Whose Ball is It?

A couple of weeks ago I posted an excerpt about soccer from my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant and a Paycheck. A number of readers responded to the story of beginner soccer players and how much fun it is to watch, and the readers asked if I would be posting more soccer stories. There are a couple more in this chapter about soccer, so here is another one. Enjoy….

For a long time I thought nobody would top Michael’s less-than-stellar debut at soccer, until one of my grandson’s started his first game.

Like Michael, Justin has an older brother who was quite gifted at the sport, and Justin played a lot of backyard soccer before joining a team. Also like Michael, he has a strong sense of what is fair and what is not. I mean, like really strong. The Gorilla Glue of fair play.

At his first game, he got into a debate with one of the defenders from the other team who took the ball away from him. Obviously, Justin thought the game ought to be played like the scrimmages with his brother who never took the ball away. Undaunted, the opposing player told Justin that it was his job to get the ball away from him.

“But it’s my job to put it in the goal,” Justin said. “And if you aren’t going to let me, then I’m not going to play.”

With that, he walked off the field. The coach, the other players, the referee, his mother and the rest of us were speechless. Then we darn near choked to death trying to swallow laughter.

Again, in the spirit of fairness, Justin did learn how to play on a team and did quite well at soccer for a number of years.


This is a real busy day for me. I am also guest blogging at a new blog that is devoted to teen reading and Y/A books. Hop on over to Teen Fiction and Other Stuff by C.K. Green if you would like to join in a fun discussion about being socially unacceptable.

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