Thursday, April 16, 2009

Soccer Suck-sess

My daughter's indoor soccer team recently reached the league finals, in all modesty, because of my superior communication skills.

I apparently was the only coach to e-mail his players' parents every week to remind them what time the game started.

This paid off in three of our five victories coming from the other team not having enough players show up.

"I think they fear your pink uniforms," the opposing coach said right after his team forfeited to us for the second time this season. To salt his wounds, it was the first round of the playoffs. He's also the league commissioner.

The downside of our persistence was a rematch against the one team we hadn't beaten in two seasons. We hadn't even scored on this team, not even when it inserted a goalie that would fail the minimum height requirement to be a member of the Lollipop Guild in a pygmy colony production of The Wizard of Oz.

Some of this dominance had to do with their coach. He is a former professional player from one of those European countries where parents think 9-and-under soccer is more than just a way to burn off their kid's week's worth of high frutose corn syrup consumption under some other sucker's watch. I, on the other hand, honed my coaching technique by thrice watching a shaky 17-minute VHS tape that I borrowed from my neighbor who kept said tape in a shoebox in his basement next to his beer. (And yes, I too was disappointed -- no, shocked! -- that it wasn't a mislabeled porno.)

The day of the big game arrived and I was ready with a clipboard full of player alignment diagrams and ball movement strategies. These, I thought, would perfectly complement my tried-and-true mantras of "kick the frickin' ball" (offense), "get up in their grill" (defense)" and "ARRRRR" (general purpose, used mostly when the first two mantras are not adhered to). Since these were girls, I unfortunately had to shelve use of the soccer version of the ball-into-your opponent's-groin move I learned in childhood from the Burt Reynolds' football classic The Longest Yard.

The adrenaline coursed through my being. My blood pressure raced several ticks past the red zone. I grabbed my bag of secondhand soccer balls from the minivan and barked at Thing 1 to stop playing Dancing with the Stars on her Nintendo and get her gad-dang gameface on!

"ARRRRR!!!" she roared.

"ARRRRR!!!" I roared ... shortly thereafter when I was told the championship game was canceled.

Apparently, the league never intended to have playoffs for our division, and they gave our gym time to another league.

"The weather is nice," said the opposing coach. "If your players want, we can have a scrimmage on the fields in back. The goals are still up back there."

We took our players down to the fields. While his gathered around in a quiet circle at his feet, mine spastically flayed their arms and scattered when they saw the carpet of Canada goose poop they were going to play upon.

The game lasted about half an hour in the open air, which seemed to make my players forget the few basics they knew, such as what color jerseys their teammates wore. We were down 3-0 in the last minute when I heard the other team's assistant (the pro coach, BTW, had left early presumably to scout potential recruits at a "Mommy and Me" playgroup) tell his players to ease up.

Our team responded quickly with a shot on goal!

It went wide by 10 yards.

"We tried to let them score but they wouldn't!" I heard one of the other team's players complain.

Not "couldn't."

But "wouldn't."

That's my team.

Unwilling to surrender to the slatternly beckon of on-field charity!

Or, more likely, just oblivious to the situation.



  1. Aw, but they had fun! That's what counts. Honestly, what really counts is that you got my freakin' face off your blog. I've never been so happy to see a blogger post before!

  2. Too Funny. Painfully true, but funny.

    PS. Pink uniforms not only instill fear in you opponents, causing them not to show, they can also cause "no shows" from half your own team in Co-ed Pee Wee.

  3. I love how we can get wrapped up in our kids sports!!!

  4. Savor these times. If your girls ever entere the world of "travel" soccer or worst, fast pitch, competition turns ugly very quickly.

    And...I love that your teams supports breast cancer awareness!!

  5. Is this one of those leagues where everyone gets a trophy?

  6. Rodney Dangerfield in in Ladybugs ain't got nothing on you.


    (Does soccer have something to do with talking like a pirate?)

  7. Is this perhaps what sportscasters mean when they refer to "dream teams" and "feel good game of the century"? I can not be sure, you see, because sports confuse me. My position in pee wee softball was hiding out in the girls restroom during the game, so you can see my confusion.

  8. The real victory is being able to get the whole team in shin guards and cleats all at the same time.

  9. If you want to see true "every man for himself" and general obliviousness, just watch Middle School Cheerleaders. They just haven't got the "team" thing down yet. But your soccer girls have a chance to learn true teamwork.

    Cheerleading is cute, but they're a bunch of divas competing rather than a team cooperating.

    Thank God THAT is all behind us now...

  10. Awww... it sounds cute. I think it was the fact you are the monster blogger that scared everyone off (except that professional guy!)
    Glad ya'll had fun (except for the Geese poop).

  11. I kind of think these games have more to do with keeping the kids from kicking each other than actually playing soccer. But I could be very wrong. I have seen and heard the fanatic soccer moms and dads and my ex all giving player advice. Anyway, I always bring snacks. That's where the real team camaraderie happens.

  12. As long as they didn't score on their own goalie, consider the game a success.

  13. I'll second Stacey's comment above. I got scored on by a teammate once... needless to say, my guard was down since there wasn't an opponent on that entire half of the field.

    If only we'd had those fierce pink uniforms!

  14. LOL...okay, I know I shouldn't be laughing, because I actually take soccer seriously, I'm more like that other coach, I'm obsessed! but You must have played the team we played the other day!


    They scored like 8 was completely embarrassing...

    But the kids were just happy to have treats after the game! :)

  15. ok seriously that was hilarious! really hilarious. i could imagine it all and laughed hard.
    And its awesome that you coach those girls and volunteer at the school. you must be one great dad.

  16. As a child, I had the honor of being a member of a soccer team that scored not a single goal all season long. But our team was called the Lasers and we thought we were cool, so we still managed to have some kind of fun.

  17. I just love little girl's soccer. 20 little legs flailing around the field...I call them Hokey - Pokey goals because 'they put their whole self in' to the net along with the ball.

    Go Pink!!


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