WHEN SHE heard that her final indoor soccer game had been switched to a players-versus-parents scrimmage, R. uncaged her inner trash talker almost immediately.
“What do you think?” I wrote in forwarding her coach’s note about the change.
“4 words, Dad,” she emailed back. “I will cream you.”
That’s how I found myself yesterday morning wearing a t-shirt and shorts, standing inside an enormous complex of basketball courts and artificially turfed soccer fields, and hoping not to pull anything so severely that I couldn’t drive home.
A LITTLE over a year ago, as I walked R. to the car following soccer practice, she said to me, “Sorry about this, Dad, but I think my sport is soccer, not softball.”
It was beyond sweet for R. to consider her baseball-loving father’s feelings in making this declaration. Of course, I told her that it was fine and that all I wanted was for her to be happy playing. If that happiness came from playing soccer, so be it.
My problem was that I knew little about the game beyond the soul-crushing boredom caused by six hours of play resulting in a 0-0 tie. I played organized baseball as a kid and more games of pickup football, basketball, and street hockey than I can remember. As an adult I got into tennis and even golf. Soccer? That was one of them furner sports. Continue reading
Yes, of course I’m thankful for my family, my health, my friends, my job, and my house. But there are other, less obvious things for which I am grateful on Thanksgiving Day 2012:
- “Lonely Boy.” The guitar-crunching, beat-driving, blessedly economic anthem celebrating unrequited love was my gateway to the Black Keys, and the best rock song of the year. (Yes, I know it was released in 2011, but I didn’t hear it until this year.) A staple on my iPod.
- Cole Hamels. The suave southpaw would have commanded a massive contract on the free-agent market, but instead signed a massive extension to stay with the Phillies. No, he won’t be hurting, but Hamels’s deep ties to Philadelphia–he and his wife are among the most visible and outspoken philanthropists in the region–seem to be genuine. Here’s hoping a few Cy Young Awards and World Series titles are in No. 35’s future.
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