[The 90’s raw: Congressional softball tournament]

Raw footage shot for the award-winning series The 90's. This tape features the 1991 Robert Rota Tournament of the Congressional Softball League.

00:00Copy video clip URL Footage continued from Tape 11128. B-roll of a 1991 co-ed Congressional softball tournament in Washington, DC. Various ballgame action. Inning change. The videographer walks among the players and into a dugout. Various teammates encourage one another.

01:47Copy video clip URL A female player on the South Carolina Sandlappers team says everyone’s waiting for the season to be over. It’s been a long season. After this, the Congressional football season begins. She notes she works for Ketchum PR firm. She says her job is a lot of phone work. She says her work on Capitol Hill is mainly investigative work to see if the political activity could be detrimental to one of their clients. She says as a communication company, they help companies with any kind of image crisis. She notes the most interesting thing she’s had to do, unrelated to PR work, was to try and get a coffin back from Australia. The interview is interrupted by an exciting play. Team mates talk about the play. They’re upset.

05:27Copy video clip URL Continued b-roll of various plays. Inning change.

05:36Copy video clip URL Continued interview with the woman. She says softball is a good way to get out, meet people, get exercise. She notes that the way the organization is run each team must have at least three female players. When asked if the role women play in Congressional softball reflects the role of women in DC, the woman notes that about eighty-five per cent of those working in her PR office are women. She says her clients are fifty-fifty male/female. It’s tough working with male clients because they want to deal with men. “So we usually bring in one guy to work with them.”

07:57Copy video clip URL The woman notes that she’s been in DC for six years and that she came from Alabama. She describes life in DC as completely different from life in Alabama. Life in Alabama is a lot slower. But the biggest downside in DC is all the turnover.

09:10Copy video clip URL She says she used to work on the Hill “on the Senate side.” She’s been playing on the softball team for five years.

09:26Copy video clip URL Interview with player Jack Fox who shares his philosophy of how his team could win the game: knock it out of the park and go home. Various b-roll of the game in progress. Fox says he is from Colorado and got on the South Carolina team through a connection of friends. Continued b-roll of the game. Various plays. A runner scores. Inning ends.

11:14Copy video clip URL Continued interview with Fox who notes that his team is a rag tag bunch and that no one takes the games seriously. It’s the end of the season. He notes a lot of the people stay on and play in the Congressional football league.

12:03Copy video clip URL Fox reiterates that these games are not formal and that the players just go out and have a good time. He says he owns a PR firm, The Fox company, and focuses on environmental issues. “It’s a big industry in DC. Everything has a government feel to it…. and it has a national impact.”

13:29Copy video clip URL B-roll of an exciting play. When asked what it is like to be in Washington, DC, Fox responds that DC is a magnet for highly motivated people and that you find a large cross section of people. The city attracts the power-hungry, which the man notes is a downside. He calls it “Potomac Fever” and notes that is when a person gets caught up in their own world and forget there is more to life. People in power lose touch with the common citizen. When asked what happens to democracy if that happens, the man adds that the beauty of our system is that there are checks and balances. We don’t have radical changes.

17:49Copy video clip URL Fox notes that he was appointed by Presidents Reagan and Bush as the point person for scheduling presidential trips. He was an “advance man” and worked in the Environmental Protection Agency.

19:11Copy video clip URL Fox notes that the environment being seen as only a Democrat agenda is a big misconception of the Reagan administration. In his experience he saw the most aggressive approach to ¬†environmental enforcement especially in the criminal indictments for environmental infractions. He discusses various personal philosophies, beliefs, rants, and facts about the environmental issues. He doesn’t like that many politicians speak on environmental issues just to gain additional constituents, but he also notes the good elements coming from it such as The National Wilderness Institute–a young, up and coming organization. The National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming is another group he endorses.

24:59Copy video clip URL B-roll of the game. Players congratulate one another, and fraternize.

25:18Copy video clip URL After-game activity as a trophy gets ready to be presented to the South Carolina Sandlappers team. Gary Caruso, Commissioner of the Congressional Softball League, holds a trophy calls out “on behalf of Post Master Robert Rota, I present third place to the South Carolina Sandlappers.” Everyone claps. Commemorative bright yellow hats are distributed to the South Carolina team.

26:55Copy video clip URL A group of teammates on the Georgia team congregate after the game. They fun-lovingly talk about the game, various plays. They say the final score was 15-9. One player shows his skinned knee. Another player explains the rules of the tournament they are in and how their team must play and beat another team twice before advancing. Another player simply looks at the rules as the team playing on the field works through a long game. One players says three years ago the team was in this tournament and lost.

28:58Copy video clip URL The players note that the Georgia team is supportive of one another. The other teams, they say, get angry at themselves. The Georgia team has played together for five years now. “We’ve had two weddings on the team!” A player notes they also play football as a team and that most of them work together in a Georgia office on Capitol Hill.

31:00Copy video clip URL One player notes he works for a law firm that monitors events on Capitol Hill. If there’s a bill that affects a client of ours, I’ll make sure that they are aware of it.

33:13Copy video clip URL Lots of video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. The player says that he cannot mention who is clients are. Continued discussion on how knowledge of legislative activity affects businesses. He says that checks and balances exists in government and the ultimate check and balance is between the elected official and the ones who elected him. A check is just a check on someone. The player explains that if a new legislation is going to put a client of his out of business his objective is to check on government to gain information that will prevent disaster for that client. “It’s kind of like being a private reporter.”

35:02Copy video clip URL B-roll the opening coin toss. The umpire, identified as Mike, tosses a coin for the coach of the Georgia team and the coach of the Yellow Journalists team to call. The coach of the Yellow Journalists is also the Commissioner of the Congressional Softball League, Gary Caruso. The umpire explains to camera that the Georgia team must win–if not, it will be their second loss for the tournament and they will be eliminated. If the Georgia team wins there will be a play off game right after this game.

35:50Copy video clip URL The umpire says his regular work is kind of like being an umpire or referee. He notes he works as Chief of Staff for Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. As Chief of Staff he administers the office, oversees the political activities of the office. He says with a smile that he gets more lip from people here than in the office, “but that’s because I don’t control anyone’s pay raise here.”

36:53Copy video clip URL B-roll: the opposing team takes the field and the game begins. B-roll of the Yellow Journalists dugout. Caruso calls out the roster and psyches his team for the game. There are a couple of moms and three babies in the dugout.

38:35Copy video clip URL Stephanie, a Yellow Journalist player, says she’s nervous. To compensate, she says, she talks about how everyone is nervous. Various b-roll of plays and softball action on the field and in the dug out.

40:00Copy video clip URL Post Master Robert Rota comes on the field and throws out a ceremonial first pitch. Caruso explains that Rota has been a sponsor of the Congressional softball league for thirteen years. Rota credits Caruso and all his efforts for making the league what it is today. Rota throws out the pitch. The South Carolina team is in the bleachers, having lost the last game, fraternizing. Various b-roll of the fraternization. They have the cameraman playfully razz Rota by saying, “they say they aren’t getting their mail.” Caruso enters carrying the championship trophy and gets his picture taken with it and Rota. Caruso notes that the trophy will be presented next week in Rota’s office and that he hopes that Congressman Hatcher and Senator Strom Thurmond will be in attendance. The plaque is inscribed with: 1991 Robert Rota Tournament Champions.

45:05Copy video clip URL Continued b-roll of the softball game in action, and b-roll of the Yellow Journalists dug out with a mom holding a baby.

45:54Copy video clip URL B-roll of various plays. One player hits a home run, his team cheers.

47:54Copy video clip URL B-roll of various fraternizing in the Yellow Journalists’ dug out. A couple holds a baby in the Georgia team’s dug out.

48:55Copy video clip URL A Georgia runner at third brushes himself off from a nasty slide. Various b-roll of the Yellow team preparing to bat. Caruso says it’s the top of the 5th and the Yellow team is up 8 to 2. B-roll various plays.

51:50Copy video clip URL The Yellow team takes the field. B-roll of various fraternizing. Some confusion on the field leads to Caruso telling the videographer that he had gotten his rules mixed up about substitutes. B-roll of various fraternizing in the dug out, and of various plays on the field.

54:21Copy video clip URL Coaches from the red Georgia team and the yellow Yellow Journalists confer with the umpire about the score and inning numbers: 9-5, top of the 6th. Various b-roll of the yellow team at bat, various plays.

56:11Copy video clip URL Caruso tells the videographer that his team has been doing well but the momentum is changing. B-roll of inning change. The umpire talks to a red team member who is disputing or questioning the rules of player substitution. B-roll of various player action: encouraging teammates, various plays. The red team at bat builds momentum.

01:00:01Copy video clip URL The videographer asks the Georgia coach, Randy Kozuch, what is the hardest part of coaching? He responds: Just trying to get everyone together. It’s really not that hard. He notes that he works for a Congressman. He notes it can get hectic on the Hill from time to time.

01:01:00Copy video clip URL Video signal weakens. Lots of drop outs and signal loss, image and sound distortion.

01:01:25Copy video clip URL Stop/re-start digitizing. Continued drop outs and signal loss, image and sound distortion.

01:01:53Copy video clip URL Video signal returns. The red Georgia team cheers on one another. Various b-roll of the game.

01:02:58Copy video clip URL The game is over. The Yellow Journalists are victorious. Players shake hands and congratulate one another.

01:03:25Copy video clip URL Caruso, the coach of the Yellow Journalists and commissioner of the Congressional Softball League, cheers his team and explains to camera that the next thing that will happen is that his team will pour something cold over him. Then he has to present the runner up trophy to the Georgia team. Then “we’ll pop the champagne corks over here.” B-roll of the yellow team celebrating and dowsing their coach and each other with champagne.

01:04:48Copy video clip URL Video drops outs. Continued celebration in the yellow team  dug out.

01:05:03Copy video clip URL Caruso at home plate with various red Georgia team members and the umpire. He ceremoniously presents the runner up trophy. Both Kozuch and Caruso get drenched with champagne. As he continues with his ceremony, Caruso is dowsed with a cooler of ice water. He eventually presents the runner up trophy. The red team gathers for a team photo.

01:07:18Copy video clip URL The red team picks up Kozuch and carries him around the field on their shoulders.

01:07:51Copy video clip URL Videographer follows the yellow team as they celebrate and fraternize. Caruso gathers the team around and thanks them and congratulates them. “You can’t go this far in a tournament without people coming through.” He goes on to list the players who came through with clutch plays.

01:10:19Copy video clip URL The umpire presents the championship trophy to Coach Caruso and the Yellow Journalists. The umpire praises Caruso, saying that for thirteen years now he, as Commissioner of the Congressional Softball League, has single-handedly made this possible. “He deserves this trophy and a lot of thanks from a lot of people in this league.” The umpire presents the trophy: The 1991 Robert Rota Tournament Champions. Caruso gives props to Mike the umpire for all his efforts.

01:12:12Copy video clip URL Continued Yellow Journalist celebration has Caruso hands out new jerseys to the team.

01:12:23Copy video clip URL The yellow team poses for a group photo on the field. Caruso says he came tonight knowing his team would win. “We were loose. We’ve been through this before.”

01:14:17Copy video clip URL Videographer stops recording. Static.

01:14:19Copy video clip URL Change of location. The yellow team continues celebrating at a local bar and restaurant. The team fraternizes and recaps the game, toasting one another.

01:19:56Copy video clip URL END



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