|Correspondents Ed and Scott, Pre-Game, with a Big Fan
Photo by humanstatuebodyart on Flickr
You want to know what it's like when really old men play soccer? OK, this is what it's like, courtesy of Correspondent Scott:
Thank you to all who sacrificed life and limb for team “Over the Hill” yesterday at the FAU 5v5 tournament. Despite losing in the Final, we did better and went further than we ever have (and anyone expected) by winning both our bracket games after an out-of-bracket hiccup to start. Clearly pushing the boundaries of what rational men our age should be doing, I believe we acquitted ourselves well, even if it was against teams with names like The Brew Crew. Many will attribute our success to a nearly unanimous habit, which prompted Tucker to inquire “is it required for [them] to curse every time they come off the field?"
Unable to sleep due to aching legs and other body parts, despite bags of ice and a pile of Alleve, I had plenty of time on my hands this morning so, herewith, is a summary of our collective exploits, as well as a descriptive roster listing of the players and other key attendees, for posterity.
Game 1 - vs. Elite SA (1-2)
Treating it much like a meaningless preseason game, we turned our age handicap into an advantage by wisely tricking the elitists into scoring an own-goal in order to save our energy for the following, in-bracket games. Before and after this, we pounded the innocent foliage beyond the western goal.
Game 2 - vs. Brew Crew (3-1)
Ed bagged a brace (one sizzling in off the crossbar) in this one after Dominic deftly controlled, turned and slotted past their 'keeper. At the other end, solid work by Judson allowed us to claim our first victory.
Game 3 - vs. Team Z (3-2)
Ed rifled one in from behind midfield before the Z Pack equalized. "Down" to only the allowed 3 subs after that, we surged ahead via pressure goals by Dominic then John before hanging on for the win.
Final - vs. Forza Unida (1-4)
After a slow start that saw us down 2-0 at halftime, we pulled one back soon after the restart and began to make a game of it. Alas, it seemed our years conspired against us, and our legs failed us, as we let 2 more slip in for a disappointing, yet still respectable, loss. All this drama unfolded as we were forced to sport green/yellow pinnies, sized for U11 Girls, which transformed us into a very slow-moving collective beacon of fluorescent and aging hope, while restricting normal diaphragm function and hindering our already much-labored breathing.
Cast of Characters:
Charlie "Houdini" Medrano ably coached the squad before disappearing in a puff of smoke prior to the final, apparently when there were no more groins to massage.
John "Hipster" Earle, on the other hand, feigned a hip injury in order to avoid being seen in the same uniform as us but, nonetheless, stayed right to the bitter end offering pointers, encouragement and the occasional snarky yet accurate comment.
John "Iceman" Uustal converted his goal so coolly that spectators were forced to don warmer clothing to combat the icy chill that swept across the field as he nonchalantly celebrated via the faintest hint of a nod and a fleeting wink.
Ed "The Blaze" Yevoli, scored a brace in the second game before adding a half-field beauty in the third for a tournament hat-trick. OTH's golden boot winner was on fire before, undoubtedly, as one of the more senior members of the side, later extinguishing in an icy bath then breaking out his walker.
Dominic "The Dominator" Carreira, when not scoring his two well-earned goals, was knocking opponents off the ball up front as if he saw the tournament as an orthopedic marketing opportunity.
Scott "Squirrel" Roberts' pet name comes from neither his adorable countenance nor his extinct nimbleness, but rather from his being like the proverbial blind and bushy-tailed rodent who finally found a nut in the last game.
Olaf "The General" Henke, sporting postage stamp-sized shin guards purloined from his niece, did what marshaling he could of his meager teammates, when not forcing friend and foe alike to dive away from howitzer shots at goal.
Judson "Double Punch" Cone, somewhat improbably, double fisted more during the tournament than at the celebratory after-party sponsored by the Brew Crew, all while looking devastatingly dashing dressed as an oversized, and fluorescently orange, example of his last name.
Miles "Davis" Medrano ran at least four times his first name, while being consistently smooth as jazz on the ball, belying his tattered uniform and, later, matching pinnie.
Stephan "The Kid" von Lattorff checked in nearly a decade after the next youngest OTHer and, as a result, was the only one nearly to get carded before the game. Despite brazenly attempting (and almost converting) a bicycle kick, he can likely leave his ID at home next year as he markedly aged several years from the pounding he took as the brave one-man wall in the Final.
Rodrigo "Secret Service" Canaval took a bullet for the team when some busy-body on the Strikers wanna-be team figured out how to count past 8. But not before he dazzled us with the sartorial anomaly that were his green shorts while confounding (and upending) opposing players.
Special thanks to "SuperFans" Jennifer Yevoli and Liz Roberts (and their respective children), as well as the Cone kids, without whom we still would be wondering if any noise is made when a really old tree falls and nobody is there to hear it.
Your humble “voluntold” team manager,
Correpsondent Scott for farlieonfootie for April 11.