The Not So Beautiful Game

Posted by Brandon |

First of all...I am Warped's fantasy football bitch.

I just got back from Redmond's Marymoor Park where I played in my very first full field, ninety minute soccer game. So how did it go? Let me put it this way...I've watched some soccer in my life, but I don't think I fully appreciated just how fucking big a soccer field is until today.

Seriously, I'd just get down to one end of the field and something would happen to switch the direction of play, so I'd have to turn around and sprint the other way. Running at full speed, I'd look down at the lines on the field and although it seemed like I'd been running forever, I'd just barely be crossing midfield. Meanwhile, the ball is being kicked around on the other side and I need to be down closer to the goal, so I'd keep on sprinting. A few times, we'd do something with the ball and I'd get to stay down on that end. But quite often, something would happen to switch the direction of play, so I'd have to turn around and sprint the other way once again. Soccer really is a bitch that way.

I did touch the ball a couple times, although it seemed like whenever I was out there, the ball stayed on the other side of the field, thus all the sprinting. In fact, in the first half, I didn't touch the ball even once. In the second half, the ball found me more often. Let's see, I headed one ball and it was a nice pass...to the other team. I received a pass facing the wrong way and I made a pass to another midfielder that was coming toward me, I didn't quite kick it hard enough and he had to improvise. Luckily, he's good and made gravy out of it and it ended up going for our second goal of the game. I had a few more touches including one really good defensive play that might of saved a goal, but for the amount of time I spent on the field, I didn't get much action.

But that's kind of fine by me, especially in these first few games, because I don't handle the ball particularly well nor do I shoot very well nor do I pass very well. So right now, everytime the ball heads my way, this wave of terror washes over me. My mind races...."What do I do? What do I do? Should I head it? Should I chest it? Should I let it go for someone else behind me? Is that guy going to try to take me out? Should I run and hide and pretend I didn't see it coming my way?"

Luckily, I've found a group of guys that seem pretty laid back and willing to let me and everybody else make some mistakes. It's an over 30 league and most of the guys haven't played competitively in 10 or 15 years - one guy hadn't played on a real team in 21 years. So while I was definitely the worst player on the field tonight (and the biggest - you don't find too many 6'4", 300 lb soccer players), I didn't feel like I was that far behind everybody else. But the big difference between all of them and me is that they all grew up playing soccer, I only started playing two years ago. So while maybe their fitness level and legs aren't quite there at least they mentally know what to do. I don't. I'm just out there making it up as I go along.

But I am happy to report that I have no injuries - we had a couple of guys come up lame and in the game before ours, they had to call the ambulance for what was probably a fractured ankle, I am really not that worn out - hence the late night soccer blogging, and we managed to come away with a 2-2 tie.


catherine said...

That was a great read :) I think I'm gonna email it to my pal who grew up playing soccer. He will, how you say, get a kick out of it.