Just over a month ago, I posted a rant about a roller derby match in which I perceived some inequities in some parts of that match. It took them a while, but some of the people from the Tragic City Rollers found that post and commented about it. Having written the post over a month ago, I had basically forgotten about it till now.
Based on the comments, as well as a couple of things that have happened to me recently playing soccer, I've had to rethink the post. As it turns out, I may not be the cleanest soccer player around, guilty of some fouls that I wasn't aware I was making. I've had two separate occurrences to lead me to this conclusion and the rethinking of the rant post.
During halftime of a game a couple of weeks ago, the refs addressed the captains of both teams to address some issues of aggressiveness. On our team, I was mentioned specifically for hacking at people's ankles. I still have a knot on one calf from getting kicked in that same game, one week and a half later to give a clue as the overall style of play we met that day. But meeting fouls with fouls is a shitty way to play, so that's no justification.
The second incident occurred last night while scrimmaging against a local U19 team. The coach of that team mauled the shit out of me at one point. I was doing okay keeping the ball away from him, but he was seriously attacking me soccer style. I was slapped, hit, kicked, elbowed
and eventually knocked down. The coach perceived some of how I was playing as being dirty, so he attacked me. I of course protested this and his suggestion that he was fair in repaying me in such fashion. I still feel that he set a shitty example for his team, but that's beside the point and no reflection on lessons I need to learn.
Upon asking my own team if I was the hack at the ankles guy, one person answered to say that he didn't think I did it intentionally. Well, there you have it. Intentional or not doesn't make it any better, and if my own team sees me this way, then this is no longer an issue of perception. But I will take it as a sign that I need to work at my game. It is not acceptable for me to play dirty or to cheat.
So what does this have to do with my rant? Of three comments the rant has garnered so far, the commenters seemed to think that their team did a fine job and in fact did the best job that they could. Add to this that this was their first home match, their first time hosting and being in charge, and perhaps my indictment of their intent is misplaced. Upon rereading that post, regardless of my perception of that match, my assertions were equally out of line. That's not how I want to be seen, perception again.
If this post has any point at all, it's that we all perceive things differently based on any number of elements. The game looks different on the field or the rink as opposed to safely on the side. You and I are always better off keeping our mouths shut and doing our best. I can't very well bitch about one perceived slight when I'm as guilty as I suggest of others. At the time I posted the original rant, I felt justified in being upset. I suppose I was quite full of righteous indignation. Looking back at it now, I'm kind of embarrassed by my rant. There is no grace in calling fouls after the fact, and though grace can certainly go straight to hell most of the time, I wish now I'd been more respectful in that ranting post.