Here is a tip: when you get a new lamp for your office and it says to only put 45 watt bulbs in it, DONT put 75 watt bulbs in it… especially if it was a cheap lamp and the little shade things that come on it are made out of cheap plastic. You might find that when you go to turn the lamp off that the little shade things are melting onto the bulb and your office will smell like burned plastic, and you HAVE to have the overhead florescent lights on.
Aside from that…
So, it was about 11 months ago when I went into “retirement”. Here is why.
My “last game” was the game in IMs where I scored a game-winning goal, to keep our play-off hopes alive. Off a cross from Flav. After winning in Kissimmee, I thought it was a good way to end my career.
Until I got an email from LR who asked if I wanted to play against the FSU club team last night. I didn’t (I am really out of shape… and thought that perhaps I at least ought to kick the ball around first before being on the field with 21 other people). Her response: “No. Wrong Answer.” Wha-What? I didn’t realize that there could be wrong answers when someone was asking if I wanted something.
None the less, LR assembled a team of good players. Included in this lot are a former FSU player, a former UCF player (who played with Michelle Ackers), a former D-III National Champion, Lincoln standout, and my personal hero LS (who played her last year of college ball in her thirties, AFTER she had had 4 kids- but is a baller in her own right). My guess is that LR didnt want me to hate soccer forever, because this team was pretty awesome. I may not have forgiven her if I had gotten shelled.
You can tell I am old, because I spent most of the warmup stretching and doing yoga to loosen up. I think there was a collective gasp when the first shot came in, low and quickly taken. One of those shots that relies mostly on reaction time and instinct and much less on skill. Surprisingly, I was down pretty quickly for it.
We got out to a 2 goal lead at half time… Kelly the Baller scored a bonafide ninja goal. Seriously, the only thing that would have made it better is if had had a ninja sword. The other team had passed the ball around a bit in the back… I was thinking, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? YOU’RE ABOUT TO GET THAT TAKEN AWAY… then Baller came out of no where (they clearly didnt see her because she was a ninja) took the ball and put it in the back of the net… it was beautiful. But then they came back. Goal 1 occurred when the ball came off one of my defenders into the path of a forward, who scored. Pre-Nico, 29 year old Jessi would have gotten it… but I dont count the goal, because it didnt result from some skill on the forward’s part (like I dont count toe-ball goals), just dumb luck. The second goal happened when I made a save and ran out to the top of the box to distribute the ball (I am a fan of distributing well out of the back in order to maintain possession… ) so I threw the ball to VA, only to find that I have lost a LOT of muscle mass because the ball went half as far as I thought it would. We lost possession of it and they knocked one in while I was in “No-Man’s Land.” The third goal happened off a set piece (DAMN you set pieces!!) There was a wicked crosswind that caught the ball and swept it out of my path, resulting in a goal. Luckily we scrapped hard and got a goal with about 5 minutes left.
Overall, it wasn’t too bad… you can tell I haven’t played in almost a year. At one point, I bobbled an easy ball in and actually fell backward onto my a$$ into the goal and as I did so swatted at the ball, keeping it out of the net (idiot). I did make a handful of other saves, including one near the end where I changed my mind four times on whether or not I would come out for the ball. Not too bad. Probably need to get in better shape before I play again. But I will take it.