Me: What do you mean?
Her: Isn't that how it goes?
Me: No. Let's review the Lord's Prayer again. But can I use that sometime?
I didn't have to keep it in my pocket for long.
Three days later, we were back in Virginia for another lax tourney, but with a different team.
We joined this new team by invitation, and were honored to have the chance to participate in a national championship. The practices had gone really well - my daughter's Coach #1 said she was top 50 college material and was planning to use his connections to get her recruited. The team has a major corporate sponsor, and so our only expenses were for travel. Having just finished a season with our regular club team, which was suddenly mired in bickering and turmoil, this was like a breath of heavenly fresh air. We even had a cute bulldog puppy as a mascot.
Thy kingdom come ...
Game One: Here we go. First game with the team that is going to get us to the top and make us a household name. Game begins, game ends. We lose. Coach #2 brings the team to a huddle. Coach #1 yells at the team to get off the field. Coach #2 tells Coach #1 to relax. Coach #1 disagrees with this directive in a verbally violent way. Everyone within earshot stares, slack jawed.
Thy kingdom go ....
Game Two: Game begins. Game ends. We lose. Coach #1 comes up to my daughter afterwards "I know you didn't play much, but you are going to start the next game. You are my favorite."
Thy kingdom come ...
Game Three: Game begins. Game ends. My daughter doesn't play.
Thy kingdom go ....
It is now nighttime. The team pays for pizza at the pool as uniforms are being washed. My daughter joins her compatriots in the lounge area. I sit at the parent table and observe what happens when salad is combined with beer. My daughter later reports Coach #2's revelation: "I hate coaching. I don't want to do it any more. This is my last season."
Thy kingdom is going ...
Game Four: The team pulls out a one-point win over a team from Utah. During the post-game hand shake, Coach #1 tells Utah Player #4 "It sucks to suck."
Thus begins SuckGate. The Utah team takes umbrage to an adult verbally abusing a child, and sends their largest male over to our tent to demand an apology. Coach #2 complies and delivers an apology to #4. Coach #1 is then approached in a poking fashion to also apologize. He does so, reluctantly, because he says the girl started it. Our parents are in an uproar, because Utah #4 was saying "sucks to suck" during the game, and the Utah girls were elbowing and fouling. They believe the Coaches' behavior is justified and honorable. Prudently, I decide to get involved:
Me: Yeah, but an adult should never speak to a child that way.
Team: Daggers and hell fire go back to your mamma's teat you worthless traitor. 'Merica.
Thy kingdom is gone ...
So I tuck tail and head to a table at the concession stand with my daughter's best friend and her parents. As we are sipping on Cokes labeled "Bro" and "Awesome" another team parent comes up to us. He has approached the coaches to ask why his daughter was asked to join the team but isn't getting any playing time. Their response was that if he didn't like it, he could get the *F* out. Thus, he and his family were getting the *F* out.
Thy kingdom is in flames ...
Game Five: We are playing the defending champions and we lose gloriously. However, my daughter gets time on the field and the team mom/Coach #1's wife exits the stands with a pee sized stain on her butt. So, it's a win win.
5:36 p.m. text: Meet in the lobby at 6:00 for team dinner.
We meet in the lobby at 6:00 for team dinner. All the girls on the team are wearing denim shorts and tank tops, except my daughter and her best friend, who were excluded from the dress code memo. They receive feedback on their attire for the remainder of the evening.
We leave at 6:30 for a caravan to the Latino Village, which is actually a small yellow building used for the lottery, candles of the saints, and various sundries. We then get back in our cars and head to Plaza Azteca, who was not expecting us. Later that night, at least 5 girls, including my daughter and her best friend, enjoy an evening serenading the toilet. But the silver lining is that Coach #1 paid the entire bill while getting drunk at the bar. Coach #2 did not attend, as he was dog sitting our mascot.
Game Six: We lose, because karma.
The tournament is over, and my daughter and I return to the hotel. I quickly and expensively change our flight to an earlier time, discover that we are in the "C" boarding group and promptly upgrade to business class. If you have not flown Southwest, then you won't understand that. The sociology experiment that is their boarding system preys upon the weak, and should be reserved for another blog.
And that, dear reader, is it. Because my friend Tania told me, "Not sure you really have to have a hook; sometimes, it’s just a report."
Until next time, keep crowin' --- but very carefully ...