Summer Soccer Letter #3

 

WARNING: This soccer letter is written by a lawyer (with a helpful addition from Brian). That is why it is so long. It is also why it includes an excerpt from Massachusetts House Bill No. 1137, a bio-hazard warning and an important safety message. Sadly, it only includes a couple of balls jokes and no clever Stompin’ Tom song parodies. I’ll do better next time.

 

Game 2 Report: Bent Like Beckham 5, Organized Chaos only 1

 

Pre-Game Notes

 

The last day of Stampede 2006 was a sunny one. No lightning storms, no hail and no rain. The field was closely mowed and the goal crease was dry. It was perfect.  But Brian “I Can Score Whenever I Want To, I Just Don’t Want To Right Now” was not taking any chances. After all of the mosquitoes that swarmed the team at the last game, Brian came prepared. He had in his possession a sturdy black canister labeled BIO-HAZARD. “It’s pretty strong stuff,” Brian explained as he sprayed his teammates with the green foam. “It was developed in Saddam’s chemical weapons laboratories.” 

 

Although Brian’s insect repellant could peel paint, not to mention skin, the mosquitoes actually seemed to like it.

 

Carly “Go Ukahooooonia!” was not taking any chances, either. After missing the last match with a hangover, she phoned in sick a second time, this time because she was attending some sort of concert/revival meeting involving the Reverend MC Hammer at game time. Seriously. I did not know that MC Hammer was still alive.  Or that the Rev Hammer was a reverend these days.

 

Wow. You can’t touch this.

 

Hang on a second, Brian has a few things to say about Carly and the Reverend

 

<Brian> Special Guest writer Brian here, I just wanted to give another shout out to Tracy and Laura for putting in a solid 80 minute performance in the last game. It was outstanding.

 

However that being said, I think the true honours of the game go to Carly, who took one for the team and sat through this.....

 

An entire MC Hammer concert. Sorry, I mean Reverend MC Hammer concert.

 

Let's see what the reverend has to say about it on his blog.  (http://mchammer.blogspot.com/)

 

"We just returned from Calgary, Canada where we did the allgirls, "Hammer Dancers Show"!

My girls put it down! Non stop, one hour plus! Let's GetStarted..Turn This Mutha Out.. 2 Legit....Pumps and a Bump...I Got It From The Town... Hyphy Dumb.....WestCoast Cha..Pray.. Goin Up yonder...Keep On.. HammerTime...U Can't touch This and more... We are fine tuning the show but we ready to blow!!! The dancing is bananas and Pleasure Ellis is killing it on the vocals..."

 

I couldn't have said it better Hammer. Carly, I am so very very jealous....

 

 

Now let's take some questions from the audience.

 

Q: Brian, what has the esteemed Reverend "MC" Hammer been up to for the last decade?

 

A: Good question! Hammer actually filed for bankruptcy in the 90's (who could have guessed?) So to make an honest man's living in between comeback albums, celebrity boxing and "The Surreal Life", Hammer has been dishing out the Gospel of Christ on his very own television show, "MC Hammer", which airs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The world has never seen a preacher with such good moves.....or such big pants!

 

                  

 

Q: B to the Izzo, what are parachute pants?

 

A: Well, in case you missed the 80's, either by being too young or too drunk, let's see what Wikipedia has to say on the matter:

 

 “Parachute pants (or Hammer pants after MC Hammer) are a style of pants or trousers characterised by the use of synthetic material and/or extremely baggy cuts. There are two distinct styles of pants that are commonly referred to as 'parachute pants'. In the original tight-fitting, extraneously zippered style of the early 80's,

'parachute' refers to the pants' synthetic nylon material. In the later 80's/early 90's 'Hammer-pant'

style, 'parachute' refers to the baggyness of the pant. They are typically worn as men's wear, and are often brightly colored. Parachute pants gained media attention in US culture in the 1980s and early 1990s, as part of an increased cultural awareness of break dancing.

 

Q: B-Man, why does it hurt when I pee?

 

A: STD my friend, STD. I guess what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas.

 

Q: Brian, can you please move your car, you are parked in a loading

zone.

 

A: Certainly....

 

Well, that's all folks. Thanks for watching and see you when I get back from Mexico! I'll leave you now with some pictures of pants. Pants of the parachute variety.

 

 

</Brian>

 

Thanks Brian. Enjoy your trip. No, the team will not be changing its name to ‘Bent Like Hammer’ or ‘I Bent My Hammer’ or any variation involving Bent Hammers.

 

Now, where were we? Oh yes …

 

To make up for her inexcusable absences, Carly has committed to Captain “Don’t Call Me Major” Tom, in writing, that she:

 

· Will not, in the future, consume any alcoholic beverage after 6PM on Saturday night, and

 

· Will wear a pair of shiny gold 'Hammer Pants' at the next regularly scheduled game.

 

Amanda did not show up, either. Not that anyone actually expected her to.

 


Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Football

 

 

It was rough out there. Real rough.

 

If Don Cherry had been there, he would have said, “hey, what are youse guys doin’? Take it easy out there, eh? Hey, you kids out there, don’t youse look at this. That’s not how youse plays soccer! Somebody might get hurt!”

 

And somebody did get hurt. Lots of somebodies. The opening whistle had scarcely blown when Paul “It Only Hurts When I Breath” threw his body, or at least an important (to him) body part in front of a hard clearing attempt.

 

Paul does not remember much after that, just the pain that only a man can feel. He’ll be sure to wear his Jill to the next match. His good wife Jenn, still recovering from giving birth to Paul’s youngest, just snorted “serves him right.”

 

After that, things really started to get rough. The only way anyone could get around Tracy “I Was Too Pretty Anyway” was to flatten her with a pointed elbow to the noodle. As Carrie Tracy rose bleeding from the pitch, Stuart scurried off to get his field surgery kit.

 

It’s actually a pretty impressive kit, and includes everything that you need to perform bypass surgery in the field and then whip up an omelet afterwards.

 

However, it is missing a few simple items. Like gauze.

 

And bandages. And aspirin. But otherwise, it’s got all that you need.

 

 

 

 

The record reflects (and this is the record, you are reading it right here) that Tracy returned from her injuries faster than Paul returned from his. Tracy’s speedy recovery brings to mind an amusing story from the World Cup:

 

A Canadian soccer fan was arrested after the final World Cup game in Germany, charged with assaulting an Italian Soccer fan. The Italian fan suffered fractures, bruising, abrasions and a fractured skull. As a result of these horrendous injuries, the Italian man has anxiety, depression and has now developed Diabetes. The Canadian was 20 metres away at the time of the attack. The Italian is expected to make a full recovery in 5 minutes.

 

But Tony “Semenko” was not amused.

 

The next chance he got near Tracy’s assailant, he completely lost it. He gave him a head fake, then absolutely ran over him. And as the guy lay twitching in the dirt, Tony just grunted, “I never seen him.”

 

Sure Tony. None of us seen nothing, neither. (At right, Tony defends Tracy’s honour. Tom was off somewhere icing his hamstring at the time)

 

Then, with the clock running down, subject to about 15 more minutes of injury time, Stuart “Blocking Balls For Jesus” Baker dove for a loose ball, only to get a knee to the head from an oncoming attacker. For the next ten minutes, the all he could see were stars and little cartoon birds circling around his head. At that point, the game was called on account of pain.

 

It was rough, but Bent Like Beckham were the roughest team on the pitch and they clawed their way to a gutsy 5-1 win.

 

He Shoots …. He Finally Scores!!!!

 

Tony is snake bit. In 8 Rec League games, he had taken 47 shots at the opposing net, but had not registered a single goal. Indeed, in 47 tries, he had yet to register a single shot on goal, overshooting the net in every case by anywhere from 3 feet to about 11 miles. In the first half, Tony took 4 more shots at the opposing goal. The only way to clearly show how far over the goal his last shot was is to express it pictorially. This is a close approximation:

 

 

You would think that “How to Kick a Soccer Ball” would be something a gym teacher would have learned in first or second year, around the time they learn how to work the overhead projector.

 

Where was I? Oh yeah. Tony did not let his inability to kick a soccer ball accurately deter him. And, late in the second half, with the opposition pressing, Tony broke free, skirted around 2 defenders and blasted his first Rec League goal into the open side. The bench erupted in cheers, not just because Tony had finally scored, but because he promised to shout a Team Jug if he ever got a goal. Thanks Tony.

 

Tony was not the only one to score – Steve “The New Guy” opened the scoring with his second goal in two games. Not to be outdone, Brian “I Used To Be The Guy Who Scored All The Goals” scored one of his own, giving him 10 goals in the last four games and breaking Sideshow Bobbito’s record from last season.

 

 

Even Captain Tom “My Mom Makes Me Wear This Sweater So Just Lay Off, Will You?” got on the scoresheet. Tom is recovering from a major reconstructive surgery of his ankle, knee, hip and scrotum following a collision in a match in May, but you would not know it from the way he played. He demonstrated a lot of speed, flair and creativity on the pitch, to the point where he actually removed his shorts and shoes at one point when he thought it might give the team an advantage.

 

Here’s Tom using his patented Speedo Move™ on the opposing keeper:

 

 

The goalie was completely bamboozled by the sight of Tom’s bent Beckham, and could only gaze on in horror as Tom’s shot curled into the corner of the goal. Before he scored, Tom had pledged to “gear right down to nothing, if that’s what it takes.” Hopefully things will never come to that.

Tracy closed out the scoring with a brilliant goal of her own, making her and Tom the only husband and wife team in BLB history to each score a goal in the same game; a record which might never be broken.

 

The back end was led by Stuart “Bent Like Buffoon”, who brought along his own personal fan, Josie. With someone on the sidelines he actually cared about impressing, Stuart simply refused to be scored on. He had only one kind of scoring in mind, and it was not happening on the field. Even when  the ball got past him, it bounced off the goal line and safely into his waiting arms.  Josie’s attendance is now required at all future Bent Like Beckham games.

 

Stuart will be publishing his new goaltending guidebook with accompanying cassette tape series, “God is My Defenceman” this fall. Look for it in leading bookstores everywhere.

 

In fact, Laura was Stuart’s other defenceman/woman/person and she played awesome, vacuuming up loose balls, sweeping them off to the side and generally tidying up around the place. She also scoured the midfield, mopped up in the corners and I am going to stop this now because it is only going to lead me into a bad place.

 

It goes without saying, but we will say it here anyway: Peter played great. He made a great pass to set up each of the Budd goals and clanged one ball off the post. And he brought the beer. La premier etoile, without any doubt.

 

Where does this leave us? After Sunday’s dominating 5-1 win, the Bent Like Beckham line in the official Rec League standings looks like this:

 

 

Six more games like that, and it’s championship T-Shirts for everyone.

 

Safety Message

 

After all of the mayhem Sunday night, Bent Like Beckham has decided to

support House Bill No. 1137 currently being debated by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, which would make helmets mandatory for soccer players and outlaw the dangerous practice of ‘headers’. The Bill reads, in part, as follows:

 

SECTION 2. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no player participating in a soccer match in any public or private school including elementary, middle and high school, or any public or private college in the Commonwealth, shall use a header during a soccer game. All players shall wear helmets designed to protect against head injuries.

 

Seriously. If you want to play soccer for the Boston Sport and Social Club, you gotta wear a helmet. Thankfully, there is just such a product available: the Full90 Performance Headguard™.

 

Here is American national team member, Ryan Suarez  modelling the Full90 Performance Headguard™, a fine product manufactured by the F90 company. The company claims that the Full90 Performance Headguard™ is ultra-lightweight, ventilated and adjustable with an impact absorbing ForceBloc™ foam layer that wraps around the head, protecting crucial impact zones at the forehead and temples. (The areas where many head impacts occur.)

 

It can reduce typical impact forces to the covered part of the head by up to 50%.

 

 

The good people at F90 also manufacture a line of unrelated products aimed at a different market sector, which includes the Anal Intruder™. Tom will be pleased to learn the Anal Intruder™ also features an impact absorbing ForceBloc™ foam layer.

 

 

Game 3 Preview: Bent Like Beckham vs Joga Bonito

 

Next game is Sunday, 6:30 PM vs. Joga Bonito. This is a new team and we don’t have a scouting report on them yet. The official Rec League standings show them in 6th place, with a record of 1-1 and a goal differential of 0. Which does not tell us a whole lot, except that Team Beckham is a whole lot better than them.

 

T-t-t-t-t-that’s all folks … my turn writing the soccer letter is done.

 

See you on Sunday.

Peter

(and Brian.)