bad mojo (and fucking gravel)

June 16th, 2005

My college class plays soccer on Thursday afternoons. They started about 6 months ago and admirably they keep it up, even now in the summer when school's out. I went to the first couple of practices just over Christmas and it was fun but I injured myself both times. It was the ankle. So I was healing for a long time, I didn't go since then. Towards the end of April I was back on the pitch but I didn't go to the school practice because it was sorta awkward starting at 4pm while I was still at work. Now they've moved it to 6pm and today was the first time I played again.

Oh what contrast to the previous practice, 24 degrees and sunny. On top of that I had had a heavy dinner and I felt heavy like a truck, could barely move. But it got better. My form didn't. I've been playing on astroturf and I love it, it's beautiful. But the school practice is on a gravel pitch and gravel f. sucks. Ball bounces like a maniac and the ball mechanics are all f. up. That means I suddenly have no clue. And no form to chase the ball either, good combination. You may have thought I would be out of place but the other guys are just the same. Ball skills are generally unknown to us. At least on a gravel pitch in my case. So we end up playing these guys who were already there when we showed up, Spanish speaking crew. They're definitely not Spaniards, they look more American. I can spot a Spaniard because they're very comsopolitan and dressy, they look totally European. These guys didn't, they were also very short each and every one. But fun to play with cause they comment every play. Also extremely skilled on the gravel, never a bad touch, fantastic ball reception so you know it wasn't their first time.

Among our crew we had the leader, the one who always sends out the "meet for practice" emails and keeps the whole thing going, a couple of lanky guys, a real trooper power forward, a determined wingman and young guy in an Ajax shirt who's whiter than snow. This guy kept pissing me off cause every touch of the ball was a lob, no matter his position on the pitch. All of them very badly taken. So we get underway and we're clearly inferior. I get a lucky break and score the first goal on a good and lucky finish. Then I try to dribble my man in defence and end up conceding a goal on the next play. My touches are terrible, the ball is all over the place and my reaction time is long cause I don't move well today. Another lucky finish and I score a second, although I have to give the goalkeeper most of the credit, he totally fumbled it. In all I got 5 shots on goal, at least I forced a save out of the keeper on all but one. It shows I've been working on my finishing cause 4 out of those 5 were well taken. And that's pretty much where my contribution ends. I don't think anyone outscored me on my team, the wingman also got 2. But that just shows how terrible we were. About 40 minutes into it, I get a good touch for once, the ball is up there, I wanna take it down and turn my man. As I go for it, I get his arm in my face. Nose bleeding. I'm telling you I'm not meant to play with these guys, everytime I show up something happens to me. But I take a breather and I'm good to go again. I get a little better as we go along ball control-wise, but every pass I make is too slow, I can't make it work at all. I also completely embarass myself on some counters as I fumble the ball most of the times. It's so disheartening to go from playing well week in and week out the past couple of months on the weekends (astroturf, people) to an absolute stinker today.

But I'm showing up next week.

Oh and one of the guys we played against scored with a bicycle kick, that's right on gravel.

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2 Responses to "bad mojo (and fucking gravel)"

  1. Erik says:

    Jesus, a bicycle kick on gravel? Ouch. Yet you took a breather for a bloody nose. Wimp

    BTW sure the keeper will thank you for giving him credit on that second goal

  2. numerodix says:

    Hehe well I didn't mind it so much, it's not like it hurts a lot, but it seemed a tad impractical running around with a bleeding nose, at the risk of losing too much blood toward the end.

    I'm counting on it. He was like 40...