Thursday, 9 August 2007

Last One Picked

This afternoon, for the first time in a long time, I am going to play 5-a-side football (soccer for our American readers). When I was younger, and did play occasionally, it was always under protest, or because some inter-youthclub tournament came around and my participation was demanded. Even on those occasions though I was always the guy who the ball never came near, because either the opposition steered away from me or because my own team-mates didn't think it was in the best interests of the team for the ball to come near me.

Going back even further I remember the times when playing football on the playground was the usual process of two guys who were the team captains then picking other boys from a line, and I always remember being among the last few to be chosen. Yesterday evening when I called him to see if he fancied playing, noisms said, "You're playing with other people from your department? Aren't you scared of showing yourself up?"

Thing is, as far as I can remember, I wasn't all that bad at football, it just never grabbed me as being anything particularly fun to do. Team sports have never held any particular fascination for me (apart from rounders, I could play rounders all day), although I'm not opposed at all to doing things in a team. I've done some "outward bounds" type stuff before that I really liked, and really enjoyed the faux seriousness of paintball at a friend's stag day.

Maybe I've got it all wrong anyway, my memories of life before the summer of 1998 are weird anyway, and I've only played football a handful of times since then. It's not that I have no memories before summer 1998, but life before that time seems as if it was lived by someone else (the whys and wherefores of that are best left for another day).

So maybe I'm mis-remembering my childhood football prowess, and perhaps I enjoyed playing it in my youth. I think we all have a tendency to look at our childhoods through rose-tinted glasses and at the same time remember things we didn't like as things that we absolutely hated.
Although our past has a great bearing on us now, it can't be the thing that defines us now, of that I am a firm believer.

(and yes, noisms, I am worried about showing myself up this afternoon, so I guess I'll just have to not show myself up!)


noisms said...

Rounders is a girl's game!

mattiecore said...

I was always among the last few chosen for team sports as well...

But I happen to be an avid sports fan. My one true love is baseball, but I have a huge appetite for football (American, as I'm sure you can figure). I also relly enjoy soccer; I just don't like the American leagues.

A big game in my area during middle school was a variant on danish rounders (or football rounders, by some sources) that would be kind of difficult to describe. (I have no idea how the British school system is set up, but middle school corresponds approximately to ages 10-14.) I was really good at this game, and even started a weekly club in my high school specifically to play it. (high school: ages 14-18)

Also, I know that there's a European league for American football....What exactly is the game called in Europe?

zero_zero_one said...

noisms: Rounders is most definitely not a girl's game.

matt: I've played something called Danish longball - played with a baseball and bat, the object is to run the length of a long narrow field and back without getting tagged by the ball. Defenders can move, but only when they're not carrying the ball. You can stop at the top end of the field and wait, but only (at most) three can wait up there.