always Play

The Game We Almost Always PlayMy brother Ryan made a great speech at my wedding last month, and I've got a copy of his notes. This is an excerpt from his speech in which he tells the tale of "the game we always play" and "the game we almost always play".

I recall a baseball game we made up and I believe it was Mike who named this game "the game we always play". Months later, we revised the game and renamed it "the game we almost always play" and for years it became the game we always played... almost every day.

Despite that fact, I'd still hear Mike yell out "who wants to play the game we almost always play?". In hindsight, we had an astounding lack of imagination for names and it's just funny how we always played the game we "almost always play" instead of "the game we always play".

He also named our home plate Herman and I vividly recall the day he went missing. We had a big backyard and I'd spend hours outside searching for this piece of wood. It took a long time before I gave up and it just speaks to how much I looked up to Mike... him naming that base Herman made it special.

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That's class, man. Funny how younger brothers evolve from damn annoying to pretty swell as we (and they) get older. My brother made an excellent speech at my wedding a few years back, too.

No explanation of what the rules were to the eponymous game? And why was home named Herman? A reference to Herman's Head?

July 7, 2013 @ 1:06 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

As I recall, it was a game with a 1st baseman, a 2nd baseman and a SS.... the 1st baseman through a grounder to the SS who had to turn the double play to get the out.

We were team Canada and we always played the Russians. We played the Rusians in hockey, basketball and baseball, for some reason.

I think this 3 player game is the Game We Always Play. The Game We Almost Always Play is a slight variation with 2 players, I think.

Herman was the 2nd base. I think the origin was Pee Wee Herman. I loved Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

The other base was named Garth. I believe that was an homage to Garth Iorg.

July 7, 2013 @ 1:42 PM


Those are great childhood memories. Sometimes we wish we could go back to those simpler times when we look back.

July 7, 2013 @ 5:12 PM


We had a cat named Pee-Wee for similar reasons. He grew much bigger than the name would suggest.

July 7, 2013 @ 6:04 PM


That really is great. It must have been fun for your brothers and Mom to go into the way-back machine to not just remember all those memories, but to write them down. Remember and keep these.. it'll make a great history/story for James, Michelle and ??? later on in life.

July 7, 2013 @ 7:11 PM

Ryan (Mike's bro)

I did not give permission for this to be released. I'm pretty sure there was a Non Disclosure agreement on the paperwork you got that from!!

Herman was definitely an homage to Pee-Wee Herman. I went into other yards looking for that thing. The Game we almost always played was definitely a 1st baseman throwing the ball hard at the SS for a double Play 2nd to 1st. I'm pretty sure we'd count and try to increase on our highest streak.

As I recall, we played the Russians a lot in Hockey and Basketball, but not so much baseball... which sorta makes sense, especially with the hockey.

The best was how we always ended up being down in our basketball games by 20 points with 3 minutes left and always ended up winning! Just like those guys on Head of the Class, we always beat the Russians. Some good old post-Coldwar games were played. Good times.

July 7, 2013 @ 7:13 PM

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