The fact that I play soccer on an adult recreational team may have escaped. Actually, my Myspace id is King of the Pitch which makes me laugh because at least I know it's a joke. But to get back to my original story, my town has two different adult soccer leagues, and within the league I am part of we have a competitive division as well as a rec. division. For a country that isn't supposed to like or get soccer/football/futbol, I have to wonder why we didn't get the message, especially when we can field almost 20 teams of grownups in my small city/big town.
We also have a sort of playoffs, which is where we enter the story. Two weeks ago, we were unable to play. A pair of goals had disappeared from the park where we play, so only three fields were available. Because our game time was approaching and we obviously wouldn't have the team on the field, we were asked if we'd cancel and reschedule our game so that another team could use our field. The cancellation avoided our having to forfeit.
We did reschedule the game for the following Saturday with our regularly scheduled game on Sunday. I'm not really old at all, though I feel the years I wasn't respectful of my body creeping round sometimes. But I'm also not that young, and two games in two days is a royal pain in the patoot.
Our rescheduled game day came around. Big Brother's team played beautifully if you can ignore Big Brother playing goalkeeper by hanging from the crosspiece, but that's another story. On the Saturday we were supposed to make up our game, the opposing team had trouble getting their team to show. We were also seriously underhanded, but we had more players than they.
League rules require that a team have at least seven players on the field for a game to be counted. The opposing (blue) team had seven until one of their players pulled a muscle in his thigh. We had a player or two more than they did meaning that they weren't likely to beat us. The numbers tilted to their favor slightly when one of my teammates decided that his first yellow card wasn't enough, so he got a second which is basically a red and meant that he would not be playing with us the next day. League rules once again.
The blue team, having begun the game but unable to finish, allowed us to beat them by five goals. That's what we needed to get our best place in the playoffs. That bothered me, and still does. I appreciate that they were willing to do this for us, but I do not want to win a game that way. This is my first season on this team as I was on the blue team the last time that I played, and I still really like most of the guys on the team. But both teams are North Knox county, so we got divided a little differently this time around. Now if the 40 +/- people that originally showed up would actually come to all the games . . .
The next day we played the first place team. At the half they were up by two goals. We were playing ten on the field as we were short one girl. League rules require two girls on the field or your team plays a man down. The opposing team had their girls and several subs both male and female.
My team was playing fairly well. The opponents were getting a little frustrated at the half as we'd allowed only two goals and they're used to smacking the crap out of people. I subbed out just prior to the half as my team's attitude was turning ugly, and worse, we were turning on each other. I left to regain my composure as I was growing angry and frustrated with my team. I needed to cool off. Into the second half I was getting more upset as my team fell apart. I waited to sub in, preferring for my anger to recede so that I didn't take it onto the field and do something stupid.
I finally did go back in and played hard. The game was winding down, and I'd had to do a couple of half field sprints trying to stop an attack on my goal. I was fighting to breathe at this point, and I could feel my lungs screaming at me to stop. I needed to rest. I called for a sub and looked to the empty spot where my team should have been. There were no players there, so I found them, TAKING OFF THEIR SOCKS AND SHOES!!! They had quit, had given up.
I was really angry at this point. I thanked them as loudly as I could and in a most friendly way.
I don't know what to do now. We have another game Sunday, our last of the season. I like some of my new teammates, and we have a ton of talent on our team. We could really work well together, but some people are just less committed than others, and it's hard to develop that onfield relationship when you don't always play with the same people, when you aren't sure who will show up from one week to the next. Add to that the feeling of anger I still have for those teammates who were willing to quit.
I'm glad I held off posting this. I almost did it Sunday night, when the vitriol was still fresh, when my anger was still keeping me warm. I know it's another addition in a long line of boring stories that I've posted. I know that my edit will be the only time someone reads all the way through. Actually, that's why I use spellcheck, because then I know that at least the spell check is reading it. YES IT IS! The spell check can too read, and it cares about my feelings. I love you spell check.