He shoots! He scores! Or maybe not
The facts to which Big Guy Sr. and I agree:
Big Guy led the charge down the field, and he was actually running in the same direction as the rest of his team and going toward the right goal. That in and of itself was a major accomplishment.
He got within a yard of the goal, hesitated and then kicked softly. The ball bounced off the left post.
By that time, the defense had caught up to him, and he and a player from the other team kicked the ball, the air and each others’ ankles. The opposing player finally kicked the ball in.
From there on, it’s all up to interpretation.
Big Guy Sr. was quite the soccer jock back in the day, so his take is this: If it were a real game, it would have been a goal for Big Guy’s team, and Big Guy would have been given credit for scoring.
I knew nothing about soccer until I met Big Guy Sr., who insisted on waking me at ungodly hours during the 2002 World Cup because I just had to see it.
My take: If this were a real game with real scoring, yes, it would have been credited to Big Guy. But this is a game where they don’t even keep score, so, no goal.
Big Guy’s take: Huh?
That’s right. While Dad was insisting that Big Guy had scored a goal and I was saying, um, not so fast, Big Guy hadn’t even noticed the ball had gone in. He was too busy running back down the field.
And that’s as it should be.
It just astounds me the strides these little people have made in a little more than a month. When practice started in late August, most of them knew next to nothing about the game. Or any game, for that matter.
There are a few sophisticated 5- and 6-year-olds on Big Guy’s team who had a clue but, largely, it’s a squad of cute and clueless 4-year-olds.
They run the wrong way. Or they used to. Coach has solved that problem by ending the pre-game huddle by asking “Which way are we running?” And they all yell and point, “That way!”
They’d rather wrestle with each other than line up for the kick.
They’ll trade high fives with anyone, even the opposing team.
Playing goalie is a ton of fun, because you’ll never get bored as long as you have that neat tent to goof around in.
But best of all, there’s always bag juice after the game.
Even though Big Guy is well aware that there are winners and losers in games, he’s never once asked if his team won. That, too, is as it should be.
If Big Guy keeps playing there will be plenty of opportunities to fret over wins, losses and goals. Some day, he’ll notice if he scores – and if he doesn’t.
But for now, playing – and bag juice – is reward enough.
Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.