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Friday, February 21, 2014

David Beckham, Soccer and My Son...

Possibly his favorite position on the field...
I must admit I'm not much of a soccer fan.  As I tell my friends, watching men with long locks and hair bands fruitlessly run up and down a field is not my idea of fun, regardless of how pretty their hair may look blowing in the wind! 

In fact, outside of jumping on the World Cup bandwagon every four years (usually only during the championship game, if there's a party!), you're not going to catch me watching a soccer game.

Therefore, all the talk and hoopla about David Beckham bringing MLS soccer to Miami was met by me with as much enthusiasm as a janitor called to unclog New Jersey Governor Chris Christy's office toilet.  Yay!  How much fun is that?

However, it did bring back fond memories of my son's prowess on the soccer field several years ago, or should I say, lack thereof.

Let me start by saying that, despite my dislike for the sport, when my daughters and, later, my son wanted to play intramural soccer at their Catholic school in Pre.K, Kinder, and, in our younger daughter's case, up until second grade, I obliged, if only for the sake of getting them involved in a team sport, which played a big part of my life growing up.  But, as much as I enjoyed watching my daughters, I must say, my son was particularly fun to watch.

Granted, he was only about four or five at the time and his coordination left a lot to be desired but watching him play soccer was, at times, like what I would imagine it would be like watching the doctor with a limp on the TV show House try to run on a treadmill.

The boy spent more time rolling on the grass then running after the soccer ball!

He was like the old Dwayne Wade commercial; fall down seven times, get up eight (only he wasn't being knocked down and he fell way more than seven times!).

Let's put it this way, in a fifty-five second video I shot, during one game, he was on the turf three times!  He was like a slow rolling bowling bowl knocking down pins along the way.

In fact, initially, he thought that was what he was supposed to do.  Having watched University of Miami football games with me shortly before he started playing soccer, he actually thought he was supposed to tackle the other players. 

For the first few games, he would come up behind other players, as they dribbled the ball, and threw himself on top of them; not tackling them, mind you, but just plopping on top of them.   Other times, he would just run through them and take them down with him, including his own teammates.  He didn't discriminate! (You know what they say, if you're going to go down, take someone with you!)  It was really very comical, albeit,  a bit embarrassing with some of the more serious soccer parents!

In other words, there were not many, Bill Cosby's, "Now, that's my boy!" moments for wife and me at his games.

Even when I told him that he wasn't supposed to knock the other players down, he ended up falling on his own anyway.  It was as if the field was being tilted and moved around by a great game master trying to get a little ball into a hole somewhere.

No, David Beckham wasn't going to come around knocking at the door of our house with a contract, any time soon.

On the bright side, at least it showed resiliency!

Even so, I'm happy he switched to baseball...


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