Many years ago, somewhere between 1986 and 1988, I played my first soccer. I attended a fairly small christian school and played football my eighth grade year which was the year all the football size people either graduated or left to attend a different school, so the next year we could not reasonably pretend that we were going to have a football team. So we were given soccer.
I was never a really big football fan, though I do watch at least a little of the yearly squaring off of the Vols and the Bulldogs. I always hope that Georgia wins, and I'm usually given that joy by the final buzzer. And there is a little someone inside of me that gets a little feeling when I hear Larry Munson's voice, sort of an aural time machine.
The small christian school grew much smaller the year I'd have been a senior, though I was on the soccer team each year till then. That isn't any sort of brag of course as even the two seventh graders that we lapped while running laps around the field made the team. These were kids that would never have made the team in a public school, and good little christians that we were, we were still total dicks to these poor kids.
So then came the years in which I didn't play any soccer. When the small christian school ceased half its operations I was "homeschooled" and no longer was able to play. The quotes above are not scare quotes because my own adventures as a homeschool kid were not what you'd call real overly homeschooley and as such are a whole other post. That was my twelfth grade year.
After a few years of all sorts of trouble I ended up in North Carolina for a few years. I met Momma in what certainly wasn't love at first sight for either of us, but this is one more instance of different post, different day. The point here is that I ended up getting her pregnant which prompted our move to Tennessee. The pregnancy produced Big Brother.
Another few years passed before Big Brother was old enough for soccer. We'd decided to homeschool and had never really considered sports. Neither Momma or I were really sports fans at this point. I still had fond memories of those days playing soccer, and I'd even carried a pair of cleats between different moves, never using them but hoping one day to find a game. I didn't really look, but in my defense, I was pretty busy doing drugs before the whole baby thing.
Those cleats were nowhere to be found when I finally did get that chance at a game. I think it was Big Brother's first season playing AYSO, possibly his second. I didn't coach his first season, but I soon realized that, not only did AYSO need volunteers, but I was not going to stay off the field. It just so happened that another coach needed some players to fill out his team that played in an adult league. He was wandering across the soccer complex and happened to randomly introduce himself and invite me to play.
That began my adult soccer years. The cleats I have now are a lot like my old high school cleats, the cheap kind of Adidas that have that annoying little bit of extra toe. They fit all right, and I do hate the living shit out of them, and they work well enough. I could stand to stop smoking and start exercising, but I figure playing soccer once or twice a week is good enough to cover both those.
This story started out being about winning two weeks in a row. Being on a decent team isn't something I'm used to. Maybe I've been on decent teams that weren't as well coached as they could have been, but that's probably just adult sour grapes about a certain high school basketball coach. It's nice having won these games.
Now that I've finally reached my point, I find that I've written as much about soccer as I care to for one night. We have a game coming up with a team we played earlier in the season. They were recently beaten by one of the teams we beat, though I remember them winning our earlier match. We'll see Sunday how that turns out.