Apparently this whole World Cup thing is a big deal. I watched a little bit of the US v Belgium game yesterday with my hubby, and I even got into it a little bit! In addition to the downright creative costumes in the crowd, the commentators were an unexpected highlight to me. In what other US sport do you hear such poetic statements as, "He was plucked from his youth at the age of 16 (i.e. He was recruited early)?"
My youngest brother and sister would be so proud of me for watching. They're pretty awesome at soccer, but it seems I didn't get those genes.
Flashback....1992, Hillsboro, a small white house on Rountree Street. A young Ree gets ready for her first soccer practice. She pulls on her bright orange soccer shirt, cut-off sweatpants shorts, and pulls her hair back in a high-and-tight pony tail. And there, sitting on her bedroom floor staring back at her mockingly, was her arch nemesis...Shin Guards and his crony Tube Socks. Mom comes in to check on her.
"Are you ready yet, Ree?"
Tears well up in her eyes and her cheeks flush hot with anger. "No."
"Well you need to hurry up; we're going to be late!"
"I'm not wearing these things! They look stupid! No one else will be wearing them!"
"Put them on and let's go."
Fuming, young Ree straps on her shin guards and pulls her tube socks up over them. She tries desperately to hold it all together as she silently hops in the back seat of the cream-colored Ford Escort. As they pull up to the soccer field, Mom gets out of the car. Ree doesn't. Instead, she starts crying.
"I won't get out of the car! I look stupid!"
Exasperated, Mom looks over at Coach Sheila. Horror of horrors, Coach Sheila has the gall to actually walk up to the car and see what's going on. Ree stares straight ahead, tears streaming down her face. After a brief explanation, Coach Sheila tries to rally young Ree. "But look, everyone else is wearing shin guards too! It's part of playing soccer!"
Ree held firm, refusing to get out of the car. Mom and Coach exchange a few brief words, and Ree was driven back to Rountree Street in the backseat of the cream-colored Ford Escort. World Cup Victory.
At least for a day.
The next day, Ree was dropped off at soccer practice, shin guards and all. And she played for one whole season, making one glorious goal...for the other team.