when you have the ball in soccer, basketball, football, well, in any sport where you have control of the ball and you dupe the opposition with a move, a fake, a feint and they fall for it…we call it “breaking ankles.” you know, like “hey, i just broke that kid’s ankles.”
i have a thought pertaining to art, music, sport…
if you are any good at all, then you know that you can be better. i played some football in my youth, screamed in a band, took some photos, talked for hours a day on the radio, made some art, wrote some words, basically i failed at a whole litany of “things.” i can honestly say i was never that good at any of those “things,” but i was good enough to understand that i needed to improve, and that i could. now with young boys, there’s an ego, there’s a “i’m the best at this” attitude that helps drive them. you never want to smother that, but you do want them to understand that there really never is a “best.” you are in charge of pushing yourself to this unobtainable notion of an invisible measuring stick. now, you can use stats, or the eyeball test, or success as a gauge in anything your are doing but none of those things truly can give you a scale to mark your personal “better.” i am proud that boy #1 and boy #2 manage to push themselves to be better in so many ways. there’s maturity there that i didn’t possess at their ages when it comes to drive and fortitude. that’s kind of a big deal. it’s serving them well.
when i snap a frame at a soccer match, i think i am trying capture a story in 1/500th of a second that speaks to “getting better.” i doesn’t always work, it maybe never works as a public narrative–but to me, what i see here is a boy, who looks more like a man, compared to the opposition. he is running towards a ball not in the frame, and he has already beaten a pair of kids mentally, they are giving up, he isn’t. he doesn’t know they have, he doesn’t care whether they have or not. he has focus, he is finding a maturity. he sent me a text the night before a full weekend of soccer matches, it said, “i don’t even care. like i literally could be playing against college kids or a 2-year-old. i really don’t care at all.” he is making his soccer game, about his role, not about others. he’s getting better.
in a mere two days, the struggle begins again, Spring springs into soccer season. the fun, the pain, the joy, the want, the jubilation, the disappointment. i would not trade some of these moments for anything, here’s to hours in the car for a few moments of beauty. the first weekend, the Cincy Elite College Showcase, can’t wait.
this is a late Fall image, against the #1 team in the country at our age group at the CASL tournament. there’s only one way to get better, play the best.
yes, yes, it approaches. the spring season of soccer in the midwest/south. miles on the road between kentucky, ohio, virginia, tennessee, indiana and the like. dreams of trophies and cups. and getting better, always better–ball to foot, earphones to head, foot to gas, smiles to faces. sun-up will be here before we know it and we will start that day.
i don’t consider myself any sort of beer snob, expert or anything. merely an appreciator of really good beer. it’s good time to enjoy beer. it was always a given that you had to have beer originating from the sausage eating parts of the world to really get the get stuff, or at least head to the U.K. but now with the craft brewers of America absolutely polluting the market with incredible product it’s just a matter of finding what you like and sampling as much of it as you can…well, that’s my little philosophy anyway. here’s to Lexington’s growing beer community and the makers and drinkers of the product.
a boy blames everyone and everything but himself when he loses, a man takes responsibility for what happened. lessons you learn in competition. if you lose, you do it with some dignity, some grace and you learn what to do to lessen the likelihood of similar outcomes. so the fall soccer comes to an end great victories, stinging defeats. now, rest, regroup and work on the things that make you a better player, a better person and work on that man you are becoming.
as October wanes and the temperatures get more full of bite, there’s still a rash of good soccer to play. the weekend means The Adidas Blue Chip Invitational, then we there’s a couple of league games left to assure that we win the MRL and we wind up in Raleigh in November at the CASL Boy’s Shootout to finish up the most hectic soccer season that boy has ever been a privy to. here’s to finishing out with a ton of effort, some balls in the net and and a trophy or two. #lfc #8 #bringthenoise
soccer, er, football has something called “a friendly” which is somewhat foreign to American sport fans who do not follow the game. imagine playing a game that doesn’t count for anything other than warm-up or practice, maybe as an exhibition or tryout even for some players. those are “friendlies.” problem is, most you compete in, watch or follow are rarely that friendly because when you keep score of anything, there’s a winner and loser and losing doesn’t make one feel very friendly.
oh, as it relates to having a camera, snapping the shutter and all that, it stands to reason (and don’t think about this too hard because you will go mad) that kabillions of great images are missed daily because we didn’t bother getting the camera from the car for whatever reason. when i think of some of history’s greatest moments I am always thankful in many instances someone was there with a camera and decided to “click.”
anyway, that is a windy opening for me saying that the boy scored his first Varsity goal as a Freshman and I didn’t get a picture of it. call it lazy, call it me having too many dark, blurry 10 p.m. shots from too far away to have much confidence in shooting these night time matches, either way, i didn’t get it. but i will always have it in my mind as will he. it wasn’t anything particularly breathtaking as a soccer play. the keep had a deflected ball coming at him from on high, really high about 15 yards straight up and the boy went at the keeper and he bobbled it and the boy put his head over it and pounded it down at the floor of the net. but it wouldn’t have been any better if it was any different. it was his first and so for today, it was his best. and in the end, who needs a picture of that? it’s living inside. us, both. i know how hard he has worked to try and make a difference on his team.
it cannot be possible that it has been 20 years since you arrived. where has it gone? where? i want so much of it to do again, just to get it just perfect this time. you were that “thing” that taught me what it was to really, truly love something. something that my juvenile, male mind just couldn’t comprehend pre-wilder. but i won’t hijack this with melancholy and misty eyes, i will just say that i miss you every single day on some level and you are becoming quite the man and that fills my heart with pride beyond belief. keep it up and here’s to about 5 more 20th year celebrations. live every set of them to their fullest, my son.