This is part of the Slice of Life Challenge hosted by the Two Writing Teachers
I am a soccer guy. Have been for a very long time, hope to be one for quite a bit longer. Today has been a great day that started with a phone call this morning. Before I get to describing the call, bear with me while I share a little of how I became infected with a love of soccer. It won't be every detail but so many of my friends don't get why I rather watch futbol than football.
1) Sometime around 1978 grade I started playing rec level youth soccer.
2) In the summer of 1980 I went to a soccer camp at Ohio Wesleyan University. One of my instructors was a player named Jay Vidovich. He instantly became the coolest guy ever. That same summer I went to my first pro soccer game. The now long defunct Columbus Magic. Where I got an autograph from the new collest guy ever, English born player Ron Wigg.
3) I stopped playing competive soccer in 8th grade. I still loved the game but there wasn't a high demand for the small and slow type of player.
4) In college I joined a group of friends who would tailgate before soccer games. The soccer team was consistent winners, the football team won 4 games in the 5 years I was there.
6) In 1996 I went to the first game of the Columbus Crew. They crew quickly became my second favorite team.
7) The fall of 2005 I started coaching my son Hank when he was 5. By the fall of 2009 I stopped coaching him because he was better than when I left the game when I was 14.
9) Two years ago I got a fancy schmancy tv and upgraded my cable so I could get Fox Soccer and watch my beloved Arsenal about twice on month on Saturday mornings. Hank quickly became indoctrinated into the Cult of Gooners. He now has more Arsenal gear than I do.
10) In August of this year I went to England. One glorious afternoon I sat in the stands of Emirates Stadium and soaked in the majesty as Robin Van Persie scored to the delight of 60,000 plus fans. My wonderful wife, Julie, came with me to the match. She doesn't totally get why I this was so big to me, but the fact she was there made the experience even more remarkable.
This brief timeline of my life as a soccer guy leads me back to why this morning was so awesome. My two children had a sleepover at Grandma's and Julie slept in a little later than usual. So I watched today's Aresnal match by myself. Julie came downstairs midway through the second half, but chose not to join me for yet another game.
Arsenal played like a bunch of cut-rate amatuers for most of the game, but somehow they eeked out a 2-1 victory on another dazzling goal by Van Persie to hand Liverpool their first defeat at home this season.
As I literally leapt of the couch, a sleepy-eyed Julie looked gave me a funny look, but gracefully indulged me as I showed her the replay of the goal. When the final whistle blew, I called Hank to see if he remembered our team was on TV.
"I watched the first half, we looked awful."
"You didn't see the end?"
"No, eating breakfast with Mimi. What happened?"
"2-1 win. Stoppage time goal. Van Persie again."
"Yesssss!!! Can we watch highlights when I get home?"
"I love you dad, see you in a couple of hours."
I also can't wait for when Hank can pass on this goofy love of the beautiful game to his children.