I’ve mentioned that I love my soccer team. And that I love the sport. I’m pretty sure I’ve also mentioned that I’m not really a proficient player. I didn’t grow up playing the game. The extent of my playing was running drills with my dad’s team when I was 4. When he tried to sign me up for a team, I politely declined. I’m not sure why, there was candy involved if I signed up.
I picked up my love of soccer after I got married. My husband plays soccer. He grew up playing soccer. He even did a short stint playing for a University team. My husband is really good at the game. He understands the ins and outs. How to properly throw a ball in. He can do fancy footwork. I’m lucky to not trip over myself. He doesn’t look around bewildered when the ref blows the whistle. When the ref blows the whistle, I look around wondering what’s going on? Is it our ball? Is the game over? What’s happening? Are we offside – wait remind me what offside means, again?
Shortly after we married, the 2002 World Cup began. We watched the games with our dear friends, Stephen and Michelle, who also love soccer. Actually, our husbands love soccer. Michelle and I like to talk trash during games just to annoy our loved ones 🙂 Although to Michelle’s credit, she grew up playing soccer. I just like to talk trash. Yes, it is very annoying to watch a game with me. It’s really a testament to how much my husband loves me.
Anyway, for those who watch US soccer, the thing that probably sticks out in their minds about this particular World Cup is how the US lost to a questionable handball incident. For me, I remember going to sleep at 9:30 or 10 so I could wake up at midnight to watch the games. I’m not sure if it was the late nights, getting together with out friends or national pride, but I totally fell in love with the sport. Of course, since 2002, I’ve realized that soccer encompasses so much more – fashion, global culture and let’s not forget the drama. I love drama. Please note – I love drama that does not involve me personally.
This past Tuesday we played another game. My highlights –
1. I got called for improperly throwing the ball in. I heard my husband from across the field saying, “It’s ok.” Love that man. Will I ever learn?
2. My next throw in, I hear our captain and our friend, feeding instructions from the sidelines, “Both hands straight over head….” Oh lord, throw ins will haunt me for the rest of my life.
3. At one point near the very end of the game, I was wide open for the ball. I actually yelled for it. “I’m OPEN” Usually I don’t yell for it. I’m typically calling out other people’s names that are open and available. Pass it to …
**Picture it – You know the part in the movie, where the ball lands at the feet of the player least likely to do anything with it. It’s the scene where internally you’re yelling, pick it up kid, run. That’s me. When it comes to soccer, I’m that kid. I’m usually more stressed out with what do I do once I have the ball, but this time I wanted the ball. I wanted the pass so that I could score. Mind you, there is no telling what I would have done had I actually gotten the ball, but at least I was trying.
4. A couple of minutes later after calling for the ball, I trapped the ball, and then the most amazing thing happened, I actually kicked it in the general direction of the goal. I know, you were hoping I had scored. Me too. But hey, one thing at a time. I trapped the ball and then I actually connected my foot to the ball toward the goal. Remember, I have a hard time with throw ins. Plus, I haven’t quite perfected the dance I’m going to do once I score. All the pros do it, I figure I should have a dance in my back pocket. Or should I just go for the old stand by, airplane?
***Personal Disclaimer***I don’t suck at all sports. I’m pretty good at tennis and softball. No Really. It’s true.