Friday, May 24, 2013

A day in the life of a co-ed referee

No one ever looks like this.

It’s well into the second half, past 10pm on a Thursday night.
Two very yet equally unskilled adult co-ed adult teams -red and white- are battling zero-zero.

Red team lobs the ball down the field in an attack.

The only skilled player on the field -a woman on the red team who initially looked like a supermodel until she got the ball at her feet- goes chasing after it fast and strong. Judging from her skill, she clearly played select as a youth, but suspect she didn’t play in college.

The defender on the white team -a big guy and not horribly unskilled, just moderately so- races over to clear it.

From my angle 20 yards behind them, I distinctly see the woman fearlessly throw her shoulder into the guy in an attempt to shield the ball.

She’s about 5’4, 110lbs. He’s 6’1, probably 190.

They both collapse. She stays on the ground a little bit longer.

What’s the call?

***        ***        ***        ***        ***

Before we continue, let’s reflect on a millennia of humankind. Since they first morphed from newts into modern humans, men and women have been battling.

Men (to make a huge generalization) have always been larger than women, and women have always had to battle (in whatever sense of the word you want to use) bigger, stronger men.

Thus size of a guy has never been a deterrent.

Thus, women have had to employ other techniques to battle a larger antagonist. Hitting below the belt. Psychological and emotional warfare. Pulling hair. Shooting lazer beams from their eyes. Whatever it takes.

Conversely, when two guys battle, they make an assessment: either, “this guy about my size, I can take him on.” or, “Whoa! This guy is much bigger than me, no way I can win in a fair fight”.

Women don’t make such an assessment. Battling bigger guys is in their DNA. It’s part of the battle of the sexes that’s ingrained in all of us.

Fast forward to modern day co-ed soccer, and the situation isn’t much different, and far too often an aggressive, fearless woman takes on a guy much larger than her.

Basic laws of physics (remember that lesson in high school about the fly colliding with a train?) say when two objects collide, the larger one remains standing.

This kinda has something to do with it.

And when a much smaller woman collides with a much larger man in a bottom division co-ed game, the initial reaction of some is to scream “He fouled!”

But did he? Can a woman throw herself at a guy and not be called for it? (Insert joke about woman throwing herself at me...)

Of course not! She fouled HIM! Had she not so recklessly charged, she wouldn’t’ve gone down, wouldn’t’ve injured herself. Just cause you’re smaller doesn’t give you carte blanche to go all tasmanian devil on the opposition.

I had a very similar incident just a few weeks early: tiny, skilled, and aggressive woman throwing herself at a much larger guy. Both went down, but it was obviously her fault. In both instances, the team of the fouler (the woman’s team) were furious.

“How is that possible that she fouled HIM! he’s so much bigger!”

THE TRUTH, HOWEVER: the minute I saw her I had two thoughts: “Oh my God she’s beautiful." 

Kinda like this hot, but with a soccer ball

I also wondered if I could recruit her for my own team, two positive indications that I would fuck up bad.

Sure enough, my junior high school days returned to curse me yet again.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sounders vs Revolution

I drafted this article in early April, but couldn't finalize it in time for anything relevant. Instead I'm posting it here in reference for future "predictions"


I write this on the bus to the Revs game. I have a feeling that my main point of this piece will be relevant regardless of today’s outcome. All those whiners, worriers and pessimists crying over the Sounders "poor showing" thus far: give me a fucking break. Are you serious? 

Nothing but a 3-0 blowout over the Revs will change those tunes. 

Let me recap: at the beginning of the season I opined that we were "doomed", doomed being defined as no chance in CCL, probably not the Supporters Shield, only a decent shot at the MLS cup.

So far, I've been wrong. 

First, we filled Fredy's shoes with someone who could potentially be leagues better. Instead of a hopeful Colombian national, an experienced Nigerian national.  

Second, we did something no other MLS team has accomplished: come from a 2-0 deficit to beat a MX team in the CCL. 

Third, we accomplished what few MLS teams have done: tied a MX team on their home turf. And much to my dismay, we were one measly goal away from being in the CCL final. 

That is reason to celebrate. 

Sure, we lost late in our home opener against Montreal - a much stronger team than expected. We tied late disappointingly to Portland. Our RSL match was one of those blowouts every team needs to have at least once a season. 

We have 1 point and sit at the "bottom" of the table, but so fuckin what, we're only three games in! (Post-game update: two points and four games in, still at the bottom, still so what.)

He'll, we could be at the bottom in July and thanks to LAG v2012, and I'll say "so what". 

Cause it comes down to and Onion article from years back: "only four more months until meaningful baseball". The score of these games really doesn’t matter, the first four months of MLS play are more about building a team and congealing a force for the playoffs. 

So all you distraught “fans” calling for Sigi’s head, chill out. He’s got this.

You should be more disappointed that we'll have to wait until 2015 to win the CCL cup.