Everytime a jello shot is shared an angel gets its wings…

Beehive Sports Is A Hormore Riddled 13 Year Old Teenager!

David Marquardt
6 min readJun 1, 2024

I look forward to writing this letter each and every year. It feels like cruising through a mile marker on the marathon of life. Sure, 38 years into this marathon, my nipples are a little bloody and I’m toeing the line of how much Advil the human liver can amalgamate. But passing the end of May each year acts as a cup of water handed to me by a quickly gone friendly face.

Except this year, or more specifically this week. I’ve been feeling down. Dragging my feet. Unable to find the enthusiasm that’s usually in plentiful supply.

One of my heroes has died. A man I’ve looked up to for as long as I can remember. The gut punch is I didn’t even know he was sick. I’m speaking of Bill Walton. The gregarious 7 foot tall, 71 year young basketball player. A surprisingly small number of people know him as a basketball player. More know Big Red from drive-by clips of him acting like an oversized human foam finger.

If you’re not familiar, take this montage in:

I’ve spent the week devouring stories of Bill Walton that have popped up around the internet. Here’s the one that had me closest to driving to the nearest Build-A-Bear for something to cry into.

If you’ve lost a hero — a dad, mom, friend or celebrity crush — you probably know what it feels like. A little bit of the light that made your world visible has gone out. It’s harder to see how your puzzle piece fits into the cosmic whole.

Enter Beehive Sports. We may organize sports leagues but really, we’re just trying to help make everyone’s puzzle brighter.

Our particular portion of the tapestry was made ever brighter this year thanks to the continued efforts of many and the new efforts of a few special souls.

The many are too numerous to name but there are people living amongst us named — Hailey Baker, Damon Watson, Aaron Berg, Bentley Harmston, Allen Schowengert, Danielle Pavliv, Michael and Sina Ki (King and Queen of the Beehive Sand!), Godwin Smith, Thomas Morgan, TJ Bradley, Tim Burton, Danielle Hart, Kate Johnson, Tyler Nordbeck, Cam Mabie, Buddy Aygin, “Corky”, Daniel Fochs, Ryan Barber, Tom Farley — who are also human foam fingers. Each with their own color and texture but all showing up every week to make yours a little bit more fun.

2023 referee holiday party!

The few deserve a special shoutout.

Caitlin took the social media torch from Kate and never looked back. Her ability to tell the story of Beehive is only surpassed by her ability to love animals and the outdoors.

Nike is our new photographer and she has captured Beehive in it’s most elemental states. See below. As a photographer, she has the hardest to find quality — the wherewithall to tell people where to stand and what to do. She is fearless and it makes the photos she takes fearless too.

The best way to spend adulthood? Acting like a kid for at least one hour a week.

Kitrell aka Coach K aka Coach is the best kind of human. He’s caring yet steely, dependable yet flexible, driven yet open to a change in direction. He joined us for flag football last Spring and has since been open to helping out with anything and everything else. I admire him and the community is lucky to have him as one of its pillars. I bet he and Bill Walton would have a riot together too :)

Brandon Grebs has been a Swiss army knife on our fields. As a referee he’s kind yet firm. As a person, he’s welcoming and unassuming. Brandon isn’t the loudest guy but only because he wears his heart on his sleeve so his intentions and reason for being there are clear with a quick glance his way.

Alas, no annual letter is complete without mention of Lindsey and Jimmy. They continue to work miracles to get you the game times you want, the teammates you need and the shirts that after a long winter’s feast you are probably now too big to fit into (then another shirt that does fit).

I marvel at Lindsey’s organizational brain. I don’t have it and I think if you opened our heads up, the insides would look like totally different organs. Jimmy again proves to be a terrible league organizer in the best way possible. He spends hours going full John Nash on the window trying to get you the game schedule you requested just 24 hours ago. Give both of them a hug. As people and leaders of Beehive they are more valuable than all the bitcoin in the world.

The Cranky Cows being delightfully cranky again this Spring.

So, what next? Well, we plow forward into year fourteen(?!) of course! As Jerry Garcia of this weekly circus, I remain vigilant against the threat serious sports pose. Watching Luka compain to the referees for 48 minutes is a disease that spreads through the television. I will spend my adult years fighting that plague. Because no game, at any level, is worth losing sight of the larger puzzle picture over. Win, lose or tie, making a new friend or making a new memory with one you already have is paramount. Arguing with the referee or the other team is the quickest way to feel the worst kind of hungover (ashamed) the next day. Please read that last sentence again.

More than 300 leagues and 65,000 players into this giant social experiment, I’m proud of what we’ve learned and excited to see what comes next. I’m proud of the donations we can make to local charities every season ($70,000+ donated since 2011). I’m super proud of the more than 30% of people this Spring who answered “yes” to the registration question “Would you like to amplify your impact with an additional $5 donation to this season’s charity partner?” I’m proud that we keep evolving — our first mini golf league starts next month. More than anything, I’m proud of our continued committment to making the tweed sport coat that is Salt Lake City one that has tie dye patches on the elbows.

I’m the luckiest guy in the world. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for supporting Beehive. It wouldn’t have been the same long, strange, wonderful trip without you.

My request of you for 2024 and beyond — Be like Bill. Shine your light on and off the field. Fight the powers that exist to bring you down with unabashed enthusiasm that will lift you higher. How? Here’s an easy way: Join a free agent team — or tell me you’ll welcome a free agent onto yours. If you bring 1/10 of the spirit with which Bill Walton lived his life to your new team/teammate, I couldn’t possibly accept your registration fee. And that’s no empty promise, mention Bill and I’ll do the rest.

Here’s to another trip around the sun with friends.

And in the words of the immortal BW:

Throw it down, big man.

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