Liebe Fussball

From my sophomore year of college, an ode to my favorite sport.

1/23/06 “Liebe Fussball”

This game that I love, I play it for fun,

Dave was my first coach, because I am his son.

He told me, “Play hard, and play with your heart.”

And “All perfection with perfect practice will start.”

He said “Keep your head down, shoulders over the ball.”

He taught me to lead and to answer the call.

He encouraged me to try new teams and new coaches,

So I could improve on my skills and approaches.

At first this game was for me just an activity,

But in time I developed for this sport a proclivity.

This sport is for teams and be a team you must,

It requires much diligence, practice, and trust.

Trust is a true basis for friendships to build around,

So friendships with teammates are lastingly bound.

Even now as cruel time works out our fates,

Most of my friends are my old teammates.

Many memories dot the path we wrought and took,

They are difficult to separate to take a good look.

I remember those practices after school at night.

We refused to stop playing until we lost light.

At times denying nature itself was our form,

As we practiced right through a violent storm.

Practice always ended with a small competition,

Game choice determined by executive decision.

World Cup, races, playing without shoes,

Penalty kicks, juggling, and one on ones (or twos).

Not one team member would ever dare slumber,

When Dave said “Line up, and call out your number.”

These practices took place on Tuesday and Thursday,

But the weekends were that which held our hearts sway.

We endured defeats together but happiness we found,

Champions at Edinboro we were destined to be crowned.

We may be split now and fast losing touch,

But those days to me will always matter much.

When I remember the games, my senses can feel,

All of the things that make a memory so real.

With a deep blue sky, zephyrs grace the air,

Springtime sun shines warmth in my hair.

Our warm-up begins, we smell fresh-cut grass.

Twelve growing boys and one beautiful lass.

Out walks a referee who appears very stout,

Beside twenty-two athletes primed for this bout.

He signals he’s ready and we take the field,

Knowing that likely no goals we would yield.

Our well placed passes create patterns on the pitch.

Someone near the goal calls out for a switch.

We score very soon and devoted fans cheer,

Our focus is complete, so we don’t even hear.

The final whistle blows, it’s the end of the match.

We shake hands and leave our green grass patch.

To think of those days gives my heart such aid,

I hope beyond hope that the memories won’t fade.

Our era is even now so long in the past.

Time passed us by and left us so fast.

I’ve played this sport since but it never appealed,

As much as club soccer on a Mars Soccer Field.

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