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October 15th, 2009

Overdue Apologies (Part VI)

Dear 1995 QuickSilver Soccer Team,

I am sorry for how awful I was- as a player and as a teammate. I think most of you were there by choice, to bond with other girls, to have fun, to win soccer games. I was there mostly because my mom signed me up, but also because my dad signed me up. See, they love me, and in the fall of 1995, they wanted me to have something to do after school that would break me of my awful habit of sitting at the kitchen table doing homework. (I was kind of a bad kid, I guess.)

So Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, my mom would drive me down to the local State Recreation Area for a little forced athleticism. You all were very good players. I was not. I didn’t have the speed to play offense, or the reflexes to play goalie (also, I didn’t want to get hit in the face with a soccer ball). Our coach, Debbie, tried her very best to make me feel like I was a necessary part of the team by giving me the role of “Fullback” which I always thought sounded more like a cut of meat than a defensive position. This meant that I was allowed to stand around while you all did most of the work.

And stand around I did! The afternoon sun was perfect for clasping my hands on top of my head and making shadow “eyeballs.” When you guys came barreling down the field toward me, I’d pretend to be really focused on the game and I’d kind of bounce from one foot to the other, which was my best approximation of what I thought an athlete was supposed to do when faced with the opportunity to defend her goal. I probably kicked the ball once the entire season. And it probably went directly out of bounds.

But my lack of skill and interest isn’t what I want to apologize for. I want to apologize for all of my weird behavior that I’m sure made everyone uncomfortable. Like the day I finished every sentence with “…and tings of dat nature,” in my “Mel Brooks” voice. Or that time during a Saturday round-robin when I actually left the field to “take a nap” on the sidelines- and tried to recruit others to do the same: “We’re losing and we have a WHOLE OTHER GAME AFTER THIS. We need our rest guys, come on!”

And I’m also sorry for the time I came around the corner during a warm-up run with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. Sally and I found an abandoned pack in the bushes. I picked them up and passed one to her. They weren’t lit of course- that would be disgusting. But I thought it would be fantastic if we had them hanging from our mouths when we came jogging back to our field. It did not get the response I was hoping for, so I held onto mine for most of practice, pausing during pass-and-shoot drills to take long, exaggerated “drags.”

And what did I prove by being an obnoxious weirdo? I guess I thought that if I couldn’t succeed at soccer, at least I could make people laugh. In reality, I only ended up proving that I was an obnoxious weirdo. Plus, Coach Debbie had the last laugh when she awarded me the trophy for “Best Attitude” at our end-of-season pizza party.

So for all of my shenanigans, my lack of team spirit and my complete dismissal of the actual sport, I apologize to all of you girls on the 1995 Quicksilver Soccer Team.

3 comments to Overdue Apologies (Part VI)

  • Chris

    My soccer coach also decided I was a perfect fit for the fullback position. I was much better suited to YMCA non-competitive basketball, where my height and gangliness assured me unearned respect.

  • Lyn

    LOL…..I seriously wish my kids were ‘fullbacks.’ Watching them take hits, glance off hard kicked balls, get pushed and shoved and ‘cleated’ is just not my kind of parental fun. However, HE is in line to get MVP at the soccer banquet in a couple of weeks and the invitation to move up to the high school Varsity team for the district play offs next week. But I still miss the rec soccer days when it was all in fun. And for the record, the ciggie thing would be right up my Princess’ alley. : )

  • […] and so if I’m not great at something right off the bat, I get mighty frustrated (recall how I dealt with soccer). This particular afternoon, I had been “it” about 89 times in the course of ten […]

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