Free Counter
ab scissors

Tales from a small town

Short stories about life in a small town. Non-fiction. Great reading.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Me and Tater-Boy are here. I'm typing, he's sleeping beside the computer in his crib. Tater-Boy is my 10 month old son. When he was still a fetus, I would imagine a little boy someday, watching me type at the computer, soaking it all in. Funny how things don't quite work out the way you think they will. Turns out that the tapping noise of the keys makes him go to sleep. He's not watching me type, he's sent off to la-la land with white noise. Funny how what you imagine, and the reality you live, are oftentimes 2 different things. Hey, I wasn't imagining me winning a million dollar lottery, I was just imagining him watching me type - and the reality is, my typing is sometimes the only thing that can put him to sleep.

It's like my daughter's soccer team. Well, it's our soccer team I guess - for the time being. My oldest daughter is more of a social butterfly. She can be an athlete when she wants to be - unfortunately, it's not as often as I'd like. She's an awesome goalie when she puts her mind to it. Anyway, I coached her fall soccer team, and she loved it. We sucked. We really sucked - but my daughter loved it, because she's not an achievment-oriented person. For her, it was this excuse for a social gathering with kids from different schools that she wouldn't ever meet any other way. Too bad, because the parents are very achievement-oriented.

They were patient at first. I realized from the stuff they'd say while picking up their daughter, or at the games, that they wished we won more. For the most part, the girls didn't seem to mind. Everything was fine. Until...

My wife suggested I coach an indoor team during the winter to give our daughter something to do. Since she like my coaching so much during the fall, what could go wrong, right?

Everything lined up, immediately. In the fall (when I first coached) the best team in my daughter's divsion had a coach who's bi-polar, and he has terets. I know this sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit in the making, but if you think about it, that's what made him so good. He was driven, and he didn't hold back. So many of these coaches are so worried that they'll put little Suzy in therapy for the rest of her life, so they coddle every girl on the team in constant fear. Not this guy. If they sucked, he told them in no uncertain terms, they sucked. If a player sucked, she was told by this coach, "Hey, you suck." That was it. They were great. Totally undefeated. When our team played his, they invoked the mercy rule so many times, I think he eventually had something like 2 players to our 6 - and they were still scoring!

Well, at the end of the season, evidently this guy had a melt-down, and his terrets got the best of him when a whiney parent confronted him about why his daughter wasn't being played very much. Unfortunately, this was at the end-of-the-season team party, and the coach let loose. I guess that pissed alot of parents off, and my wife happened to hear about it, and she started mining this team for players for our indoor team. We got a bunch, including some of the high-scorers. Sounds great, right? Wrong!

This indoor league is something else. It's co-ed, and the age range is something like 2nd grade to 6th grade. The criteria for "co-ed" is you have to have at least one girl on the team - that's it. (Meaning, she doesn't have to actually play - just be on the roster and present at the games.) See where this is going?

My team is mostly 3rd and 4th grade girls, and we're playing boys travel teams made up of mostly 6th graders. Whoops! I'm talking 13-0, and 20-2 games, neither one of them going in my favor. I had no idea it was going to be like this. One parent from another team told me, "I can sympathize with you: 3 years ago, we were in your shoes. All you have to do is keep the team together, and you'll be in our shoes one day."

Easy for him to say. I heard one of the parents complaining. I said, "Hey, be glad your daughter didn't get hurt out there." It was the only thing I could think of. (Have you ever seen 6th grade boys travel soccer? They play like European proffessionals!)

To top it off, I've got an assistant coach who I think is trying to hi-jack this team for spring girls soccer. The outdoor soccer in the spring and fall, is much more evenly matched, and it's not co-ed. Against other 3rd and 4th grade girls, the team I have is invincible. My assistant knows this. He's made some overtures to the parents that he'll be coaching his own team in the spring, and if they want to finally win, all they have to do is specify the coach they want on the registration card.

The British guy I've blogged about is my other assistant. He told me he can't believe how emotionally detatched I am from this. He said he's seen guys wreck their marriages &/or become alcholics, and he says, "You, just act like it's no big deal. How do you do it?"

I told him, "Unless a helicopter lands and some little Jewish guy named Sid pops out with a ten million dollar contract, what's the big deal?"

His response? "Incredible!"

So, I've got to deal with this rogue assistant somehow. I know he's doing alot right now to make it look like he's really the head coach, and it makes me feel uncomfortable. Do I stand my ground, or let him steam-roll me, I don't know! That's the frustrating thing.

After watching alot of mobster movies, I guess this problem is pretty insignificant compared to what happens to alot of the characters in Al Pachino movies, huh?