#479 Actually seeing a goal when you’re watching soccer

Did you play soccer as a kid?

I did and let me tell you something, brother: it wasn’t pretty.

Nope, I was a baggy-shorts wearing, skinned-knees masterpiece of fumbly awkwardness. I would strap my glasses around my head, velcro up my sneakers, and keep the bench warm in case someone got hurt. My appearances were always marked by dark sweeping clouds, sudden hail storms, and my parents sitting on the sidelines in plastic lawn chairs with hot tears in their eyes as I brought down our family’s good name one defensive miscue at a time.

On the plus side, most of our childhood games featured a dramatic and neverending display of our team’s best offensive strategy: The Amoeba. Basically, we would get into a giant, snot-nosed clump of dirty running shoes and hairless legs and run after the ball in a Braveheartesque death charge, only with less face paint and more grass stains.

When The Amoeba slid down field we’d leave our goalie all alone and he’d become a quiet six-year-old study in zen mastery. Yes, we’d be rushing away and he’d absentmindedly play with his shoelaces, catch grasshoppers, or stare deep into the core of the sun.

When The Amoeba slid down field we were unstoppable. We’d kick ball after ball to the back of the net and then run around like maniacs. Most of our goals went in because their goalie was busy studying zen mastery as well.

And sure, our games lacked acrobatic scissor-kicks, field-length boots, and curvy corner shots, but they sure had goals and plenty of them.

Yes, it’s always electric when careful criss-crossing climaxes in booming shots to the back of the net. And it’s always a bit disappointing when it doesn’t.

It sure is great watching soccer and actually seeing a goal. So just hold your breath, cross your fingers, and pray it eventually happens.


Photos from: here, here, and here

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