Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Ran into a friendly acquaintance of mine at the gym. We've played against each other for years; he is quite a bit younger but was permitted to play in our veteran's league because he was a professional referee or something. I was never quite clear on what the deal was, to be honest.

Anyhow, he had told me he was up for promotion to Serie A in the coming season, so when I saw him, I didn't even say anything, I just raised an eyebrow. He smiled and pumped his fist; the league not only came through with the promotion to the top level but had him rated highest in the second league through the first half of the season. He's smart, athletic, and multilingual, so I have absolutely no doubt he'll be doing Champion's League and the Euros before too long.

Competitive bastard too. I marked him for an entire game in an indoor tournament and had to throw everything plus the kitchen sink at him to keep him from scoring... and just barely managed to do that.



Blogger pyrrhus January 30, 2018 12:26 PM  

It's always nice to see friends get ahead...

Anonymous Tsalal January 30, 2018 12:29 PM  

This post brought a smile my face.

-OT, DNC CEO Jess O'Connell resigns.

This, plus McCabe, plus the looks of fear and pleading from Schif and Pelosi indicate this memo is _bad_, so bad even the msm will not be able to get ahead and spin this.

Anonymous Anonymous January 30, 2018 12:32 PM  

How in the world do you find the time to do all the stuff you get involved in?

Is there really only one of you?

Blogger Pax_Romana January 30, 2018 12:36 PM  

I don't pretend to understand soccer, but being able to mostly keep up with a much younger player - who wound up going pro? Well done, Supreme Dark Lord!

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 30, 2018 12:41 PM  

Very cool

Anonymous Looking Glass January 30, 2018 12:48 PM  

Referee in soccer/football is about the most physically demanding there is. It's a lot of running. In a really one-sided match, you might actually have to run more than the winning team's defense. And especially their goalkeeper.

Congrats to him. It's a hard job and mostly thankless. It doesn't help the Penalty Box rules in soccer have been, clearly, needed to be changed for decades, but it makes for better drama to leave such highly leveraged penalties to the officials.

Blogger ReluctantMessiah January 30, 2018 1:14 PM  

So what you're saying...

is the Supreme Dark Lord can handle Champion's League and the Euros ;)

Blogger pyrrhus January 30, 2018 1:15 PM  

This is a good chuckle...

Blogger VD January 30, 2018 1:18 PM  

I don't pretend to understand soccer, but being able to mostly keep up with a much younger player - who wound up going pro?

Pro referee. We have several pros in our league. I've even played against at least five internationals that I know of; I've outscored three of them in the actual game.

But they are still a LOT better than I am or ever was. They can do things with the ball that I can't even imagine doing.

Blogger artensoll January 30, 2018 1:29 PM  

9. VD: "They can do things with the ball that I can't even imagine doing."

It truly is the 'beautiful game'.

Anonymous Victor F. Michaelson January 30, 2018 1:54 PM  

Ditto what Pax_Romana said.

Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2018 3:16 PM  

It's interesting to read these posts on athletics. I dunno much about men's physiology, but having observed my own very athletic father over the years, it looks like a man can stay reasonably competitive well into his 50s and even early 60s. My dad only started to seriously slow down in his mid-60s. Strength-wise he's still right up there.

Just going by what I've seen, it looks to be very important for men to stay physically active as long as possible. The 70-something father of one of my husband's friends moved here from Sweden a while back, and was a real grump until his son pushed him to start playing hockey again. We watched his personality transform as he played regularly. Even though he wasn't that competitive, his disposition and outlook on life improved significantly. Men just seem to be built to need hard physical activity.

Anonymous Ryan ATL January 30, 2018 3:23 PM  

That's awesome VD. I hear they pay refs well in Serie A

Blogger Nate73 January 30, 2018 3:48 PM  

What are some good sporting activities for someone like myself over 30 to try out? I grew up single mom household, never did any team competitive sports.

Blogger Gordon Scott January 30, 2018 4:27 PM  

Nate73, it depends on where you are. If you were in the Twin Cities, I'd say to join a broomball league in winter and softball/volleyball in the summer. You will meet people and make connections and you might find your way into something else. Usually the bigger gyms/YMCAs have a basketball league.

I strongly recommend you pay a trainer for a session on stretching before events. Once I stopped playing daily, I needed to really stretch carefully and thoroughly, else I'd have knots on my hamstrings the size of fists when I pulled them trying to run fast.

Blogger Nate January 30, 2018 6:29 PM  

"They can do things with the ball that I can't even imagine doing."

And that's why we call soccer gay.

Blogger Latigo3 January 30, 2018 7:42 PM  

That's the thing about soccer, once you watch the pros play it is totally different.
I've always thought about it like this, a good high-school soccer forward needs about 18" of space and he's gone, a college or semi-pro forward needs about 12" and a good pro only needs 1".
As a goalkeeper reading the play and players was all part of it, but it made me nervous when we would go against those guys that you knew were better than your best forward, it was amazing to see. Inevitably they would get the shot off faster and with more accuracy.

Sounds like a lot of fun Vox.

Anonymous Anonymous January 31, 2018 1:31 AM  

I never had the skill set for playing, but I did ref soccer for about 10 years. The guy who did the training threw an exam at us rookies designed for the highest levels with the intent that we fail miserably but learn from the experience. It served its purpose, which was to really get into how the rules applied.

No experience was ever quite like keeping up with 22 highly competitive guys on a regulation field as the sole ref for a 90 minute weekly recreational league. I may not have been athletic, but I had a lot of respect for what they could do on the field, and they returned the favor since I kept my legs moving until the last whistle.

Anonymous Ryan ATL January 31, 2018 8:29 AM  

I've really enjoyed watching Serie A matches from time to time this season. It's a greatly competitive league compared to many other of the "big" european ones. I'd give Napoli up against any team in the europe this year. Koulibaly is as good as any defender in the world.

Anonymous c matt January 31, 2018 10:34 AM  

It's nice that Serie A this season hasn't simply been "The Juventus Show". Congrats to your acquaintance.

Anonymous c matt January 31, 2018 10:43 AM  

We played against a pro in one league I played in. I think he was Chilean. He usually played goalie until his team got behind, they'd put him out in the field, and within about 8-10 minutes, they'd be caught up or winning. I was also fortunate enough to land a pro-goalkeeper from Mexico on my team (sadly, he moved out of state), but he was so good on the field, we hardly ever "wasted" him in goal. He was actually listed in the FIFA Soccer 2008 or something video game. Way cool!

Blogger Nate73 January 31, 2018 10:37 PM  

@15: I've been reading about stretching, so you're saying you have to do it when you take breaks from vigorous activity? Not just as a warm up technique?

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