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Saturday, March 20, 2004

I'm A Loser

A couple days ago, I played in an indoor soccer game that ended up with a loss for Antioch, 18-3. Now, some of you might thing "Wow, a fifteen goal loss, you guys must be crushed!" Hah. Nice try. It was the most fun I've had all year!

See, for one thing, our goalie was gone. We played a fellow in goal who hadn't played before, and was, shall we say, a prototype of a dork. Our regular goalie was in Japan. So we kind of had no chance from the start. But I'm okay with that, because I'm used to losing, especially in soccer. I played soccer in high school for three years. In those three years, which had about 15 games each, we won two. Total. And I didn't get to play in either, being in junior varsity for the first and too sick for the second. My senior year, we had a special goal before the season, which was that we keep the other team below 10 goals, and score one each game. So if we lost every game 9-1, we'd be happy. Yes. We were that bad.

So with no goalie, and playing a team that was generally better, we had no chance. At halftime, it was 7-0, slightly worse than we played, as the other team hadn't quite realized that our goalie had never played goalie before. They banged in another couple of goals at the start of the second half, then I, for the first time this season, turned into an offensive powerhouse. Shooting twice, I got an assist as one of my teammates put in the rebound. The crowd, comprised of ambivalent neutrals, sympathetic/ironic fans of the other team, and our fans, went wild. Standing ovation. Now, this is a recreational league, and generally doesn't get worked up about, well, anything. But this time, they went nuts, so, laughing, I waved as I ran back, and they cheered louder. A few minutes later, I managed to bang in another goal, my first of the season (a disappointing haul, as I like to think that I'm "good" at "the soccer"). They went wild again, and I waved wilder, and they cheered even louder. What can I say? I'm a crowd-pleaser. It was joyously funny. With no competition, but the fans on our side, the whole thing took the air of a circus. For example, the other team made a pass, the fans all booed. When we made a pass, they said "Ole!" (this is a fairly normal 'home fan' thing to do in soccer in Latin America). The other team, when they opened the door for a bit of air conditioning, fashioned a few snowballs, and we threw them back and forth playfully. And so on. It was fantastically amusing, though I think I was the only one on my team who took joy in our complete destruction. Eh. What are you gonna do? I'm used to losing and can have fun through it.
- Rowan Kaiser, 5:24 AM
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