Let me up on the stand
And let me kick out the jam
— the prophets mc5
He stands patiently in front of the goal.
The other aspiring Messis (aspiring for Messiness?) are all at midfield, kicking the crap out of each other. They are pretending to play soccer, or futbol, or whatever you call it. But mostly they seem to have learned that they can whack each other in the shins and get away with it.
This means the ball rarely makes its way to the goal, and no heroic dives are needed to save the day. So he just stands there.
I will never understand the frenzy over the World Cup, although the sight of little guys decked out in Ecuador jerseys screaming at the TV screen could make even the grinchiest Grinch leave a soccer ball under the navidad tree.
But I suppose it’s only fair. The mini goalkeeper doesn’t know what to think of an elderly gentleman shuffling around the perimeter of the soccer field, trying in vain to purge the demons of too many early deadlines. At least in journalism you’re allowed to use your hands.
I want to walk over to him, alone in his little world, and offer to let him kick me in the cajones so he can feel part of the group. But the rules of polite society won’t allow it, and I was never a big fan of cajone kicks. But that’s just me.
So I go on with my loops, 2 miles on the 0.4 mile soccer loop so I can say I ran 2 miles on the 0.4 mile soccer loop.
But he doesn’t notice me at all as he watches the frenzied mass of humanity at midfield, hoping someone eventually misses a shin and kicks the ball. They also serve who only stand and wait, economist Milton Friedman once said.
Sorry, Argentina. Next time, kick ’em in the shins. Yellow card’s on me.
As I cool down and pretend to stretch, he’s still standing patiently in front of the goal.