Monday, April 21
Washington, DC – So, guys. There’s this soccer team called Bros & Hipsters United. We play them every freaking season. We’ve never beat them. We’ve never even tied. I wish I could turn this post right on its head and hammer you with an exhilarating “until now!” but I cannot. So if you’re a frontrunner who only likes a winner, get off my property. If you’re willing to go along for the ride with the little engine that tries, then allow me to scan your ticket with this onomatopoeia. Booooooooooooop!
Allow me to paint the differences.
Bros & Hips are staffed by people who smell like sunshine, mowed grass, and sweaty shin guards. Their legs are like pa-POW and they do all the right things like call a field ‘the pitch,’ wake up early to watch English Premier League, and wear tapered Adidas pants. All they do is play soccer. Soccer in the morning, soccer in the evening, soccer at suppertime. When soccer’s on a bagel, you can play soccer anytime (or so I’ve been told). Bros & Hips includes the league commissioners, referees, and friends of referees. To be fair, they keep it professional and don’t seem too biased. But let’s be real: they put the question mark in, “Hey, is this a conflict of interest?”
Here at Rock, Flag, and Eagle, we require much less formal soccer training. We draft good athletes who happen to have Monday nights available. We’ve got some aces, don’t get me wrong. I’d argue we have the most talented female players in the league (and I promise you, I don’t count myself among them. I am comfortably the worst female on our team… In fact, I think I’m an evil genius for having engineered it that way.), but our approach to soccer is much more democratic and inclusive. We’re serious about winning, but we also have boring jobs that pay off our student loans or finance our yuppie Whole Foods lifestyles. I think we’re pretty clear on the trade-offs.
Your pals on Rock, Flag, and Eagle carry a most unfortunate curse. Our jerseys are the same color as a problematic poop. Maroon. Look, if Kelly Kapowski can’t even make it look good, what hope do we have?
Meanwhile, Bros & Hips wear jerseys of neon yellow. They are literally the hottest color on the block, which seems an already unfair advantage. That’s like being Mr. Crayola and being like “Listen, herbs. You get to be everyone’s least favorite shade of red. Me? I’m taking cerulean,” while stroking a hairless cat with your spindly fingertips. Is there no mercy? Is there no justice?
One of the challenges that RFE faces on any given Monday is our ability to finish. To convert. To put the ball in the back of the net, giving congratulatory fivers and buttslaps on the way back to midfield. It’s not for lack of hustle or effort. We’ve hit the post so many times you’d think we were expecting mail.
Bros & Hips, on the other hand, have their choice of entrees. And they’re not just choosing between chicken, fish, or vegetarian options. They’ve got someone passing hors d’oeuvres. They’re going up for seconds and packing doggie bags. And yes, they’ll have dessert, thank you for asking. As a defender, I’m constantly on my toes. But can I be honest? I like that. I like being tested. I like trial by fire and paying for my mistakes. It keeps me honest and humble. It just doesn’t always look so great in the wins column.
So, are you ever going to get to this week’s game? This is starting to get a little laborious.
Yes, yes. I’m sorry. I just want you to know that this is like the Yankees against the Mets. It’s a Subway Series, and we all get psyched because we know one of these days it’s going to happen. At the same time, we know the odds and the payroll. So when we lose 4-2, which we did – sorry for the anticlimax, we can look at that score and see progress. We can see two goals earned. We can see that despite my hilariously bad passing (in front of the goal – what am I, an idiot?) and some mental mistakes, we held off a pretty impressive offense. We were in the game. The whole game.
I don’t think it was just the bourgeoisie Cara cara orange slices at halftime. I think it’s because our midfield is no joke. I think it’s because when someone leaves a ball off at the 12 yard-line, someone else is there to drill it home. I think it’s because we’re Hungry Hungry Hippos, and there are still a lot of marbles.
It’s coming RFE. Slow but unstoppable, like a freight train. Chug-a-chug-a, chug-a-chug-a, chug-a-chug-a. And when it comes, it’ll be because we earned it.
Rock, Flag, and Eagle move to 1-3 in the division, with lots of room to move on up. We face the Latin Leprechauns on Monday, which reminds me (with a wink and a nod to my lab partner/prom date/high school whatever whatever Chris Flores)… What ever happened to John Leguizamo?