I’m Just Sayin’ 12

November 7, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Posted in I'm Just Sayin' | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My daughter’s soccer career is over, but, I’m just sayin’, I’m not the least bit upset about it. Her career amounted to one season (her senior year) playing on her school’s co-ed team. I think they won one game (maybe two). After encouraging her to play tee-ball when she was small, fast-pitch softball as she grew older, and finally four years of high school volleyball (at which she excelled as the team MVP – #pleasednotproud), I felt like I owed it to her to let her try soccer, after she was persistent in asking me.

I have never had a very high opinion of soccer. Growing up, we played baseball, football, and basketball. The rich kids played tennis or went to swim meets. Soccer seemed like some weird game invented by foreigners who, for some reason, didn’t enjoy throwing and catching. I am aware, though, that times have changed. Public parks are now filled with little kids running around in shin guards and bouncing balls off their heads on purpose. Plenty of high schools and most major colleges have soccer teams.

I’m just sayin’, I never played soccer myself until very recently. Our church has a big open field next to it that would be ideal for baseball, softball, or football (real football, I mean, the American kind, where people can physically throw each other to the ground without getting one of those yellow or red “cards”), but instead it became the location for Saturday afternoon soccer scrimmages or “friendlies” or whatever they’re called. So, not wanting to be left out, I started playing, too. And, yes, you guessed it, I am horrible. Competing against people who have played their whole lives, I appear totally uncoordinated with my feet. Little kids race around me, “dribbling” in a weaving pattern, bouncing the ball off their heads, hips, and knees, making it somehow curve in the air so that it sails just out of my… I was going say “out of my reach,” but that’s a big part of the problem. You’re not allowed to “reach” in soccer. Good grief! I’m just sayin’.

Here is a short list of the things I don’t like about soccer (other than the fact that I stink at it):

1. You can’t use your hands. Seriously! A game which prohibits the use of your most dexterous body parts – parts that were clearly designed by God, our Creator, to be used in throwing, catching, and batting down balls – may not technically be sinful, but it certainly seems unnatural. How can we glorify God with our bodies when we shirk the use of His gifts in that way? I’m just sayin’!

2. It’s boring. A “high-scoring game” is something like 3-2. Are your kidding me? Many games end in a 0-0 tie! I’m sure I could look up the origins of the game on the internet if I cared to, but, I’m just sayin’, for now I’m sticking to my personal opinion that the game was invented, or at least popularized, by alcoholics, so that the spectators could get together and drink copious amounts of beer without having to worry about missing any of the scoring while standing in line at the concession booths or going to the restroom.

3. Offsides. In real football, when a receiver gets past his defender, and is streaking open downfield, with nothing between him and the goal line but open space, the quarterback heaves it as far as he can, and, if the receiver can catch it – yes, CATCH. IT. USING. HIS. HANDS. the way God intended – then he’s home free for a touchdown. In basketball, a steal can easily turn into a long pass down the court to a teammate who has slipped back beyond the defense and is waiting by himself for a slam dunk. Very exciting. In baseball, a long fly ball can sail right over the centerfielder’s head, and the batter keeps running until the ball is retrieved and thrown back in, or until he crosses home plate for a score. It’s the outfielder’s fault for not playing deep enough. But in soccer? Oh, no – not so fast, Pele’! You find yourself all alone near the opposing team’s goal, having slipped past the defenders unnoticed, and a teammate manages to send a long kick down to you. You are “open,” but this is not an automatic score, because you still have to get it past the goalie or goal keeper or whatever he’s called – the only player who CAN use his hands! But, no, what’s that whistle you hear as you are about to “equalize” a one-point deficit in the final minute? Yes, offsides! Ridiculous! As if this game wasn’t absurd enough! I’m just sayin’.

I’m Just Sayin’ 4

April 30, 2009 at 11:29 am | Posted in I'm Just Sayin' | 9 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I coached girls’ little league tee-ball and softball for about 12 years, because I have three daughters. I was not the greatest coach ever, but, I’m just sayin’, in those 12 years, I did gain some experience. I learned a few things.

One of the most important things I learned was that, although softball/baseball has a special jargon, as a coach, you can not assume that young girls understand all, or even any, of it.

tee ball

The last year that I coached I did not get to be a head coach. I was an assistant coach. The head coach of our team was a nice guy, but I’m just sayin’, when it came to communicating with the girls on the team, he did not have a clue.

We can argue about whether 9 and 10 year old girls should know what “play deep” or “choke up on it” means, but, whether or not they should know, the fact is, most of them do not know.

Girls that age need to be told where to stand, where to look, where to run, where to throw, and when to get a bat, a helmet, or a glove. They need to be told that they can’t take their Nintendo onto the field. I’m just sayin’.

When the coach will not realize or accept this principle, the results range from frustrating to disastrous.

Coach: (Jumping up and down yelling, as the ball is thrown into the infield, and the base runner is halfway from second base to third) “Get on the bag! Get on the bag!”

He means for the player to hurry up and get her feet on third base. But she does not know that “bag” means base, so she thinks he is saying, “Get on back! Get on back!” She turns and heads back to second base, and is tagged out.

Coach: “Go two! Go two!” The coach’s team is on defense, so he means that when a ground ball is hit to the infield they should throw it to second base for the force-out.

But the girls hear, “Go two!” and think, “What? I just went to the bathroom and did ‘number one’ before the game. I don’t have to ‘go two.'”

Coach: “Full count!” This happens when he is telling the batter there are three balls and two strikes. But the batter is now looking around wildly for a European nobleman who had too much to eat. Maybe he’s skulking around the concession stand with a cape and a rapier. Meanwhile, strike three goes sailing by.

Coach: “Good eye! Good eye!” This is yelled down to the batter after she wisely decided not to swing at a bad pitch. (I played organized baseball from age 4 to age 18, and no one ever yelled “Good eye!” to me.) The batter is now wondering if her mother was right in saying that she’s too young to wear mascara.

The confusion is endless. As a coach it is exhausting having to explain things like, “When that girl who has the bat hits the ball to you, be sure and bend down and pick it up FIRST, and then run – as fast as you can – like when you are chasing your little brother out of your room – and step on this base here – WHILE YOU’RE STILL HOLDING the ball.” Very un-baseball-lingo sounding, I know. But very necessary if you want to get an out, end the inning, and get home in time for homework, bath, and bed. I’m just sayin’.


Entries and comments feeds.