Friday, January 25, 2013

Team Matters

There's little be said about my soccer team but I'm saying it anyway. To start with, despite religiously attending five training days a week, we haven't been in any competitive league for more than a year now. This has made many of our talented members move on to more "serious" outfits. When professionals emigrate to greener pastures, we call it brain drain; but soccer should be talking about "leg drain".

The few friendly matches we have played against ragtag opposition have dangerously exposed our lack of exposure. Team chemistry is severely lacking. This means our formation disintegrates five minutes into the match as some of our more adventurous players pursue the ball to the ends of the earth, venturing far beyond the prescribed limits of their position. But all is not lost. We have registered few heavy losses (7-0 once), many narrow losses, some draws, and one narrow win which I celebrated on Twitter all day.

Gone are the days when boys dared not bring their girlfriends to training for fear of unwelcome attention from other players. It was severe. Even average-looking to attractive female strangers passing by were subjected to all sorts of catcalls, brash demands for their cell numbers and shouted lewdness. I got embarrassed to be associated with my team during these wild displays of uncouth conduct. But boys will be boys. Nowadays, however, the guys have transformed into austere gentlemen, if not suave womanizers. A competition appears to have emerged as to who will bring the prettiest girlfriend to sit on the sidelines (the grass), presumably to watch two hours of other people playing soccer. But most of them bring out their internet surfboards and zone out while the respective boyfriend labors valiantly on the pitch to impress. It is like dancing for the blind.

I try to maintain focus. I go there to play soccer.

I've always wondered why I love soccer so much despite its obvious pointlessness, and the answer came to me albeit rather painfully. One of my high speed dashes down the right wing was cut short by a ruthless defender's leg, I tripped on it, fell hard and bled at both knees. However, thanks to adrenalin, I continued playing for thirty minutes after that injury until training ended. I even walked home uneventfully. But as the adrenalin finally subsided in my body, the pain set in, and I became as an old man debilitated by gout: sore, stiff and awkward. A friend of mine who met me limping on the homeward stretch walked up to me and said I was walking like one freshly circumcised.

Point is: I love soccer because of the adrenalin, and I didn't even know it until the adrenalin ran dry.

1 comment:

  1. Ah! Brilliant! Antony I love your writing! It is so unique! You have found your writers voice! Congratulations! "It is like dancing for the blind." LOL! "austere gentlemen, if not suave womanizers." God bless the work of your hands!

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