A few weeks back, Carrie gave me a call and asked me if I was interested in sponsoring a team in this years kids Pole Peddle Paddle. Now, I would do just about anything for my kids and especially my grandson and I said, "Sure".
Carrie put the team together with Jay's help and Jay came up with the name, "Legend of Super Chicken Samurai". I had TShirts made up thanks to my friend, Roger at Flash Ink.
The team got together and drew names to see who would do what and Jay ended up with the bike ride. We checked out his bike, aired up the tires, and he practiced riding around the neighborhood.
Judy left work with Trinity and I was not far behind after seeing that the rush was just about over right after noon. I met up with Judy at the foot bridge and we began waiting for the teams heat. Reese had told me after the soccer game on Saturday that it was real important that I be at the awards ceremonies after the race because the team was going to say something real special.
It was finally time for their heat and I watched as the six rafts came around the turn in the river. I could see that they were way behind the other rafts and wondered what was going on since I knew that all of these boys were competitors. As the raft approached the bridge, I could see that they were not really having much fun and wondered why. We quickly moved over to the bike race area and witnessed Jay catch up to the team in front of them but most all of the teams had already had one of its laps before our boys had even gotten out of the river. The two last teams went back and forth through the rest of the race with Reese passing them up for good in his part of the obstacle course.
As we walked over to the awards stand, I discovered why they were so down on the rafts. When the horn had sounded, half of the team was still on the bank. The other teams were quite a ways down the river before they were even able to get going. I knew that their was nothing that could be done but I took it upon myself to at least say something to the PPP official before the awards. She was very gracious and when the final tally came out, she motioned for me to come up to the stage. She had discussed it with the powers that be and they wanted to apologise but to let us know that they could not see anything that they could do. I thanked them for at least listening and that maybe it might help out in the future in their planning.
Although we sponsored the team, I did not realize that we were part of the name until the Jake's Diner Legend of Super Chicken was announced. Some of the parents yelled out, "Legend of the Super Chicken Samurai" and after being corrected by the boys, the announcer finally announced them as the Jake's Diner Legend of Super Chicken Samurai. The boys all lined up and at the cue, yelled out, "Eat at Jake's". This was my big surprise. I greatly appreciated it but at the same time wondered how many parents probably looked at it as just self promotion. I took it for what it was meant for from the boys and was very happy and grateful.
We invited the boys over to the diner for some hot fudge brownies and when Jay and Parker arrived, they were carrying a big container of red licorice. It seemed that the team had won some special award and this was their prize. I wondered just how much that official had been involved in that one and was very happy for it happening as it definitely helped soften their disappointment and mine since I could see the smiles in all of the faces. We all shared the hot fudge brownies and red licorice and a couple of the boys even gave a piece to Buck the deer who is in our entry area. When you come in, you will see the piece sticking out of the deers mouth.
The boys all had a great time eating and watching the old cartoons on the TV. Today in the paper, I saw an article on a group of girls who had been in the race since the mid nineties. I hope that the legend will live on and that these boys will remain friends and competitors way into the future. And thank you boys for the great honor that you gave us up on the stage. "Go Super Chicken!".