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Week #4 - I Would Like a Full Timeout

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Okay folks, we're going to rewind a little bit. Class has kept me insanely busy and I apologize for missing last week's update. Hopefully next week I can get two in and be caught up, but for now, this is the week of September 13 and our first home game. Sorry it may not be as detailed, but it's harder to remember everything after a couple of weeks. The notes I have jotted down don't make as much sense now. If there isn't much mention of school it's because I've tried to block it from my memory. Anyway, here's the best effort.

Sept. 13
Monday was a pretty lazy day. I went to class as usual, but after that it was pretty laid back. At the time that we normally have practice, I took about a two-hour nap. It was wonderful. The only real excitement of the day was when I got in the shower and the water found a strawberry on my leg that I didn't remember. I nearly jumped out of the tub. During the season they seem to be pretty permanent, but that doesn't mean you get used to them or they feel any better. It's the worst when you wake up in the middle of the night and your shorts have stuck to your leg where the strawberry is. Enjoy peeling that off.

Sept. 14
Even though we had a day off, I didn't exactly feel fresh today. We came out to practice and the warm-up jog felt like I had just run the Cooper 10 minutes earlier. All the guys seemed to be a little sore to varying degrees. I think the coaches knew this and the drills weren't exactly the most physically demanding. Practice moved along pretty slowly but we got through what we wanted to do for the day. At the end, the guys who had played a lot of minutes the previous weekend jogged around the field while the rest of the team ran some sprints.

Sept. 15
Today was my birthday. I turned 22-years old. How weird is that? Especially compared to the guys on the team, I feel like the old man. Being a birthday later in the year, I played for an '83 club team even though I was born in 1982. The recruits the coaches are talking to now are '87s and '88s. 1988?! I remember watching Kirk Gibson hit the game winning homerun for the Dodgers that year in the World Series, and these kids were just being born. Twenty-one didn't feel much different than 20, but 22 feels like 30. Seems like I'm supposed to go out and get a job right now. Oh well, I'll wait a little while for that.

The pace of today's practice picked up considerably compared to the day before. But first, Brian McCurdy had the unluckiest warm-up ever. We were moving around a large grid playing long balls to each other. I just happened to notice that on a couple of occasions he had to jump a ball that was crossing his path or dodge one going past his head. One time he had two balls played to him at the same time and both nearly hit him. Right at the end, someone tried to play a ball the length of the field but hit McCurdy straight in the back of the head from about 10 feet away. He staggered like a boxer on his last legs. I'm sure it hurt, and the surprise factor has to count for something, but I'm the kind of person that will laugh at the dumbest things and I was doubled over on the sideline just trying to breathe.

Okay, practice was a competition day. We got right into it and it was a pretty long practice as well. We split up into two teams that we played with the entire night. First was 1-v-1 where the coach would call out a number and those two would race to the ball and try to score. If the offensive player scored he earned his team a point. If the defensive player stole the ball and scored, he earned his team two points. The score was cumulative through all the drills over the course of the practice. From 1-v-1 we went to 2-v-2, which operated in much the same manner. Five-v-five followed and with this one each team received two teams. One game would go on for five minutes and you simply tried to score as many goals as you could. Finally we went to 10-v-10 where we played quick full field games where you went as hard as possible for five minutes. It wasn't the easiest of practices, but it was a lot of fun and everyone got some good work out of it.

Sept. 16
So I walked into my Investments and Portfolio Management class today and we were in the lab working on a project together. I'm pretty sure the professor was speaking in Greek and typed the instructions out in Wingding because no one had any idea of what was going on. At least we were together though. It's a nice change from being the only one who doesn't understand what's going on.

Practice was on the game field today. It almost felt strange getting back on it after so long. We ran through a warm-up and some tactical stuff and ended up with a game of baseball. Baseball is where one team is behind the goal and the other team is shooting. The shooting team tries to score as many goals as possible before its three outs. An out is when you kick the ball over the goal and the other team catches it or the goalkeeper catches it. The first time I remember playing this was at Stanford the day before we were set to play the host and No. 1 team in the nation. Their girls team was out at the field at the same time and they were all looking at each other wondering who this YMCA team was that had come to town to play their guys. I guess it didn't matter because we won the next day.

Sept. 17
I didn't really know what to do today because we hadn't been home on a Friday in a while. I only have one class on Friday's so I went to that and then came home and twiddled my thumbs for a while. I headed over to the stadium early because the TU women's team was playing before us. I walked toward our locker room and could the feel the music from 30 feet away. They installed a brand new stereo just in time for the first home game and it's definitely a player favorite. I can't imagine what will happen the first time Jamie (Danby) hears Avril Lavigne on this bad boy. I'm sure he'll be singing his heart out. We were all sitting around watching the women's game because they had gone into overtime. The game ended in a tie and therefore pushed our start time back.

I really can't think of very many complaints from our game. All three goals were very impressive. Daniel (Wasson) hit one from 20 or so yards out that was just a laser. Matt Thomas's goal was an awesome example of combination play. Todd (Goddard) turned a really difficult shot into a nice finish and capped the game off for us. ORU didn't get too many chances, but they did get a red card in the second half that hampered their efforts.

Sept. 18
My parents were in town for the game and the coaches gave us the weekend off so I had some down time. We went to Utica Square and walked around and had a nice little Saturday. The women's team had left early that morning for an away game on Sunday. My girlfriend's mom was still in town so that night I went out to eat with the two moms. I know this sounds like it could be pretty intimidating or disastrous, but the night went very well. We went to Zio's and grabbed some dinner and kind of chatted the night away. Of course I called my girlfriend and told her to get me the inside scoop as soon as she talked to her mom. On a side note, my friend, Craig, got tickets to the Florida-Tennessee football game. Right before the road trip he got word that his uncle was sick and he should cancel his plans to go see him. Well then, Craig got sick and they didn't want to risk him exposing his uncle to anything, so they told him not to come. So he sat at home and watched probably one of the best games of the college football season thus far. Sorry buddy. I'm praying for your uncle.

Sept. 19
Having two days off was a nice way to slowly work back into the week. Matt Wiley and Ryan Pore had a little get together to watch the football game. It was Ryan vs. the team as the Cleveland Browns played the Dallas Cowboys. They cooked hot dogs and had Cowboys and Browns cups and plates. It was good stuff, especially as the Cowboys pulled out the `W'. After that, the homework started again as another busy week lay ahead.