Sunday morning, The Coolness and I had an early game.
We played well and our team won the game, though not without some drama: one player from each teams was given a red card for fighting. I do not generally approve of such conduct, but this was a bit of a special case.
The player from the opposing team was a bit of a drama queen, trying to make calls for the refs and generally being a hyper-competitive prick. So much so that I shall call him Hypercompetitive.
I don’t say that lightly, as I have been called such in the past.
Nay, I have examples: I made a clean save on one of his shots. He took four more paces, ramming me after I’d cleanly collected the ball. It wasn’t a hard hit, or even something he should have been called on, it was a simple attempt to intimidate me, get inside my head.
The refs and I recognized it for what it was, and him for what he was.
He apologized in a tone that begged me to look at him and call him a liar.
I grunted, punted, and my teammate scored two passes later.
Because, well, fuck him and such mind games.
I stopped a few more of his shots that half. He was good, just not as good as he thought. They had a female striker who was that good, and she was a complete pain in my ass because of it! I was sure one of her shots was going to miss, and pulled my hand back to avoid giving them a corner. Bang! off the upright and in.
My midfielder, in the second half, got tangled up with Hypercompetitive. My player snatched the ball and, as he turned to run up field, his counterbalancing arm slapped the opposing player across the thigh.
“Aww, come on!” Hypercompetitive screamed, raising an arm like he’d been intentionally slapped on the pee-pee with a lead-weighted hand. The drama was palpable.
The refs ignored it, but my players, being good sports, hesitated. We play for fun, after all.
“No whistle! Play on!” I bellowed. Again, because, fuck Hypercompetive and his mind games.
We moved the ball out.
The next time down, Hypercompetitive blew past my fullback, the same midfielder from the earlier altercation hot on his heels.
I came out, cutting the angle.
Hypercompetitive found the near crease of six inches and sent a sweet shot past me to score. I turned to track the ball, so I missed whatever happened next.
“Dirty playing fuck!” Hypercompetitive screamed, returning my attention to the cock.
My player isn’t backing down, shouting at him to calm down and play.
Hyercompetitive keeps it up, howling and beating his chest.
Eventually they are both given red cards and sent off.
He spends his time cheering his teammates and telling them to take shots, much as any team player should.
We score three times more. Them, twice. They had more than ten shots on frame, most from Blonde Striker of doom.
A quick break and Blonde Striker that made life in goal such an adventure is open in the middle. The player with the ball sees a chance though and shoots. I was on it, ready to stuff it. She stabs a foot out, deflecting the shot out of my reach and, thankfully, over the goal.
She collapses, face in hands, “I can’t believe I played goalie for the other team” she grouses.
I had it, I could have said or, if I wanted to slip the blade in deeper, Thanks. Instead I helped her to her feet and kept my mouth shut.
Because I might be hyper-competitive, but I try not to be an asshole about it.
After the game, I went and told them both they’d played a good game. Hypercompetitive was gracious, Blonde Striker, not so much.
Ah well, I still had fun. And I hurt less than I did the last two times, despite a few full-extension and fall to the ground saves.