>Every time I visit my parents, the first time my father sees me making coffee he says: ‘You started drinking coffee again?’
I have never stopped drinking coffee.
Yesterday he asked me if I still took a four hour nap every night – from about eight to midnight, he said – and then wrote until morning. He said it like it was something I’d been doing for years. I had no idea what he was talking about.
>We were in the playoffs matched against a much better team (we’ll call them Spain) and spent most of the game boxed up in our end (like the Dutch). Spain couldn’t finish though. They didn’t have a really creative forward like Arjen Robben. I’d never seen Robben play before this cup. Holy Haysoos, he just blew by people and made the Spanish seem puny and slow.
I was playing sweeper, holding the back, shouting orders. In the middle of the second half, my team started to buckle from the constant pressure. And as with the Dutch, we lost following a ridiculous series of mistakes. First we gave up a corner kick when one of our players kicked the ball over the end line even though I was following him and shouting – ‘Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it!’ Later he told me he’d gotten drunk before the game. Then on the ensuing corner kick, one of our players tried to run the ball out of the box. The ball was in the air and he got under it – and brushed it with his arm. Even though there was nobody within five feet of him. The other team started calling for a PK and the ref gave it. The ref was blocked and it’s possible that my friend only brushed the ball with his shoulder. Anyway, they scored on the PK and that was the end of us. In a game like soccer, where scoring happens so rarely, pressure almost takes the place of scoring. The more pressure, the more mistakes. You can feel the tide changing against you, and the desperation growing, and as you’re only one of 11, it’s hard to do anything about it. That is basically how the Spanish navigated their way through the Cup and a series of 1-0 games.
A side note: a snotty kid kept talking trash throughout the game. This was an intermural game but he kept running his mouth. I’ve been playing for a long time but never seen some behave that badly. I got so pissed that after the game I tried to get him to fight with me. He wouldn’t stand up though, just kept looking at his feet. I guess I should be embarrassed about threatening a kid twenty years younger than me, but… Every time I go out to play a pick up game, I look for him and second chance.