Friday, June 23, 2006

My Soccer Mom!

My Mom isn't exactly your average sports enthusiast. She knows the names of a few sports, the odd rule or two here and there and sometimes she's even aware of who the better player or team is. But to say that she's an expert would be far from the truth.

Every few months though, when a tournament of some importance comes around -- Wimbledon, the Olympics, one of the World Cups -- she gets in the groove and makes a decent attempt to follow the action. However, a "decent attempt", while quite laudable, does not always translate into success. This Football World Cup is turning out into of those stories.

My Mom was a Maradona fan. In a slightly different universe, I would have been named "Maradona". Thankfully, I wasn't. One of the problems with my Mom, and my sister too, is their proclivity to focus their attention more on the sartorial elegance displayed by the footballers than their footballing skills. My Mom is old school and believes that the golden days of the game were when the players wore extremely small shorts. Today's longer and looser variety just don't cut it with her. Bah! It would be like comparing a street player with Diego! My sister, having never experienced this "golden era", quietly wonders what Del Piero or Beckham would look like in those tighter shorts.

My Mom tends to reserve her sympathy for the goalkeepers. For some reason, she'll always side with them. She believes they have the toughest job in the game and that it isn't really fair to them. (I find that very hard to believe considering they're the only two people on the field who can actually hold the ball!) If she were to officiate a football game, a goalkeeper would probably be able to kick down one of the opponents down to the ground and she'd call a foul on the player knocked down for dirtying the keeper's boots.

My Mom thinks the penalty rule is extremely unfair to the goalkeeper since he has almost no chance of stopping the ball. "Poor chap, poor chap!" she'll say repeatedly. I have tried arguing with her that the keeper is in many ways in a better position than the guy taking the penalty. If he saves it, he's a hero; it he doesn't, no one expected him to save it in the first place. It's a "no lose" situation.

I'm thinking of sending my Mom to do color commentary for ESPN for the rest of the World Cup. (I don't know if you've noticed, but they don't have a color commentator currently.) I'll send my sister too, while I'm at it.

Mom(M): And tonight we have Argentina versus Germany, a rematch of that great final 20 years ago. Argentina look dazzling in their classic blue and white, certainly better than the plain, dull white of the Germans. I've always felt these Germans weren't much when it came to color co-ordination and that's the most important thing to dressing.
Sister(S): Indeed so. A remarkably under-par dressing sense from the Germans. They're certainly up against it tonight! In any case, I really fancy Lionel Messi. They say he's almost as good as Maradona, but I think they're very wrong -- he's way better [looking]!


M: Oh dear! One of the Argentineans has brought down a German in that rectangular area around the goal. It's a penalty. Poor chap, that Argentinean goalkeeper! I feel really sorry for him. How can he ever save this now? No chance.
S: Maybe they ought to have Messi be the keeper for the penalty! Can they do that?
M: I'm not sure, dear. But do you think those goalkeeper's colors will suit him?

Well, to her credit, she's finally managed to understand what the offside rule is all about -- and that's about all one can ask of a woman when it comes to football.


Saltwater Blues said...

LOL again ... you're so right about women and the offside rule!

... and i see nobody's leaving comments here any more. Perhaps they want you to review your recently instituted comment policy. Because lets face it - you gotta be "nice" to your readers :)

_ð!®†ß¤¥ said...

Never knew u had a mum..

"A" said...

hey thats my aunt you are talking about there!!!!