Jim Haner's book Soccerhead: An Accidental Journey into the American Game further reinforces what I have wholeheartedly come to believe: there is no better sport than soccer-- and although I can't and probably wouldn't take back the time I spent experimenting with other sports-- golf, football, rugby, mountain biking, road biking, tennis, ping-pong, pong-ping, track, swimming, marathon running, rock climbing, snow-boarding, fly fishing, wrestling, hiking, kayaking, surfing, basketball, skim boarding, and yes, even roller-blading (insert gay joke here)-- I sort of wish that I had just focused on the beautiful game alone . . . I certainly would have saved a lot of money on gear; but the book also presages my future and it might be monotonous and bleak-- in between coaching the eighth grade boys I'll be coaching my own kids on their travel teams, and my '92 Jeep, which is already full of soccer equipment for half the year, will become a full time soccer storage facility for PUGS and corner flags and balls and cones and ripe smelling pinneys, we won't be able to go on vacation or do anything else because the kids will always have games and tournaments and practice and eventually soccer will replace life, and so part of me wonders if my future would be more relaxing, fun, and enjoyable if my kids join the chess club instead (but this doesn't seem likely-- now that my school season is over, my backyard is full of cones and balls and I run a short fun soccer clinic for Alex and Ian every day).


Lecky said...

any ideas on why parents at soccer games are the worst behaved on the sidelines, more than any other sport? We've done many sports so far - football, baseball, basketball, etc., but I can't believe how much the parents scream on the sides compared to other sports. My theory so far is that soccer "looks" easy although it is extremely diffulty to play the game correctly

Whitney said...

Leck, I think you've nailed it. Many parents our age played it as a kid, and let's face it -- the game is pretty self-explanatory. So while nuances like marking up and the art of knowing where the open man is without seeing him are lost on them, the notion of "kick ball into net" is easy. And so they back-seat coach incessantly.

Get your kids to play rugby. No parents have any idea how it's played. And so long as you have a good health care plan, you'll only have to pay the co-pay.

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