We’ll get our new kits today.
That’s soccer lingo for new uniforms. We’ll play our opener Monday. New kits, new coach, new season. I have a good feeling about it all. Every time I think it’s time to retire, something like this happens. Some place asks me if I’ll teach. And I say yes.
I’m particular when it comes to kits – I don’t have a say in this case, so I hope for the best.
I have a few hang-ups. Quirks, really. Harmless. I’m partial to prime numbers. That’s not so strange, but perhaps that I was once a fan of multiples of threes, then made the switch to prime numbers? Maybe that makes it strange.
For uniforms, my quirk is simple: I want symmetry.
I can’t stand uniforms with one red sleeve, one blue. Or those gymnast leotards with one long sleeve and one short. Be honest, on this one, would that not bug the holy jalapenos right out of you? So send good vibes that our kits are the same on one side as the other.
1. What should you wear under your soccer jersey?
I tossed this one to a new friend at work, a coach, and player.
“What should you wear under your soccer jersey?” I texted. “Are you sure this is for your blog?” she answered. Woah. I felt creepy as the boogeyman and twice as awkward. “It’s for my blog, you see. There’s this thing I do, on Fridays … Go Ask Daddy …”
I dug the hole like a champ.
Tough girls like Tina – and my girls – often opt for nothing but a sports bra underneath, no matter how frigid the day. It’s like a lineman in the Bears-Packers game at Lambeau with bare arms. I’d advise you to wear (and Tina agreed) Under Armour or some such moisture-wicking undershirt.
If it’s 65 degrees or above, just a form-fitting short-sleeved lycra shirt or sports bra will do. If it’s 55 or cooler, you’re still cool with the short sleeves. At 45 degrees and below, opt for the long-sleeved Under Armour. Anything colder than that? Layer up.
A short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirt for temps that dip to 35, and below that, those two, plus a jogger’s jacket of some variety. Layers, my girls. Layers.
2. Why didn’t they have color TV back then?
I still remember black-and-white TV.
Non-football fans in the family would face exile to an inner room to watch Shirley Temple movies on a colorless set during the Super Bowl. True story. Don’t judge, it was the times. Back in the mid-40s, we’d have been watching the game in black and white, too.
(Only, there weren’t Super Bowls back then.)
Color TV coexisted with black-and-white TV in television’s infancy. CBS and RCA competed with different color mechanisms. Color TV had a tough time catching on. The technology wasn’t so easy to parse.
Now, we have a deluge of color, a hue tsunami that sometimes assaults the senses.
Like these unis.
3. Why is everything made in China?
Asian factories can produce goods fast and switch on the fly more easily than can their American friends. Overhead and workforce costs are significantly lower. Safety practices and social responsibility sometimes are the casualties in this quick-and-easy setup.
The bulk of web-enabled devices are produced in China, but their infrastructure – Android and iOS – are maintained right here in the U.S. of A.
4. Is Shaquille O’Neal the guy who lives in our neighborhood?
Oh, Shaq wouldn’t shack up in East Charlotte, honey.
I mean, there’s Walmart and Little Caesar’s pizza and even two Food Lions a couple of miles apart, but when you’re the Big Aristotle, you need grander digs. Shaq, though, is little more than a 7-foot kid, which I can identify with, except for the 7-foot part.
We eat similarly, too, me on a smaller scale, believe it or not. A friend of a friend who works at a South Charlotte steak house said that during Shaq’s final NBA season, he sat in her section. His order:
- One steak
- One order of crab legs
- One whole roasted chicken
He ate it all.
Quite a feat for a man whose name means “handsome.” (Eli, by the way, means “high.” But not like that.) Shaq didn’t score in double digits the next night against Charlotte. The restaurant should offer a downsized version of that dinner in his honor, I say.
Shaq’s influence is for real. There are now three NFL players named Shaq: Barrett, with the Broncos; Shaq Mason, with the Patriots; and Shaq Thompson, with the Panthers.
5. What makes mouthwash spicy?
Here’s exhibit 235 of how today’s generation is babied: There exists a Listerine Zero.
Those of us of a certain age remember the days when mouthwash and antifreeze were essentially the same chemical makeup. The feeling that your mouth has been descended on by a thousand fire ants isn’t from the alcohol content – it’s the essential oils.
Yes, the same kinds of things your hippieish friends will offer if you complain of a headache, a stomachache, or just NeedSomeZenInMyDayAche. It’s a different blend, of course, designed not to ease your pain, but to destroy plaque in your mouth.
It’s a dirty, germy war zone, and feels like it, your mouth when the oils get to battle.
So the Listerine Zero doesn’t have those mighty warriors fighting in your face. No, it’s more like a pillow fight in which no one really takes a full swing at an opponent. Plaque scoffs at Listerine Zero, the way I scoff at low-fat cheese and gluten-free churros.
And asymmetrical soccer kits and non-prime numbers, but those are battles that rage in my head, not my mouth.