Listen up, team! My name is Gregory Keddle. I am the head coach of the North Stratford Spirits, as well as The Witching Hour's consultant from the Department of Magical Games and Sports. I have taken a bit of time from my team's pre-season two-a-day practices to urge you all to get in the game. Take the skrewt by the horns. At least those skrewts that have horns, anyway.
Regardless of my feelings on the ridiculous changes made to the hallowed rules of Quidditch to allow for play in front of Muggles, Quidditch is Quidditch. It's an ancient tradition, and one in which few have the honor of participating.
The Witching Hour has three types of Quidditch, though I'm quite sure that all of you don't want to hear about those absurd amateur modes of play, correct? Real players will play professionally, not that silly House Quidditch or even that blasted pick-up Quidditch with Muggles! Great Merlin!
I am told that my feelings on the issue of allowing Muggles to play Quidditch are well-known and that I should not bore you all by ennumerating them again. Well, fine. Hmph. I'm sure you all agree anyway.
Instead, I will urge you to sign up for professional Quidditch. Interested players will be drafted onto professional teams in a few months, and may begin their official team practices at that time. (I, of couse, am always available to advise and consult on the matter of training regimens, and I expect that most of you are running laps fiercely at this very moment.) Professional teams will be entered into the American Professional Quidditch Association's Salem Tournament, which will be held on the Salem Common during The Witching Hour. Pro players will receive an admission ticket to breakfast and an individualized
custom jersey with their team, name, number and position. We hope to begin announcing which teams have chosen to enter this Tournament -- which dates back to the time of the Puritans, the Sea Rats won the inaugeral year -- shortly.
In the meantime, over 50 players have already signed up for the draft. Spaces are going quickly, team, and the training has commenced! Lap will be run! Many crunches will be done! And my patented Broom Suicides will undoubtedly bring the money rolling in to, uh, me! Let's have a rousing chorus of Flying
'Round The Goals - No, We Said 'Round, Not Through!
The cost of entering the draft is $30. In order to pay that fee, you must be registered for The Witching Hour already, as only attendees are eligible for the professional draft. (If you've already registered and have come to your senses and decided to play, you can add Quidditch to your registration by using the
"Add to my registration" feature on the Registration page of The Witching Hour's interweb site.) Once you've signed up for the draft, you are guaranteed a spot in the APQA Tournament.
The sooner you sign up for the draft, however, the more likely you'll be to get your preferred number, position and teammates!
Hop to it, team! There's always time for Quidditch! A rousing good time will be had by all...between the brutal, war-like matches, that is.
If you have questions about the program, or more interestingly, proposed pre-season training regimens, please comment on this entry or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coach Gregory Keddle
Official Representative, Department of Magical Games and Sports
P.S. I have discovered some nasty rumors are flying regarding, surprisingly, me. (Not that I haven't had this rather unfortunate experience before, but this is the first time such maliciousness has centered around my Quidditch integrity rather than my, er, widespread exploits off the pitch.) For the record, I did not attend Nimbus - 2003. I was managing a tournament in Australia at the time. If someone should tell you that I was not only in attendance, but that I was refereeing and failing to call flagrant fouls, you should under no circumstances believe them! The game of Quidditch deserves no less than absolute honor and integrity! Of all the nerve! Hmph.
P.P.S. I am trying to get my book, Gregory Keddle: Get Back On The Pitch! The Story of How I Overcame Two Punctured Lungs and a Case of Funny Bone Hex and Led England to Thirteenth Place in the 1976 World Cup, to be available for sale during The Witching Hour. The cost is 70 Galleons, which is a right
bargain price for such insight and war stories. Unfortunately, The Witching Hour is telling me there's some issue with the exchange rate. Or something.