Tag Archives: futbol

From Payback to Payback

Melvin shoved his feet into the blue practice futbol cleats and started to stretch.  He had been recovering from a nasty cold for the last couple of weeks and hadn’t been able to exercise at all for an extra few days because he was so tired.  His best friend Chester said that Melvin’s girlfriend probably got him sick but the jury is still out on that one.  As far as he was concerned, if she had given him a cold then her best friend Maria would’ve gotten it too.  They were all so close together in that tent in the woods after all.

Melvin’s mom wouldn’t let him practice futbol drills either until his doctor said it was okay.  He tried to explain to her that after his sinuses cleared up and his appetite came back, the doctor’s permission wouldn’t mean he was any more “okay” to practice than if his physical therapist had said it.  She wouldn’t listen.  He filed away her concern as parental habits that wouldn’t change, particularly after the year she’d had.  Melvin was all she had left in the world.  Her last remaining grandparent and uncle died in a car accident with a distracted driver at the beginning of the year.  His dad left when he was eight years-old and might as well be dead too, considering he left a blank check for his college fund account.  Melvin wasn’t sure if it was legal but it was a considerable chunk of change.

As Melvin got into his warm up exercises, he realized he’d forgotten his phone in the car, which also meant he didn’t have any music to help the practice go by faster.  He jogged back to where he parked his car and was about to unlock the passenger side door when he saw the fuzzy, black blob by the back tire.  It was about the size of a quesadilla and was rocking from side to side.  Melvin did what any high school student who paid attention in biology class would do — he looked around for a thick twig and gently touched the fuzzy blob.  (What, did you really think he was going to touch it with his bare hands?)

It yelped.  Melvin thought perhaps it was a kitten, but he didn’t want to pick it up in case it had rabies.  He touched it again with the twig and the blob unfurled itself.  Two green eyes, a pink nose, and two sharp teeth fixed onto his position.  Melvin dropped the twig and got inside the driver side of the car and sat there for a few minutes.  He picked up his phone and searched the internet for “fuzzy, black animal, green eyes, sharp teeth.”  He thought it best to skip futbol drills.  He could always tell the coach he still wasn’t feeling up to it.  The coach would understand.  Melvin rolled down the back passenger side window and climbed into the back seat to see if that possible kitten was still next to the tire.  It wasn’t, but where did it go?


This piece of prose came to me while listening to Tori Amos.

Original pic cred: Lukas Eggers @beschtephotography, unsplash

John Cleese on Soccer vs. Football

Or as I like to call it, futbol vs. football.



The wonderful thing about football is how creative it is; and this is why it has never caught on in America.  You see, in America the action is deliberately kept short so that the sponsors can get in as many commercials as possible, and also so that the players don’t have to think for too long.  They get instructions from the quarterback who has in turn received them from the offensive coach.  No one has to think for themselves–this is the Dick Cheney version of creativity, otherwise known as, “doing exactly what you’re told.”

So, you get four seconds of extremely violent action and then the only genuinely creative activity involved: a beer commercial.  So, American football is played like a series of advertising jingles while soccer is played like jazz.  And while we’re on the subject, why do the Americans insist on calling it “soccer”?  Why do they have such a problem calling it “football?”  It’s a game played with a ball that is struck with the foot, hence foot ball.

Are you following this, America? The clue is in the title;  it’s not that difficult.  Whereas “American football,” as they call it, is a game where an object that’s not really a ball at all, it’s the wrong shape for a ball*, is carried around by hand and occasionally thrown for other people to catch in their hands, you see.  Only one person in each team is actually allowed to kick the ball and they have to be specially brought onto the field to do it.  I suppose in its own way that is a form of creativity; it’s quite a creative use of language, you know saying one thing and meaning something completely different.

From The Art of Football.


* John Cleese is right.  It’s not a ball, it’s a prolate spheroid.

World Cup eau hail know

Les Etas Unis a perdu, Ghana a gagne.

Daehanminguk a perdu, Uruguay a gagne.


On to other reads:

What’s new with the Atlanta Falcons?

Strings, strings, and more strings.

Respecting the right to die in Germany.

Don’t eat that box of Kellogg’s cereal!


And now, some fuel for over-thinking:

Pretend you’re a football coach at a university.  One fall semester a pale-skinned brunette tries out for your team.  He demonstrates good instincts and speed.  Though his footwork needs improvement, his work ethic and personality would make him an asset…somehow, somewhere.  He helped you change a flat tire once, and when you needed a pickup truck’s cargo space to take your fussy St. Bernard to the vet, he offered his.  You weren’t sure if he would be eligible to be on the reserves team, and he certainly wouldn’t be on the starting roster, but you weren’t going to send this boy back to the dorms just because he wasn’t a three-step-easy fix.  The sort that signs here, here, and here and keep your grades above a 2.5 gpa.

You noticed the calming effect he had on the otherwise disruptive red shirt freshmen and the backup players.  Even if you had to make him your away-game logistics coordinator or home-game video production specialist, you knew you wanted him near your team.  You were ready to make him an offer, to welcome him to your extended football arena.  He knew you appreciated what he’d done for you up to that point (or at least you hoped he did because you had expressed as much).  Unfortunately, as the season started to pick up momentum, he’d had a couple of back-to-back family emergencies that not only took him away geographically but also mentally.

Rather than pester him to come back, you just let him finish his school year in whatever way he needed to avoid having to take a leave of absence.  He’d send a postcard every few months and he always knew how to contact you.  After a year, however, you decided that it was pointless to imagine how smoothly road games would’ve been had he been able to make all the travel arrangements.  Wondering how much better your life could’ve been was also romanticizing something that never materialized.

Then one day without any advanced notice, he shows up at your ball field when you’re in the middle of consulting with a landscape artist and the representative from the sponsor company who’s going to pay for a new turf.  He wanted you to know that he enjoyed every minute he spent with you because he never knew a man that treated him the way you did…with respect and faith.  Even when he couldn’t be part of the game-play action, he never felt rejected by you.  He didn’t realize it then, though.  It was only after being away for so long that he discovered what he was missing.

What would you do?  Would you just wake up from the dream of him appearing–because you’re convinced you were dreaming in that 90 degree humid southern heart–or would you say that as long as you are head coach at that school there will always be a place for him?

Speaking of places, does anyone know from which film this line originates:

Turn over a rock and you will find me.

World Cup watching the watchers

Les Etas Unis gagne, L’Algerie perd.  54 seconds.

Per ESPN, “1.1 million people watched at least some of the USA’s 1-0 win as it was streamed on ESPN3.com Wednesday. The match, which was also watched on ESPN by 6.2 million people, lasted from 10 a.m. to noon ET, during working hours for most of the United States.”


Le Mexique gagne, La France perd. 35 seconds.

Daehanminguk!  Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap.  Hwaiting!

Denmark falls under Japan.


Oh, and there’s that little thing called Wimbledon and UGA alum John Isner taking home the glory of victory.