Today’s sports section

Yes, I’m switching over to sports today, though in the tangential sense, it’s still “media.” In any case, I have no profound thoughts on music at the moment unless the song was being used in the World Cup or the Tour de France. That’s because I am an obsessive fans of sports that Europeans like more than we do, and I’m not apologizing for that. Don’t give me any guff about NASCAR and how exciting it is to see cars “tradin’ paint.” In cycling, guys are trading elbows while yelling at the cameraman on the motorcycle and generating enough wattage to power Pink Floyd’s lasers, amps and defibrillators.

If you want a really funny daily take on the Tour, check the Tour day Schmaltz. If you don’t watch the Tour, you won’t get it. If you do, you will injure yourself laughing.

Anyway, I was planning to write about myself here, because the research is easy. Today served as a stark reminder of why I am paid to write about sports, edit about sports, go to meetings about sports, write code about sports … but not to PLAY sports. Because, well, I suck.

I played about 30 minutes of soccer today. Soccer stats generally aren’t detailed, but I was able to keep a running tally of what I did:

– 0 shots on goal
– 0 effective tackles or defensive plays
– 0 completed passes
– 2 balls skipping over my foot when I had all day to trap them
– 3 botched traps that gave the ball right back to the other team
– 3 instances in which the ball was passed to me, only to see someone race from a direction I wasn’t anticipating and take the ball away
– 1 outburst (after the last of those three, right in front of the opposing goal) in which I shouted “Somebody tell me!” I didn’t specify what I was supposed to be told, though someone did tell me to move toward the ball. That’s sound advice. Someone else came up and apologized to me for not getting me the ball when I was open earlier. Having cooled down from my pointless scream at no one (or myself), I told him we were better off with the ball going behind me.

This is the third time I’ve played with these guys. Also the third time I’ve played in close to 10 years. So you’d expect the FIRST time to be really rough, with slight improvement. No. The first time wasn’t bad — I wasn’t quite Michael Ballack, but I made a couple of good defensive plays, took a solid shot on goal and completed a few passes. The second time, I scored an own goal (not really my fault) and left all my passes short before running out of gas, though I somehow summoned the energy and skill to make one good play — a chip over two defenders to a teammate who took the ball perfectly in stride. This time, I couldn’t even control the ball long enough to pass it.

I guess next time, I’ll just pick up the ball and hurl it into my own net. At least I could only improve from there.

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