By Cameron Blair
Over the course of my life, I have developed a subconscious list of things I promised myself I would never do. It’s a fairly extensive list and filled with terrible things such as going to a Nickelback concert, rooting for a Duke team or enjoying a movie starring Nicolas Cage.For the first 20 years of my life, I stuck to this list. That is, however, until Monday at 5 p.m. when I did something I had vowed never to do: I played an organized game of soccer.
That’s right; I made it 20 years without playing soccer. In fact, I have spent much of my life speaking out against the sport. When I tried to give it a chance by watching some World Cup matches, all I saw was small European guys (many of whom had effeminate hairdos) flopping and whining.
My resentment for the game can be traced to it taking so many kids away from little league baseball. Soccer is much cheaper to play than baseball, as far as equipment is concerned, so many parents sign their kids up for youth soccer.
To this day, I get a feeling in my stomach (similar to the one I get when I hear a Toby Keith song) when I drive past a park and see a group of kids playing soccer.
However, I was convinced by a couple of friends to join their intramural indoor soccer team this semester. When I say convinced, I mean they threatened my physical well-being if I did not decide to play.
Then Monday rolled around. It was a day I had been dreading for over three weeks. I was going to be forced to play a game I really do not care for. I contemplated faking a pulled hamstring to weasel out of my commitment.
But you know what? I actually kind of had fun out there. It was pretty fun running around after the ball; it was at least a good workout. Plus, soccer is more physical than I thought it was. I felt like a hockey player out there at times pushing guys into the wall and fighting for control of the ball.
This does not mean I was good in any way. Quite the opposite was true. I struggled to keep control of the ball when it came to me since my feet and my brain are barely on speaking terms with one another.
At one point, I attempted a header. I did make contact with the ball, but I forgot to push it in a particular direction and it simply floated straight down to the ground. I looked like a seal playing tricks with a beach ball while bouncing it off its nose.
So, after my less than spectacular first half on the field, I decided to give goalkeeper a shot in the second half. I give myself credit and point out I made a couple diving stops while in goal.
However, all of those were invalidated later in the half. A ball was slowly rolling toward me and I reached down to get it-only there was no ball there. Yes, I let a ball moving about one mile per hour roll past me into the net.
Although my soccer experience was far from great, I really had a good time. Don’t tell anyone, but I am actually looking forward to next week’s game.
Who do I have to thank for this experience?
Well, my friends for threatening, I mean convincing, me to play. Most of all, however, I have to take my hat off to Eastern’s intramural programs.
I have participated in at least one intramural sport in each of the six semesters I have been at Eastern. The program is one of my favorite parts about being a Colonel. I have never been a fan of blanket statements, but I will make an exception right now: everyone attending school here should play some form of intramural sports.
It’s not like your options are limited. Eastern offers everything from basketball to badminton to horseshoes-there is definitely something for everyone.
In fact, for those students who do not participate in intramurals, they should be forced to watch the Lindsey Lohan film I Know Who Killed Me once a week throughout their respective collegiate careers.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go sign up for intramural kickball.