Why Men Play Soccer


To score that goal they missed playing children at the backyards of their homes and on street corners with friends. To undo the target they pinpointed as goalie if they let their team down.

Additional grownups have come to earn the team they knew they should have left, had a child-hating adult or coach recognized their skills as well as the hidden resolve within their hearts.

Every Saturday at seven in the morning, middleaged and baanpolball older men saunter individually and in pairs round a tarred parking lot and through a glass entry way, making their way to the indoor football building.

Their eyes gleam with a need for revenge because their memories flash back over time, and their voices betray comprehension of the urgency of their lifetime slipping away without the essential correction in their own soccer history. Age, they state, holds no hurdles. Football skills live in one’s center, not in fragile bottoms and aching knees.

Each participant stops by the brownish front desk to pay for the ten dollars admittance fee to a cynical, and goatee-mustached toaster old enough to compete.

‘Do not enable the youngsters to break your legMatt,’ the attendant frequently warns with the grit of cynicism in his voice,’ after receiving the obligations and putting the money in a drawer.

The caution often prompts Matt to have a quick inner dialogue with himself. By no means did he see or feel a aging Matt. Can his mind become lying to him? Does our brain fool us about the state of your own body? What would the attendant find in him he did not see in himself?

A swinging brown wooden doorway let him to the amazing blue-white light of the football field.

A cathedral-high ceiling capped the indoor arena. Metal frames embedded together with fluorescent bulbs criss-crossed its own matrix, while slowly rotating buffs hung with sticks that the vault jumper would envy provided aeration.

Foam padded the side walls of the area. A sheet of pliers descended from the side metals at the roof into the artificial Astroturf floor beneath. Between the net and the cushioned walls was a space with three silver alloy seats. Movable goal-posts occupied both ends of this field along with emergency leave signs hung over two doors on opposite sides.

The players were heating if Matt entered. He had been wearing a plain black t shirt and red shorts, a bit loose around the waist, which he teased while walking to combine the warm up: quad stretching, short runs and short passes, and so forth.

A number of the men came regularly and Matt knew them by name at least by their own nick names. Kris laid supine, flexing and extending knee after one opposite. Ejikeme throttled up and down a short space.

A guy whom Matt had seen often times without ever hearing anybody shout his name during a game was yanking his football shoe laces. ‘What a leg,’ Matt marveled alone. Never had seen legs such as it, so bowed so large, resembling a horse’s throat.