It is not a big deal, you might argue, to have a kicker tournament (or other such opportunity for backslappery and bonhomie) at your place of employment. And I would agree; it is simply a short and pleasant diversion from the workaday drudgery we all undertake in order to ensure we don’t starve to death.

But for me, diversioning, and fraternizing with colleagues ‘out of the office bubble’ are both my joie de vivre and raison d’etre. And so I assumed the role of Chief Organizer and President of the Pep Squad back in the breezy warmth of spring. There was fanfare and enthusiasm oozing around the office, banter ringing from all corners of the open plan in those heady first days. I even wrote a post based on an office email, about how to choose a team name for this (or any) tournament.

People rallied, players played, and everyone cheered the initiative and the goals. The tournament spreadsheet was updated daily. Things were good.

That was a long, long, time ago. Since those funtastic first few weeks, enthusiasm has leaked from the tournament like a punctured bicycle tube hissing a morose swansong. Four months on and we’re only in the second round. The tournament has gone flat, on life support since June.

I have composed emails upon emails cajoling, warning, threatening, and demanding compliance. I’ve held emergency strategy meetings with fellow committee members, in lunch rooms, coffee corners, and at desks. In short, I’ve done all I can. Even to the point of alienating myself from my office peer group. This is my sacrifice to the Gaming Gods. Alas, it seemed the fizzle had fuzzled, and time is ticking down days until my permanent departure. Hope was lost.

But today things took a turn for the sunny-side, and at long last we may be nearing a positive conclusion. The only person as keen on this tournament as I is James ‘Pele’ Buchanan. Absent for some weeks, today he returned from holidays, and we plotted a last-gasp assault on Mt. Lethargy, of the Officeapathy Range.

As of this afternoon, the ennui-crushed teams have been unceremoniously purged from the proceedings, the remaining line-ups have been shuffled, and we are finally moving forward, clinging to the remaining scraps of our once-enthusiasm-powered vessel, and clinging also to the shreds of legitimacy unceremonious-tossings call into question. Heads bloody, but unbowed.

This tournament will get finished, because I am not just the President of the Organizing Committee, I am also odds-on favorite (along with my partner), to claim the trophy.

If that sounds like a conflict of interest, then consider yourself unceremoniously purged from the tournament.