Two Saturdays back, the regular Fall soccer season ended, with our team faring much better than we expected after the horrible beating we took in the first two games. At the end of it all, we won half of our games and made a pretty fair go at all but the first two. I suppose we can’t be too unhappy with those results, considering that so many of the girls had never played together, and that a couple of the players (their parents, really) had no notion of dedication or commitment.
Anyway, on our last weekend of the season, we had the “Challenge League” festival, in which the teams were going to play a round robin-type tournament. Our team did well, losing the first game, but winning the next two, leaving us in second place in our division. The girls played well and were happy.
The next day… and I mean the very next day, the first game of the indoor winter league started. While Mrs. Gunfighter took Soccergirl to her game, I got ready to go to church because I was teaching Sunday school. Well, all that came to a halt when I remembered that Mrs. GF had my car keys in with her. Damn. Not her fault, but I wouldn’t have gotten there in time if I had decided to walk. So I bagged it, and hoped my assistant made it all happen.
Our team was apparently shellacked by their opponents in our opening indoor game. SG’s team was made up of several girls from her team and two other teams from our league. They were all outdoor players, and I guess indoor soccer is an entirely different animal.
So, Mrs GF and SG come home to get me, and we go out to lunch. As soon as lunch is over, we headed to All-Star team practice, because we had a tournament the next weekend. So we practiced…. And then left practice for the post-season party at the local pizzeria...
INTERMISSION: If you are getting confused here, let me clarify. We played with the fall outdoor team on Saturday, played with the winter indoor league Sunday morning, practiced with the fall outdoor All-Star team Sunday afternoon, and partied with fall outdoor in the late afternoon. Clear?
So, at the pizza party, the girls were all looking at the photo albums that one of the team moms, who is an amateur photographer, put together for the team. I didn’t realize that something was up, until one of the girls looked at me slyly, while shielding one of the albums as she walked past me. Mrs Gunfighter told me to act surprised when the team gave me the album. The parents were also kind enough to gift coach Patty and I with gift cards, Patty for her favorite Salon, and for me, a $50 Borders gift card (I suspect that Mrs GF told them what would make me happy!)
I wasn’t really surprised, I knew they were going to give me a gift… coaches always get a gift, but I still get just a little squishy when they do. The little so-and-so's (and their parents) are engaging in emotional blackmail, here. The much maligned coaches get no end of abuse from the parents in their never-ending quest of ensuring that their little
pain in the ass kidangel is the next Mia Hamm; they try to coach from the sidelines; they tell their kids to do things that the coaches don’t want them to do; they miss practices; they show up for games 15 minutes late… leaving the coaches hoping like hell that the ref doesn’t realize that we are a player short, forcing a forfeit; they bitch when their kid plays defense or in goal; because THEIR child MUST be the big scorer (even though said kid is too slow or is contact-averse). They do this for ten weeks, and then, what? They expect that all will be forgotten when the girls read a funny poem about the season? They think that by the time that they give speeches of gratitude for Coach Patty and Coach GF, that we will get all emotional and start to think that it was all worthwhile, and that the coaches will do it again next season? They think that after the girls give their coaches a big hug, that the coaches will be emotionally vulnerable and will therefore put up with all of this crap in the spring?
Well, bugger me senseless if me if they aren’t absolutely correct.
I love the little brutes. I do, and I have already volunteered to coach in the new season.
Sigh! I guess that I will have to rely on my job as the place that I exercise my tough-guy side.
I'm teaching a rifle class, this week… I get to play my emotionless killer role. It’s my favorite. So don't any of you tell the guys that I work with about any of what you just read, ok?