By Ollie Boh Radley

DENVER—The recently created Chicago professional Tic Tac Toe team, called “9 Box Chaos” is off to Denver, and their star player Ken “Knobby Fingers” Grank, is restless.

For the last two months, but what seems like an eternity to his team, he has been complaining that neither Adidas nor Nike will give him his own personalized shoe brand. “I am the best player on the team by far, the least they can do is give me my own personalized shoe brand,” said the annoyed Grank.

“9 Box Chaos” enters the 32nd Annual International Tic Tac Toe championships with their hopes high. They are looking to go undefeated in this year’s tournament and bring home the First Place Grand Prize of Travel Tic Tac Toe.

The event is held in Denver every year, due to the lack of tourism in Denver and their close ties with the United Kingdom (the game was believed to be invented in the United Kingdom). The teams compete in a best of three matches, with team having five representatives. Each player on the team plays three games. Each game is worth one point and a tie is resulted in a redo. The team with the moist points at the end of the three matches is the winner. But the real question here is if anybody knew that Chicago had a Tic Tac Toe team.

“We’re obviously not very well known,” said Captain Joe “The Natural” Orcrand. “We hope that we can come back victorious and possibly get some more fans out at our matches”. The team’s most recent matches have had such famous audience members as the mothers and occasional wives of the team members.

“I really think this whole thing by Grank is a publicity stunt,” said Captain Joe “The Natural” Orcrand. “He’s not the captain or the best player, and this whole shoe thing is just a commercial act to get him some attention!”

There are currently seven members on the team. “It’s nice to have seven in case someone comes down with an injury or just can’t come to the meets,” said 7 year veteran Evan Travinsky. “I remember back in ’99 I had that terrible arm cramp and my team had to forfeit because of me and….can we just turn the cameras off man. This is just too painful to talk about.” The Flipside then informed Mr. Travinsky that there were no cameras, just this simple reporter. He proceeded to cry on my shoulder.

The team meets in Ken “Knobby Fingers” Grank’s basement every Friday night to practice. They run drills such as fifteen second games, which works on fast thinking, and Hugs and Kisses, which is understanding and getting to know the X’s and O’s. The thought process behind that drill is to have a better relationship with the playing pieces, resulting in the pieces wanting to do better for the 2 month old team instead of their opponents.

“We have fun with it, and we just go out and do our stuff,” said Orcrand. “Some of us have been playing for ten, twenty, fifteen years, and that alone is a huge boost for the rookies on our team who have had little professional experience. We have a great team and a lot of potential to do well.”

The team has still not resolved this issue of the shoes, but sources close to the team say they may bribe him with a few shiny new pens.

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