November 09, 2009

girrrl i want to make you sweat

about a year ago, i got invited to join a super lowkey lunchtime soccer game with some people at work. we'd drive over to an indoor sports complex at lunch, hope 8 or more people showed up so we could field at least 4 on a side, and then play some super casual soccer for an hour. for some of us, who had never played soccer ever before in our lives, this amounted to "playing" "soccer" once a week. basically, i ran around the field aimlessly a lot and tried to refrain from accidentally kicking the ball into the opposing team's goal.

i stopped after about a month or two because a) i kept rolling my bad ankle and b) i don't actually know HOW to play soccer, aside from the "don't touch it with your hands" rule, and it's only fun to run aimlessly around a field for so long. and soccer skills aren't really ones you can just "pick up" over time. mastering even the most basic footwork appears to require literal years of practice. and possibly superpowers.

fast forward to last week, when i was outside with gertrude on her smoke break. one of the guys i used to "play" "soccer" with was outside as well, and we had the following conversation:
soccer dude: hey! alice! would you be interested in playing some soccer next sunday? it's my team's last game of the season and i think we're going to be short on girls.
me: uh... do you REMEMBER playing with me..?
soccer dude: yeah! you're really good!
me: so, you DON'T remember.
soccer dude: no, it's fine! i remember! it's sunday, are you interested?
me: uh, i guess. if all you need is a body on the field, i can do that. i can't.. like.. help, or anything though.
soccer dude: great! i'll pass along the info.

so i'm figuring fine, whatever, i'll show up and sub in occasionally if one of the actual soccer players needs a break, and attempt not to lose the game for them in those 10 minute increments. manageable, right?

i show up at the field last night at 7:30, as instructed. there appear to be, like, 400 girls on the sidelines, so i'm all "sweet! they totally have enough chicks. they don't need me." i even start getting a little annoyed that i came all the way out and won't get to play at all - i mean, sure, i can't "play," but a little running around is fun.

then the other team's captain comes over and explains that they've got some girls on the way, but none have showed up quite yet, and maybe we'd be interested in loaning them two of our girls just for a little while, until theirs show up, so we can get started?

i volunteer to go over, since with my Mad Skillz, i sure won't be doing the opposing team any favors. someone lends me a red shirt and i jog over to the other team, where they ask me what position i normally play. i look at them sort of blankly, then explain that i don't actually "play" "soccer." they look worried and assign me to right side defense.

and then, funny story! NONE OF THEIR GIRLS EVER SHOW UP. FOR THE WHOLE GAME. which means that yours truly was stuck playing a full hour and a half game, with no subs. and also no skills. for a team i didn't even show up to play for. oh.

i did learn that a) there are several WRONG WAYS to throw a soccer ball in from the sidelines. really! b) cleats probably would have been a good idea; and c) i really, really suck at soccer. although i kind of knew that one already.

when the game was over and i headed back to my original sideline to retrieve my stuff, my coworker's teammates informed me that the season started back up in march if i was interested in coming back to play with them.

in conclusion, it appears soccer players are blind.


  1. Hahah that's excellent - I've always been too afraid to "play" "soccer" as you put it, because I never have before... I've been asked a number of times just by virtue of my gender, but always said no out of preemptive embarrassment. Perhaps I'll consider agreeing to play sometime in the future, if they are all blind anyways :)

  2. I actually miss playing soccer - though, any skills I may have had have probably disappeared by now. I mostly like defense - and fighting someone for the ball.

  3. I've never liked soccer. Any game where "don't touch it with your hands" is a rule can't be all that fun. :)

    Of course, if I ever meet some hot Englishman or Irishman, I will pretend like soccer (er, football) is the greatest thing ever invented.

  4. I take it you didn't keep both your feet on the ground when you threw in the ball from the sidelines and/or didn't throw it from over your head. Man they are picky!

    I do love soccer, but I quit after only one season. Mainly because a lot of the people who were on my team are not anymore and it's no fun without them.

  5. Bwa ha ha ha. I once had to play an entire ultimate frisbee game because I was the only girl who showed up. That was like... 12? years ago. And I still haven't recovered.

  6. I'm so pathetic at soccer. I played indoor soccer for a season. I really should have just signed up for public torture.

    So humiliating.

  7. Sounds to me like your soccer friend dude knew the other team would be hard up for players of the female persuasion... hahaha.

    I played a whole season of softball and vowed never to play again. Seriously. I'm pretty good at soccer and flag/touch football. But, I lost all athletic capability when it came to softball. I say, know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. =)

  8. Ha ha! I love this story! And as a former soccer player, I feel obliged to give you some advice, but I won't bother you :) I think you should continue playing though! :)

  9. Ha! Classic.

    The only soccer I take part in is the apre soccer in the bar.

  10. HA I once had a group of guy friends who wanted me to come watch their softball game "and maybe bring some running shoes because we might be short a girl" and they wanted me to sub in. I purposefully wore flip-flops and a skirt because I'm pretty sure had I had to sub in, they would not have spoken to me ever again. You are way braver than I.

  11. You're a smart woman, Alice, let's examine this.

    1. You are attractive.
    2. You can't play soccer.
    3. They invite you to be on their team.

    Conclusion: they want the opportunity to woo you (er, individually, not as a team) into their bed.

    Conclusion: they are not blind.

  12. i used to be really good at soccer. of course, this was so long ago that i'm fuzzy on the a) details and b) fundamental truth of this statement. convenient for me. i know.

  13. I think it's awesome that you are so in shape you could play for an hour and a half at a sport you don't necessarily enjoy. I would be dead of a heart attack!

  14. I think the last sport I would EVER volunteer to play would be soccer...I just don't dig it.

    You never said...who won???

    And I agree, 90 minutes of running around? That is sort of rockstar.

  15. Yum... soccer guys with muscle-y legs and butts.

    Sorry, did I miss the point of this post?

  16. Nice... and hey, you survived the whole game and were invited to continue playing! The only time I played, back in high school, I scored and auto-gol. They never let me play again. Oh, well.

  17. Wait. You voluntarily do something that requires running up and down a field???

    You DC people are CRAAAAZY.

  18. OK, I hope you had fun, because I have had exactly zero good experiences with me and athleticism, so that story right there is my nightmare. Agh.

  19. Hahaha! Well you get major props from me for even sticking it out like you did! I'd be dying though, I'm sure.

  20. It reminds of guys that write me online. They send me the same email they send everyone and sometimes twice or three times. Lucky for me, I can block them. Sorry, you can't

  21. Dude I totally love playing "soccer". On Botany Camp I scored 2 goals. There were also many a time when the ball simply went right through my legs. LOL! THAT was FUNNY!

  22. whew...I sweated just reading this...hahahaha!