An Off-Sides Moratorium: RFE and Thunder in a Bottle Tie 1-1

Until last night, Rock, Flag, and Eagle held on to our dreams of making the playoffs by the flugelbinder of our shoelaces.  But now, the chances are higher that you understood that Cocktail reference than that Rock, Flag, and Eagle sees the postseason.


After a bye week, RFE took to the field against Thunder in a Bottle, the lesser of two red teams in our league.  On paper and on the field, RFE appeared to have a clear advantage, but at the end of the match, the score was a disappointing 1-1.  Gross.

— We interrupt this broadcast because there’s an oddly matched couple sitting behind me, silently staring into each others’s eyes and weeping at a Caribou Coffee.  I NO LONGER WANT TO BE HERE. THISISSOAWKWARDMAKEITSTOP.  It’s getting hard to concentrate, but I’m going to power through.  Just wanted our viewers to know that our reporters are committed to covering the most hard-hitting issues.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast. —

The first half proved slow to start, probably because the game began at 9:30pm and umm-HELLO we all work for a living.  By the end of the first half, RFE had a nice rhythm and a few coordinated attacks, but failed to convert.


Not ten minutes into the second half, RFE found themselves in the offensive third, pressing the ball to the flag on a breakaway.  Marissa McBride cut the ball back to lose her defender and crossed it to a waiting Mike Muldoon at the top of the 18.  With the poise and grace of a male figure skater, Muldoon hit the ball low and steady to sail past the keeper, putting RFE up 1-0.

RFE had fewer subs than Thunder in a Bottle but still maintained possession, though the pace of the game slowed substantially.  RFE held onto the ball and made a few offensive breaks but ultimately came up empty.

With less than five minutes to play, Thunder in a Bottle won possession after a goal kick, and then sent the ball on a leading mission.  Its striker received the ball without any defenders to beat and tucked it in the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

While RFE’s defense remains steadfast that the receiving striker was off-sides, we should have known better.  At 9:30pm, you’re just not getting that call.  Matter of fact, you’re just not getting that call.  In a move that will make my dad proud,* I’m calling a moratorium on off-sides.  Trapping is not a winning strategy.  Winning is a winning strategy.

With this tie, RFE falls to 2-4-2 with one game remaining in the season.  Unfortunately, while this is a perfect bell curve, it also means that unless RFE wins 1000-0 and everyone on Sporting Social (maybe the worst team name I’ve ever heard) contracts typhoid, we’re not making the playoffs.

RFE takes on last place Les Bon Temps, who are 0-8 on the season.  If we lose this game, The Adventures of Tomboyer will be suspended indefinitely because I will have run away in shame and plan never to return, like Simba when he thinks he killed Mufasa.

run away and never return

In injury news, RFE hit a hard patch of luck when our illustrious goldenhaired midfielder, Meghan Ogilvie, decided she wanted a career change and promptly became Robocop.  After a casual Instagramming-while-biking accident, Meghan shattered her elbow.  But that wasn’t enough for the overachiever.  She also tore some ligaments for good measure.


“I mean, if you’re going to projectile off your bike you might as well go for it,” Ogilvie said when asked for comment. “Don’t just walk away with wimpy scratch.”

We could all learn a lot from Meghan.  First of all, she’s a trooper.  I mean, what a great attitude.  But more importantly, bikes are dangerous.

(*Like many American males who grew up in the fifties and sixties, my dad dislikes soccer because he believes it moves too slowly.  Rather than take the time to understand the purpose of off-sides or how soccer is the beautiful game, rather than a high-scoring hysterical game, he simply champions “fast break soccer” just like he champions “fast break golf.”  At least dude is a creative problem-solver.)


I'm an imp. I’m the youngest and smallest in a loud Irish family, which taught me that I will be interrupted unless I make my points (a) entertaining, (b) brief, or (c) outrageous. Being correct is immaterial. This is very good training for writing columns. I am not easily moved or offended, but I am easily amused. I enjoy writing for myself as much as I enjoy writing for an audience. I have several screenplays that sit on a hard drive, and I just like knowing they’re there. I also love soccer, basketball, running marathons, and milk. Professionally, I manage projects, staff, clients, and operations at a UX show that does websites and applications. Before that, I conducted opinion research at a public affairs firm. And before that, I got my Master of Public Policy at the University of Southern California and B.A. from the University of Maryland. I have lived in Washington, D.C. since 2007.

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Posted in Soccer
One comment on “An Off-Sides Moratorium: RFE and Thunder in a Bottle Tie 1-1
  1. jillakiss says:

    I was really hoping to be a part of that asterisk comment, for the time I called out Dad for tricking us with some triumphant prose about soccer, only for it to be a lead-in to his sole comment about soccer and off-sides. Honestly Dad.

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