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Soccer Poet

Urban Legend and a Good Resume

Urban Legend and a Good Resume
It was a U-12 game. A striker had checked back from an offside position to receive the ball at her feet. The assistant referee (a.k.a linesman) raised his flag to signal the offside infraction and the play was whistled dead.  Immediately some parents who were sharing the AR’s sideline began protesting with an array of snide and patronizing remarks.  One of them figured he was obligated to point out that the offside call is contingent upon when the ball is played. Because they don’t teach that at referee school. The AR, frustrated with this particular peanut gallery and all the peanut galleries that had gone before, had finally had enough. So he reached into his back pocket and handed the man two sheets of paper that had been tri-folded.

The expert unfolded the papers to find he’d been handed the AR’s resume.  In addition to a distinguished soccer playing career and years of experience as an official, the AR was currently employed as an assistant coach at the Division I level and had been for nine years. Running the sidelines with a flag was just a way to supplement his income. Then the AR looked the man in the eye and said, “Now let’s see yours.”

Okay, that story is utter BS.  I made the whole thing up. Actually, that’s a lie, too. The story was Henry’s idea and I just sorta ran with it. But I imagine that years from now it will be an urban legend that referees will be telling as fact. So will coaches, who also have to deal with parents who have evolved as outspoken experts despite never having kicked a ball. And others will bear witness that they were there when the whole thing went down in Seattle… no, Chicago… no,…

It never happened, but wouldn’t it be fantastic if it had? The man (or woman) who finally had the nerve to give the expert parent a dose of humility would become a folk hero of sorts… like Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who finally got so fed up with rude passengers that he invoked the infamous beer slide. Peers would rally around him to celebrate a symbolic victory of behalf of man-coach-ref-kind.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Most parents are awesome and I’ll be the first to say it. But one bad apple spoils the whole day. So in short, if you think you may be one of those parents and your soccer playing/coaching/refereeing experience is pretty limited, maybe notsomuch with the expert critiques, yes? At the very least, polish up your CV.

To be fair, it might actually be me handing a resume to an AR the next time one of them tells me, “The whole ball has to be over the line.”

Yeah thanks. This is my first day. No one told me. Grrrrr.

In other news… The Georgia Bulldogs had our first spring game, a 2-0 win over Clemson in Athens. It wasn’t much to look at but with the way our fall went, we were all pretty stoked about getting a result.  We were pretty shaky in defense, regardless of the score-line. We were just very disorganized and that made for some rollicking adventures. Half of our back four has graduated and that’s going to give any team some issues. So we’re going to watch a lot of video from that match and start making adjustments and hopefully we’ll be better the next time out.

The highlight of the game had to be Coco’s penalty kick save in the game’s final ten minutes (If you’re into things like the WWE, your highlight may have been Coco’s flying cross-body block that caused the PK in the first place). Regardless, Coco guessed correctly and got down to make a great save and then pounced on the rebound to preserve the shutout. She was so happy about it that after the game she was literally in tears. It was a pretty fantastic moment.

Eddy and Lex, who missed the fall season due to injuries, have started working their way back into practice and that’s been a tremendous boost to everyone’s spirits. They are both special players and if they can stay healthy, they’ll be a big help in the fall.

We have a match against Auburn this Thursday night at the Greater Atlanta Christian School.  Hope you can make it out there!

And finally… I took Izzy fishing last week. It took about ten minutes for her to catch her fish and she did it all by herself.  I didn’t even touch the rod. Scout’s honor. Now Izzy is hooked, and I’ve got myself a fishin’ buddy. I couldn’t possibly be happier about that.

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