I drew this picture of a friend of mine back around 2008. It’s an unfortunate portrait, as it shows nothing of his warm, friendly personality. We first met because he was the roommate of one of my classmates in graduate school. They were both part of a tight-knit group of graphic designers that met in college and moved up from Florida to New York around the same time.

A bunch of us formed a kickball team to participate in a Brooklyn-based league. Day drinking was a large part of it. A local bar served beverages in foam cups, with plastic lids and straws. There was a bouncer at the door to make sure there were no cops around as you left the bar with your cup in hand and crossed the street to return to the park and rejoin a game.

For a while it was a fun way to meet people. I can be shy around folks I don’t know and alcohol reduces my inhibitions. But during our second season, I was trying to drink less and it became apparent that the organizers were not doing anything to tone down the more aggressive, obnoxious teams. More than once I found myself intervening on the behalf of someone I knew. Most of my teammates agreed that we just weren’t having fun anymore, so we quit the league and disbanded the team.

The background is panel art from Super Duper Ham: Day One. You can find it in panel 1 on page 2.