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Who’s Killing Soccer?

I’m so inspired by all the drama wrung out of reality shows these days that I’ve decided to open up a bit about my personal life.

Recently I wrote about how the Highlander let an unruly team stay in the indoor soccer summer league. I actually play for the team who recently had a player injured during an “incident” mid game.

As you can imagine this type of event polarizes opinions and the team has been exchanging emails. One of our players was suggesting that withdrawing from any of our games was over-reacting. Here is the email I sent back to him.

Vince your main complaint seems to be that “it wasn’t that bad”. You mention there’s a reasonable chance that it was an accident. I didn’t witness this game so I can’t say, I have an opinion but lets say I don’t. We’ve all seen that clip of John Terry getting booted in the skull, and there’s a reason Cech wears that rugby helmet its not his lucky hat. It DOES happen. You felt it didn’t seem like any of them had any malice:

“Their keeper ran to the washroom to get tissue and water to help our player. After the game I spoke with the other team and they were at least as confused as I was about Eric [our manager] deciding to end the match.”

So after the game they made like they did nothing wrong so it seems plausible to you that they did just that, nothing. I was there at the end of the other game where easily half their players were throwing punches, one of which was completely unprovoked and hospitalized a kid. After that game they strutted out with their heads high, I SAW the guy who threw the suckerpunch, he was showing his friends his knuckles. We told those Highlander guys his number. One of them said “that whole team will get kicked out”.

So you think it may not have been intentional and I clearly think it was. Here is the problem. Whether it was or not, we are the only ones debating this. The Highlander doesn’t give a baker’s fuck. It took them two weeks to “suspend” the other players after the first incident. During that time I spoke to John, the convener, twice face to face and emailed him. I called Nicole Hill, “Field Sports Coordinator”, twice and was told they were still deciding. Finally I called Derek McWha, the GM, and was told fairly rudely that there was no need to consider my alternative because FC was staying. My alternative was to let me put in a replacement team so our division wouldn’t go down to a more embarrassing FIVE teams thus making playoffs a joke. I was going to pay them to do this. I was trying to GIVE them money to save their division.

I’m not absolving the players. In the near future you will probably hear many rants from me about “who is killing soccer” and make no mistake the players are a huge part. At our level of play, we are the only ones who can actually pull the trigger and lower public opinion of the sport. But there is a reason this league, the drop in soccer program and all the past tournaments have been failures.  It is because the management doesn’t care, they get their bonuses regardless as long as Winter sells out. I’m going to help my friend’s coed team there when they are short players. In the fall I’m going to be giving the U of M a try, I’ve tried to support the Highlander in the face of constant abuse, I’m tired of feeling like a battered wife. I’d still enjoy pick up games throughout the summer with any of you but I decided weeks ago I have no desire to be in a men’s league at the Highlander.

I’ll see you guys at the rep meeting on the 30th?

Image Soccer ball Originally uploaded by Ctd 2005

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