My distaste for soccer has been well documented. For all of my complaining and making fun of the “sport”, my daughter continues to rank it as her favorite activity.
Maybe when she gets to her early teen years, she will meet a nice truck driver and run away from home and put this foolish soccer business behind her.
I am still hopeful that DNA testing can prove I am not her father. Time will tell. Please keep a good thought for me until the lab gets back to us with the results.
Until then, she has decided that we are going to spend our weekends at the local YMCA participating in an indoor soccer league.
Instantly, I recognized there were a few things wrong with this plan. One, it involves we (as in me). Two, the local YMCA is 25 miles away (not exactly my idea of local). And three, it’s soccer (I will continue to make the argument that anything that wants to be recognized as a sport must involve the use of hands).
Being the good father (alleged father I might add), I volunteered to help as an assistant coach of this train wreck. I figured the worst case scenario would be getting a free t-shirt out of the deal.
Shortly after I signed the entry form and made this deal with devil, the YMCA called. I was hopeful that they had gotten a hold of my criminal record and would have to deny me the opportunity of babysitting these small children for the next 10 weeks.
This exclusion as an assistant coach would be based on the fact that I was accused of a string of felonies during my misspent youth (accused, never convicted).
But sadly, no.
They were calling to inform me that I had been named head coach of my daughter’s team. I specifically put on the information sheet that I know nothing about soccer,
hated the “sport” and anyone involved with it, and that I also have anger management issues.
This evidently made me an excellent candidate and qualified me to be in charge of an entire team of 7 and 8 year olds.
I guess I should have included my drinking problem, my ADD, my penchant for cursing, and the fact that I carry a concealed weapon (hindsight is so 20/20).
During the phone call, I was told that I must attend a mandatory meeting or I will not be allowed to act as a head coach.
Don’t tempt me people.
For my daughter’s sake (at least until the test comes back), I went to the meeting. Turns out there is an entire secret society of dads who hate soccer, but will do anything for their daughters (I am assuming they are the actual fathers).
I was feeling pretty good when I realized that I was surrounded by dads who knew as little, or less than I do about Guatemala’s national pastime.
Until one of them announced he was from South Africa. Crap. He promised not to beat us too badly, but I am not going to get my hopes up. After all, he knows all the insights about the game, such as positions, rules, and strategy.
Still things didn’t seem too bad. I can hold my own with the other coaches and who cares if I lose 24-0 against the South Africans.
At least in that game there will be actual goals scored.
The only thing left to do was pick up my shirts and get my team name. The nice (and tolerant) man in charge handed me 10 black jerseys.
Yes! Crossing my lower elementary band of soccer hoodlums will be unthinkable. We will be the Oakland Raiders of the YMCA. No one (except the South Africans) will even think of messing with us.
We will roll right through our schedule. I was already considering where to put the championship trophy in my office.
Teams will rue the day when they faced us on a cold and bitter Saturday morning.
At this point, I must admit that I was almost getting excited. I was giddy with anticipation as I turned the first shirt over to see what business was lucky enough to sponsor my team (yes, at this point they had become “my team”).
Would it be a sporting goods store? Possibly a funeral home. Maybe even a liquor store. Could I get lucky and it’s the local bail bondsman?
We need to be sponsored by a big, rough and tough company so the other teams know we mean business.
I am sorry to say none of these are sponsoring us.
I turned the shirt over and much to my horror… we are being sponsored by the local Orthopedic Clinic. We are so getting our behinds kicked (literally, because you can’t use your hands).
Somewhere, soccer guy is not laughing with me, but at me.