Last Friday, at approximately 9 p.m., I endured the most humiliating forty minutes of my life: I played intramural soccer. As it turns out, I have all of the coordination of a drunk gorilla, and all of the soccer competitiveness of an MLS team. Co-Rec-C is too advanced for me.
When a fellow editor suggested that an intramural soccer team would promote team bonding, I was excited. However, I failed to realize that I would have to play soccer. As editor-in-chief, my duties consist of a lot of delegating, emailing, and telling people what to do, how to do it, and why they are wrong. I assumed I could use the same skills as the intramural team manager or water-boy.
From what little I saw of the World Cup, soccer consists of running, taunting, and faking injuries, all with minimal ball contact. This seemed simple enough. I consider myself an athletic person: I run fifty miles per week, I went to fencing nationals four times, I have a decent jump-shot, and I can do one-and-a-half pull-ups. If I can execute twelve consecutive moves with a sword in my hand without killing anyone, kicking a ball around shouldn’t be hard. But then again, I also once struck out in an epic game of fourth grade kick-ball.
When I was eight—the peak of my soccer career—I played defence on a co-ed team because kicking boys in the shins seemed like a good way to flirt with them. Since then, my tactics haven’t changed too much. Because I wanted to have as little contact with the ball as possible, I chose to hang out as far away from our team’s expert offence. They were doing all sorts of moves that I could not handle: kicking the ball, passing the ball, and even shooting it, all without tripping. Moreover, they always aimed. But it turns out that the defence is responsible for making sure the other team doesn’t score, so avoiding ball contact is the definition of doing a bad job.
Knowing that I’m as useful on the field as a chimpanzee doing the Macarena, I hoped to sit on the bench for at least half of the game so that the Tribune FC had a shot at winning. When I realized that all four girls on our team we required to be on the field for the entire game, I nearly cried. None of my “athletic prowess” mattered when a first-year laughed in my face that night. I could outrun most of the guys, but I couldn’t follow that up with anything else.
The highlight of the game for the six spectators from Upper Rez was when I saw a potential header. I was hoping to redeem myself from the assist I had made to the other team earlier in the period. I closed my eyes and propelled my head forward like Zinidine Zidane. I missed. By twenty feet. And, I may have pinched a nerve in my neck.
In all fairness, the Tribune Football Club played a very good team, and I’m convinced their captain is Pele’s cousin. To those drunk kids on the sixth floor of Gardner who spent the whole game laughing at (presumably) me, I tried my best. Sadly, I was not drunk, but that might be my strategy for Game Two.
While I didn’t learn to juggle, pass, dribble, or do one of the back-ward-flip-and-score-moves (I was really hoping I would learn that), I did learn that some people actually care about intramurals and take them seriously. I missed that memo while I was doing the Macarena.
Come cheer for the Tribune Football Club in our next match, Saturday at 8 p.m. in Molson Stadium. If you’d like to see a Tribune vs. Daily grudge match, email [email protected] and [email protected]. And if you’re a girl, please take my spot.