Friday, May 13, 2005

Sports Nuts

I have moved to, and i have also migrated all posts and comments. YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE SO CHANGE YOUR BOOKMARLS/BLOGROLLS ACCORDINGLY!!!!
On my way to work I had a chat with a small boy as he hobbled painfully towards his establishment of learning. A few minutes of friendly banter had me discover that he was limping due to a football injury sustained in the course of duty for his school. The exact nature of the injury brought back a few bits of nostalgic memory.

Years ago when I was a blissful high school boy, sports was not just sport. Sport was a religion. You were nothing without your sport. In particular, the male High School Boy was wanting to the extreme if he did not play at least one of the following:
  • Rugby
  • Basketball
  • Football
Things like volleyball, cricket, tennis, etc were not considered sports. They were as a matter of fact, novelty pastimes. In the pecking order of sporting glory, they were just above hopscotch, cops and robbers and marbles (but there was a time marbles made a popular comeback)

Personally I was firmly in the category of rugby. There is something to be said about running suicidally towards 15 beefy gentlemen who are hell bent of ploughing you right into and beneath the soil. You could always tell these -- they had a peculiar stiff legged gait (prevent bloody knees from sticking to trousers) and stiff arm motions (prevent bloody elbows from doing the same). The usual cuts and bruises from rugby spikes would decorate the rest of the person.

However, much as we were at risk of losing large expanses of skin as well as spraining and breaking assorted limbs, we always considered ourselves more fortunate then our brethren at the soccer pitch. This is because it was entirely possible for them to stop a strongly swung soccer boot with nothing more than their shorts, their boxers / briefs/ y-fronts (delete as appropriate) and last and certainly not least, an extremely sensitive areas we will call the cojones.

The one vivid memory I have of my days in Standard 3 was undergoing precisely this experience. My best friend at the time, Allan was attempting to kick a ball in front of me, and just before he did I would nudge it to the side. This went on for quite a while until in a lapse ii failed to nudge it enough and it ended up right before me. Allan swung at his intended target and missed, after a fashion that is. Even now, some decades later the experience is almost fresh in my mind. Even in my tender years, it was like being hit by a Concorde whose front is decorated with assorted nails, screws and barbed wire, and for good measure, the whole contraption is connected to a live wire.

Needless to say, relations between us were strained for a while. But I digress.

On the soccer pitch, the chances of an opponent striking at a ball and ending up personalizing issues and striking yours were very high. If there is bad blood between opponents, this risk increases in orders of magnitude. After watching several soccer matches from the safety of the sidelines (soccer was not my thing) I observed a common pattern.

Matters would generally revolve a ball descending towards the earth and two opponents attempting to kick it at the same time. Generally feet would collide but if one opponent was faster, or one was recovering from a night at the Carnivore, the timing would be off and someone would get kicked in the cojones.I interviewed a number of victims and came up with the following general flow
  • You attempt to kick a ball
  • Someone inadvertently or otherwise, kicks you where you should not be kicked
  • You feel like a pair of claymore mine have gone off in your shorts and now termites in soccer boots take up residence in your shorts
  • Every last of your faculties, including breathing ceases operations
  • Motor functionality stops (including balance)
  • Excruciating agony, second only to Hell
  • You fall to the earth
Now, what would happen next would depend on circumstances.

If it was a boy's school, or such an environment that had no females present, you were at liberty to grab at your jewels. All play would stop, even if a goal was but a second away, as all the players, referees, audience and passing males would commiserate deeply with you feeling your pain agony.

If, however, there was at least one female present, you were NOT, repeat NOT to grab at your jewels. You could grab at anything else. An unofficial convention was that you were to grab at your head with both hands, signalling to all the state of affairs.

You would then be carted off the field to begin the healing process. This ranged from a few minutes to a couple of days.

If Paris had done his homework, he needn't have wasted an arrow going after Achilles' Heel.

The price of having a half hour conversation with A, oceans and continents away at 6 in the morning? Priceless

En Vogue - Hold On