The return of a grand tradition happened in season NEW 2, folks! The Anastasia Isarobot et al. Memorial Championship Belt was in circulation, starting with the Wild Wings and finishing with the Hades Tigers! Today, we visit the Wild High Clubhouse to learn more.
Taking a circuitous route through the former Wild High teams, the belt is contested on day 3 of every series between the current belt holder and any one of the Wild Wings, Firefighters, Lift, Millennials, Jazz Hands, Lovers, Georgias, Tigers, or Crabs.
Started in Season 18 as a bet between the perpetually downtrodden teams of Wild High, the Belt was to be both a celebration of those that had been lost during the season and a test of skill for the teams who had- at the time- thought that they had no hope of winning an Internet Series any time soon, a trend that would hold for the rest of the Era, with the notable exception of Season 19’s Tokyo Lift.
“Things felt hopeless,” notable Firefighters, Georgias, and Lift alum Goobie Ballson said of the belt in Season 20. “So we decided to make our own fun.”
“The energy in the clubhouse quickly turned,” said part-time blacksmith Declan Suzanne. “At first, the belt was just a symbolic thing, but then Mikan [Hammer], Edric [Tosser] and I each made our own versions. Edric’s won, and the rest was history.”
Due to being played for during game three of intra-division series, the Belt initially excluded the former Wild High teams, such as the Lovers. However, this changed later in the Era. Slowly, as the former Wild High teams were let into the Clubhouse, they were also in contention for the belt. They even had some measure of success taking and holding it.
“For a short, glorious while, the New York Millennials were Wild High Champions,” According to Nandy Fantastic. “A beautiful achievement to honor those we’ve lost.” Before disappearing into a could of smoke, Nandy then expressed a desire to rejoin a former Wild High team to retake the belt, a sentiment shared by other Wild High alumni such as Gabriel Griffith, who played for the Firefighters before the Crabs, Silvia Rugrat, who pitched for the Wild Wings before pitching for the Lift, and Peanutiel Duffy, former Tiger and Firefighter, Current Millennial. Each of these players counts the Chicago-based clubhouse as a continual haunt, along with the new rosters of each of the nine teams of former Wild High.
“There’s a lot of history here,” says Yusef Fenestrate, Baltimore Crab, of the Clubhouse. “A lot of tragedy.” Indeed, Wild High faced many tragedies over the era, from Combs Estes, to Wyatt Quitter, and even perpetual clubhouse presence Goobie Ballson, who scored five runs in his passing. “The Wild High incinerations of every season are engraved into the belt,” said Fenestrate, “And it didn’t feel right to keep it going without something to commemorate.”
The unfortunate death of Anastasia Isarobot of natural causes has led to the recirculation of the Belt. “We thought it was a new start,” said Erin Jesualenko. “A new Era.” Isarobot, daughter of Kennedy Rogers, led the Wings to a near championship in NEW Season 1 in what was memorably dubbed an “icarus moment”. “We flew too close to the sun,” says an anonymous player in the Clubhouse. “Nobody in Wild High won anything by being good past Season 15. When the Wings were good for an entire season, we knew that [Isarobot] would get Hotdogfingered.”
However, it isn’t all bad, this tragedy led to new blood in the clubhouse.
“In Season 1, we were all kind of treading water,” says Katy Hermoso of the Lift. “But then Anastasia is incinerated, and suddenly there’s a door near the lockers, and you go in and it’s like, wow! I didn’t know this was here!”
Indeed, the deaths of Anastasia Isarobot et al. have brought many players on the former Wild High teams together to grieve, using the clubhouse as a meeting point. “This place was empty a season ago,” says Gabriel Griffith, Baltimore Crab. “Now everyone is always in my spot. GG.”
And isn’t that what it’s really all about?
-Otterpopd, with contributions by Clip Clipperson