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The Death of Spirit

December 9, 2010

THE green jersey

Spirit is our soccer team.  Dressed in green.

Of which, me and my elementary aged friends started and have played on for over 20 years.  The math is rudimentary at my age, go with me on this level of historical soccer proportion.

There have been great times…We have won it all and got beautiful mass-produced stiffy cotton t-shirts from any number of Columbus based bankrupt indoor soccer facilities.  (It should also be noted…we have also had massive cases of turf toe, and that stings.)

There have been tough times…One cannot count the number of horrendous seasons of despair and disappointment.

The opposing teams are getting younger, and we, in a fight against cruel nature itself, continue to get older.  I blame our livers.

Older = Losing.  No way around it.  Our balls are easing toward de-flatement.  (not soccer balls, the pair between our once manly legs)

So, imagine my dismay, when I asked our four most tenured players, if they would, in fact take over the team in my Honeymoon absence.  I cannot run a team from Australia.  Plain and simple.  Otherwise, I would.  So, I begged men of numerous succesful positions in our business community, who happened to be on our rag tag team…an accountant, a VP, another business owner, and one of those MBA gurus, if they, good souls, would manage our team?

…all were asked politely, if they would:

-pay the soccer facility our team membership in advance with their own funds

-collect from each player their individual team dues

-email the team about each game

-recruit young players when the old guys get hurt, tired, pregnant (huge problem in the white suburban soccer community, men “getting pregnant” and losing their right to play soccer)… or just plain wuss out because the game is at 10pm and their Metamucil is kicking in

-and most  importantly, ensure everyone wore green to each match (harder then it seems, quote “Sharp, I forgot my jersey, again”)

You know what all these vets said?  NO.

After running this team for years and years, I couldn’t get one commitment, from any veteran, for running this team a measly 4 weeks.

Therefore, Spirit will not play for the first time in 20 some years.  And, I feel it may be the end of the team.  My heart is heavy, but ironically,  my stress level has since plummeted.  Gone are the days of hauling around our beer bellies with thoughts of upper 90 grandeur, own goal debacles, rolling of our cankles, and screaming at each other as we assist the other team on the goal winning shot.

My only solace…that my soccer mates read this blog, and rejoice in me playing futbal on the Bondi Beach of Australia and mumbling: “that lazy bastard is only good for a 2 minute shift anyway.”  🙂

Rest In Peace Spirit.  The green jersey seems to have been retired for good.


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