Yes, when I was a kid I retired from soccer after just one season. In my final game I took a booted ball right to the face which snapped my glasses in two and caused me to crash to the field in a wet, goobery mess. Unfortunately, since we were low on players and couldn’t forfeit the big playoff game, I was forced to hang out on the field, blind and drippy, until the whistle blew.
And it wasn’t just soccer, either. I hung up the cleats after a season of baseball, too. Somehow I managed to bat fourteenth in the lineup and lead my team in hit-by-pitches. This was less because I crowded the plate with gritty teeth and steely determination and more because most twelve-year-olds can’t pitch straight and I have very slow reflexes.
Since I’m so bad at sports, I tend to over celebrate any type of tiny sports victory I can get. I’m not talking about shooting a buzzer-beating three pointer or catching a winning touchdown, either. No, I’m talking about any teeny-weeny play during the game where I get to feel like I actually did something right for a second.
My five faves are:
1.The Air Hockey Self Score. This is where your opponent fires the plastic puck so hard it bounces off your end and scores on their own net. Fist pumps all around.
2. The Accidental Pool Shot. Here’s where you aim for the six-ball in the corner pocket, but miss completely and send the cue ball spinning wildly around the table until it accidentally bumps another ball into a completely different pocket. We’ll take it.
3. Rim Rollers. Okay, over to basketball. This is when your shot bounces off the side of the backboard and clangs around for ten seconds, bouncing in every direction, before eventually, reluctantly, spinning around the rim and slowly falling into the basket.
4. The Slow Strike.¬† Do you ever go bowling? If you’re as bad as I am you love that moment where your ball barely nudges a corner pin and causes a slow-motion domino effect that eventually gives you a strike. Booyeah, time for a little celebration.
5. The Tennis Dropoff. Here’s my favorite one of all. Yes, when you win a point in tennis by hitting the ball into the net and having it immediately fall over and die on the other side, that’s just perfect. Now you get to relax and enjoy a brief moment of success.
Now I know what you’re thinking: These are all terrible cheap shots no athlete would be proud to score. But I’m no athlete, people. I’ll take my cheap shots when I get ’em if I get ’em. I’m not too proud to admit it, either.
So who’s with me?
Illustration from: here