It was a muggy, overcast July evening as the team was standing on the first base foul line, facing the infield before a practice. Everyone was a bit uncomfortable from the warmth of the damp air and felt tired after a long day. We were all nervous, anxious and fearful. Our defense has been well below average lately and Coach Moose made a rule that we were all to wear nut-cups during practice and games. As we toed the line, Moose told us that he was going to do a "cup-check" real quick before practice to make sure we all had them in today. For every player that failed to have a cup, the team would have to run sprints around the bases, which was horrible in the heat. We all had our cups in, except for one player, Chicken. I knew it, the team knew it, and Moose knew it that Chicken was the only guy without his cup. I was in the middle of the pack as Moose made his way down the line. He started with the first guy and gave him a little shot to the groin with the end of a baseball bat. The player made a small grunt, but no sign of any pain. He had passed. Then Moose went to the next guy. The results were the same. I was getting sweaty and nervous even though I had my cup in. It's hard to imagine what Chicken was feeling without his. Would Chicken fess up that he did not have the cup, or suck it up and take one for the team was the question running through all of our minds. Moose continued to move his way down the line as I was getting more and more nervous after each guy got checked. He got to the guy next to me and did the same routine. Then he arrived to me. I spread my legs to give him a clear shot. He gave it a pop with the bat. It felt mildly uncomfortable, but did not hurt at all. Moose then moved to Chicken. The whole team stopped what they were thinking and feeling to direct their attention towards Chicken. Chicken was one wild dude, who was the bravest and most loyal guy I have ever met. I'm all about loyalty towards one comrades, but this may be taking it a bit too far. Moose told Chicken to spread out his legs and Chicken obeyed. Chicken looked dead ahead, with a cold stone look on his face. He was ready to endure the punishment for the sake of his teammates. I've never seen a man look so focused in my life. Moose got the bat into position, hardly able to believe what he was about to do to this brave soul. Moose gave Chicken a little tap with the bat, but enough to cause some pain. We all watched with amazement, waiting for Chicken to cry, throw-up, or fall over. Chicken kept looking dead ahead, while his face got a little red and his knees buckled some. Not one sound or word came from the mouth of anyone as we all watched this ordeal unfold. Chicken then buckled some more, finally falling to his knees. He began to pant and gasp for breath. He then fell onto his back with his hands on top of his head. Chicken laid motionless as we all watched helplessly. Chicken was still silent, as he allowed himself to fully embrace the pain. Then came a little chuckle, then a bit of a laugh. The rest of the team started to grin and chuckle some too. Finally Chicken broke out into an all-out laugh and we followed suit. Members of the team grabbed Chicken from the ground and helped him get back on his feet. We all began to applaud and cheer the heroic efforts that we had just witnessed. Even Moose was impressed, but would never say it. Two teammates helped Chicken walk towards the dug-out as Chicken placed an arm around each of their shoulders to gain more support. Chicken finally made his way to the dugout and took a seat on the bench knowing what he had just done was legendary and that he just established himself as a hero. Moose then barked at us to take the field as we were about to begin practice. No laps were ran that day.