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Monday, March 14, 2005 

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Above: Riley Busbee (center) strides into action. Not pictured: ball.

Busbee Upbeat In Defeat: "Can we go get ice cream now?"

ALPHARETTA, MAR. 12--Ali-Frazier. Yankees-Red Sox. Celtics-Lakers. To these storied rivalries, we can now add a new chapter:

Shooters-Purple Team.

Under the timeless blue of a suburban Atlanta sky, the Alpharetta Shooters and the Alpharetta purple team (variously referred to by Shooters fans as "the Strikers," "the Kicks," "the purple team," the "who are we playing again?" and the "oh my God, those girls look old enough to drive" squad) met on the field of battle to determine who would walk away victorious in this, the first match of 2005 Newtown Park spring soccer.

The Shooters finished a close second, scoring one goal to the Purple Team's two. Both teams espoused the "three feet and a cloud of dust" style of defense, with shots on goal few and far between. Shooter front liner/midliner/defensewoman Riley Busbee was a constant presence around the ball, several times dribbling it away from larger Purple Team brutes as an unnamed female fan on the sidelines shrieked "ohmanRileygogogogoGOKICKITKICKIT!!!!"

Busbee headed one ball, put up a smothering defense in which she ran a Purple Teamer out of bounds near her goal, delivered a Daddy-pleasing forearm shiver to the back of a Purple Teamer--smoothly done outside of the referee's eyeshot, of course--and was "kind of close" to the goal when her teammate scored the Shooters' lone point. And although she stomped her feet and swung her fist when the second, decisive goal went past the Shooters' goalie--who apparently forgot that it's okay for the goalie to use her hands--Busbee recovered nicely, saying, "That was fun but I am SOOOOOOOO tired. Did you see my loose tooth?" In a move that immensely pleased her mother, Busbee also finally stopped referring to her team as the "Hooters."

In a separate incident, security forces at Newtown Park had to restrain an overzealous fan wearing a "chick magnet" t-shirt, who repeatedly ran onto the field shouting "RI-EEE! RI-EEE!" The fan, placated with graham crackers, then settled for hitting on a younger lady later identified as Miss MacKenzie Madison, 1, of Alpharetta.

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Jay Busbee runs Yahoo! Sports' NASCAR Blog From The Marbles, Atlanta Magazine's Atlanta sports blog Right Down Peachtree, and the Southern sports/humor blog Sports Gone South. He also writes for damn near anybody who'll throw him a buck and a byline, and he's at work on the books The Quiet Dynasty: The History Of The Atlanta Braves' Championship Run (2009, Sports Publishing LLC) and God Is A Bulldog: Georgia, Florida, And The Greatest Play In College Football History (2010, Sports Publishing LLC). Click below for more info on his novels, articles, and comics.
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