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.
somewhere a toddler awakes on a brisk morning from dreams of a ball and his foot.
a quick snap, captured outside of Franklin, Tennessee as a little boy wondered up to watch casual warm-ups. @LexingtonFC1 00 Boys white finished the weekend 1-1-1 in the top division of the Battleground Tournament of Champions. i will hold comment on the “home cooking” aspect of scheduling that favored the eventual winner, the home team.
soccer weekend ahead. Tennessee style. trophy expectations, they have them. pack a bag, grab a drink, pull up your socks and to the goal.
one of my favorite moments of the freshman experience. at all the home varsity soccer matches, the team must arrive in khaki pants and the soccer polo shirt to the fields, walk to the locker room and dress for the match. the also wear this same outfit to school on home game days. this photo captures the first home game as we got to the parking lot. all nerves, ball #19, phone, bag and proper attire.
you don’t have to be glaring into a crystal ball to know that if you work hard for something, eventually it will come to you…that thing you are always in hot pursuit of, will arrive at your feet. but can you possess it long enough to…
being confident in one set of circumstances does not mean much in another set. finding it (confidence) in what you do as a whole is something that takes time, maybe a whole lifetime or maybe you are destined to always harbor shards of self-doubt. grass, ball, touch, and a sharp mind are protection from those shards.
now, go put a finish where you have made your beginning.
settle, turn and get ready to use your left. if you aren’t stuck to deep, shoot with authority or put it back post, there should be someone on their horse getting there just in time…
Labor Day weekend generally means a ton of Fall soccer. that means get your damned wheels on. continue to make the runs even if you don’t get the ball every time, because sooner or later, you will and then you have to shake them off your shoulder and go to the box. then, of course, leave something there.