Old Futbol Buffet–Champions Again and Again and Again

Once again, for person who prides himself on organization and planning, I got it all horribly wrong.

What a week.  The majority of the week was spent preparing and executing the Annual Franchise Meeting for BIGGBY COFFEE, which is a lot of work and quite exhausting.  So what did I follow it up with?  A weekend of relaxation?  A massage and pedi?  Hell no.  Onwards and upwards.

Friday night I hosted a poker party that went until 2am.  I lost most of my money, as usual, but it was still a great time.  After a couple of hours sleep, cleaned up the mess that was made, then got ready for our latest community event, which entailed setting up hundreds of feet of hose and two ginormous tarps.  Following an afternoon of splashes and laughs, took a deserved nap and then woke up with literally nothing to do.  I went up to Claddagh’s and watched the first half of the United/Fulham game before switching to Real Betis v Rayo Vallecano.

RvP and Kagawa opened their United accounts and the finished product that was lacking against Everton arrived.  Truly dominating 45 minutes and with Rooney out for a month, the future of United could develop before our eyes.

Sunday was supposed to be an epic day of footy.  11am Liverpool/City then walk over for the MSU men against New Hampshire to be followed by my over 30 game, a tension filled clash against old rivals for the league championship.

And then the starting time of church got changed and everything started to unravel.

I missed the double header, which was disappointing on several levels.  I was involved in the planning and the event was the culmination of several months of hard work and could provide the launching off point for Lansing soccer culture.  But what are you going to do.  I did get to see the second half of the Barcelona game.

I finished the day playing in my over 30 game.  The weather was quite hot and after a week of meetings, drinking and stressing, I was not in the best shape.  I had not touched a ball or done any fitness since the previous week’s game so I was not sure what my contribution would be.  Our team started fast but couldn’t capitalize and as our opponents came into the game, the sense of dread began to build.  Halftime arrived with the match scoreless although we two chances on the goal line.

The second half started with us on top but again no goals.  The post was hit, the ball bounced around the goal, shots went wide; everything but in the goal.  Then it happened.  One of our attacks was cleared to the outside, their midfielder bent a ball around our defense, and their forward ran onto it and put it away.  We were down 1-0 and a loss would see the title go to the Arsenal.

We ramped up the pressure and again no dice.  Finally, one of our corner kicks was cleared to the top of the area and our center back smashed a shot through the crowd and into the back of the net.  1-1, a draw was good enough due to our superior goal differential.  So back to back league titles and on to the playoffs.

Now it’s back to work.  With Labor Day ahead of us and no plans, should have time to watch plenty of games, which will be nice.

——

Other Stuff

Off the Ball had Philippe AuClair on last Thursday (8/23) to discuss PSG, where the recipe is not going quite to plan.

Roger Bennett’s latest column for Soccernet echoed the dilemma I was faced with this summer—the nature of the soccer/football fan.  Are true fans the ones at the ground week in or week out or can fandom reach across an ocean due to the wonders of the internet and cable/satellite television?

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