Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Monday, April 4, 2016

Soccer and civility

 My grandson Mark has joined a new travel team for soccer. The Bayshore Revolution is the name of the club. I have been corrected in calling it a team, in soccer, apparently it is a club. And, you should call the club the " revs. " Last week was his first game of this season and it was a home game. But this week we had to travel. Let me tell you for Grandpa the name fit perfectly ! It was a two hour drive to get to the field. The field was on the campus of St. James Academy in Monkton, Maryland. It is quite close to the Pennsylvania border. The first thing I noticed was the rolling landscape and expansive farms. These were no " dirt " farmers. The farm houses looked like mansions and the field and barns pristine. Very impressive to a flatlander like myself. When we went rolling up on that campus I knew we were playing a different class of folks, on a different field altogether. There was a stiff breeze blowing and the American flag was snapping. Right below old glory flew the flag of the Catholic church and I just had to cross myself ! I looked out over the field and you could see the different colors mowed into the grass, just like on television. Now that field looked professional.
 We had arrived quite early because, you know, us old folks do that. I had left early for this trip, this traveling practically across state lines. Having enough forethought I did bring snacks and had printed out the directions from MapQuest. And I felt like I was on a Quest, felt like Johnny Quest, remember him ? We arrived and I parked in the upper parking area. Yes, they had upper and lower areas. Taking a quick stroll to check out the playing field and locate the rest room I was impressed by the size of the buildings. I did find a rest room, not a porta potty, how crass would that be, and spoke to a couple of the locals. First impressions can be misleading but they were not in this case. It was obvious these folks were quite affluent. Oh they wore jeans alright, those hundred dollar kind and North face jackets. There shoes all looked new, another tell tale sign of wealth and affluence. I spoke briefly with the team, er club photographer. She was quite a pleasant lady that knew nothing of soccer other than her son played the game.
 The weather was cold and windy, very windy. There was a small set of aluminum bleachers for the spectators. We had brought our sports blankets and we sure needed them. We were fortunate that the wind was at our backs. Our team, dang it, club scored within the first minute of the match. The home team was shocked. There was a polite clapping from the opposition. I discovered we were sitting close to the enemy camp and so tempered any remarks I had. There were others from the " revs " there but we haven't really met them yet. We did get encouraging glances from those folks and some compliments about Marks' goal keeping abilities. The " revs " had an outstanding goaltender last season and Mark has replaced him. By the end of the half we had scored three. There were murmurings of dissent from the supporters of the other club. Ha, got it that time. The parents of the Maryland Black weren't happy. I even heard a few exclaim, " oh sugarpops " when there scoring attempts went awry. There was mumbling about the officiating, although very subdued. These were not the working class parents I have encountered at other contests. These folks are civilized !
 The second half was an uneventful twenty minutes. There was no more scoring. Our club didn't play with as much energy as they had in the first half. I'm thinking they were feeling a bit superior and so not trying as hard. Mark did feel a lot more pressure in the second half as they made quite a few shots on goal. He handled every shot. There was a minor rumble from the crowd when he rushed out to slide tackle a scoring attempt. The player went down and some felt as though Mark hadn't made a play for the ball. I felt differently, of course, but other than a few " sugarpops " there wasn't much complaint. All in all I would say it was a rather " genteel " soccer match. We won handily with a final score of three to zero. Two games into the season and undefeated.
 It was a long day and exhausting. Had a little trouble finding the way home. Hadn't thought to print reverse directions, a mistake I won't make again. As luck would have it I had a 13 year old granddaughter along who just took the phone, and next thing I know, the phone is telling me how to get home. Turn right on Monkton road and go 26 miles, then left on Jarrett. Amazing stuff, being tracked by a satellite ! Well who knew ? Anyway we got home alright without further delay. I'll have to learn how to do that, maybe my Granddaughter will teach me. Good to learn new things, I tell myself as I mumble under my breath ! A good fold out map from the Shell station would have done the same thing. Haven't seen any of those around lately though. All this electronic stuff in the cars today and no compass. Geez, I had better learn to use the phone. Morgan says the GPS unit couldn't locate the satellite but the phone doesn't have that problem. Apparently those GPS units are not the best way to go. Again, who knew ?
 The most striking thing was the difference in the parent spectators. It wasn't much of a crowd but maybe that was due to the weather. It was cold and breezy. That the majority of them were from affluent families was obvious. Just overhearing their conversations during the game convinced me of that. I heard none of the coarse language associated with the working class. Not even among themselves. They were polite, civil even. They were gracious in defeat and seemed unmoved by the loss. Quite the contrast from some spectators I have encountered in the past. Soccer is noted for its' shall we say, enthusiastic supporters. I admit I enjoyed the " match "  immensely. Pity that both clubs can't win isn't it ? Well ta,ta for now. Soccer and civility ? It was nice.

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Mark making the save.