How could I forget? I was also going to pick up my cousin, Raquel, in San Francisco. All this, before I’d even learned to parallel park. But I was ready. Kids these days? They’re not so ready. Why be ready to drive, when you parental Uber toting you around?
No, really. My plan: To coach soccer for 24 hours straight. Twenty-four one-hour sessions, with kids signed up around the clock. (I’d get college kids to fill the overnight hours.) One boy on my team wanted to camp out and participate in as many hours as possible.
It never happened.
We’d planned it as a fundraiser for a teammate who’d been diagnosed with leukemia. The Guinness folks said if it was tied to a charity, it wouldn’t count. And that’s okay. That teammate? He went into remission.
One surprising element of my time on the sideline is that I (mostly) stop thinking about food for the short term.
Who am I kidding? I’m thinking about it then, too. Noon kickoffs are the worst, because that’s when I should be having lunch. And a big late breakfast and a big late lunch are the only remedy for a situation like that.
The girls’ first question got me thinking about snack food and even meal food on the playing field.
Although I don’t recommend the Cobb salad while playing catcher or the macaroni tuna casserole while playing midfield (ew – or any time), here are some ideas I dreamed up for food that ought to be kosher for a coach.
More than that, if you count the days as an athlete. Back then I warmed the bench. I had a uniform, though. I loved sport. I sucked at it. But I loved it. I romanticized it and I relished it. And I could do it just well enough to make the team. Not an atom more.
I tend to stand on the field a bit, which is illegal.
I’m short. I have to do it. I get out of the way when the ball comes my way. Unless I don’t. One day I was slow to retreat. The ref gave me a look. The opposing coach hopped and pointed fingers like I’d just stolen his fortune cookie.
Brownie, the runt of the bunch, survived two brothers and a sister. Leo, then Babyface and Cubbie preceded her over the bridge, as they say. Brownie beat them all by several furlongs, but suffered from diabetes and got increasingly weaker in the past few days.
The toughest decision is the one to make the call.
Brownie was one of four kittens I found while driving home from work nearly 14 years ago. They sat lined up on the sidewalk. I walked toward them and they ran away. I walked back to my car, and they came back to me, crying.
No, this isn’t an NPR report on the effect of on race relations. (I think they did one on the Viewfield crater and its impact on we Hispanic people once). But the power of color is so powerful. It’s most noticeable to me in the sporting world.
When Camdyn and I watched the Denver Broncos play the Jaguars in Jacksonville last fall, we felt at home in a sea of orange.
The color silver, for example – stellar on the Detroit Lions’ helmets. Paired with black in oakland/Las Vegas for the raiders? Gross. Blue and white is golden with the Kansas City Royals – it’s deplorable with that ugly scripted LA logo with the dodgers.
It’s not good when a first-round draft pick in the NFL is known for getting more concussions than championship rings.
That was quarterback David Carr’s reality. The Houston Texans chose Carr, a star at Fresno State, first overall in the 2002 draft. In five brutal seasons behind a makeshift expansion team offensive line, Carr was sacked 249 times. He signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2007.
I had a chance to talk to him about his concussions when I worked for the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record and Associated Press.
Carr suffered at least three concussions with Houston, and at least one with Carolina. I asked him about the injuries once, and he categorized each hit as distinct from the others. Once, in Tennessee, he said, I took a hit, and sat up and looked around the stadium.
Meaning, there’s some deep philosophical questions here. Well, one at least. And one about cheese, which to me is a sign of higher intelligence. Although, when I was in college, it didn’t really feel like a haven of higher learning.
Was it just me?
I once got an 8 – yes, e-i-g-h-t – on a science test. I stayed after to ask, “is there any mathematical reason I shouldn’t hit drop-add after this?” My prof, he of feathered hair and a beard before beards were cool, simply shook his head.
I powered through my first book reading/book signing. It was kind of unexpected, but a wonderful experience. I wasn’t sure I’d go through with it, honestly. I won’t bore you with the grim details. Let’s just say I made a well-informed conscious decision.
I vowed I would just show my appreciation for all who showed up!
A funny thing happened. It wasn’t just the cup of wine I had before, or the fact that Christine from the blog I’m Sick and So Are You showed up (how badass am I that my friend who showed has a blog name like that?)
We got to play at halftime of a Colorado State football game in Ft. Collins. It was Band Day, and they played the University of New Mexico. I played baritone sax. I was first chair, I might add. The cheerleaders came with us.
Stick with me … this will tie together eventually.
Her name was Kaylie. (It was actually Shawna, but I don’t want to use her real name.) She was dreamy. Silky, curly brown hair, hazel eyes, braces. Sigh. The universe had a little fun that day and put Shawna – I mean, Kaylie – next to me on the bus.