CHI, Show Us Your Cards (Taken From The Offside)

I got this idea from Chris’s post at The Offside about funny, insane or just memorable stories about you, your mother, your best friend, or just anyone getting carded.

I threw in two stories about my exploits as a child/young adult/whipper snapper.  I personally love comedy and funny sports stories, so I encourage everyone to toss in their two cents and give some good stories about your soccer playing exploits.  I want to read them!

My first story was ‘legendary’ for me since it was an email sent to the now defunct Baker and Kelly show, which was subsequently read on air because ‘They were impressed by Americans’ and because I said I’m from ‘Niagara Falls, New York’ which is true.  If you go to Baker and Kelly and find the podcast entitled, Niagara, Whitesnake… you can hear it read outloud there.  (Note I did post this a while ago on here, but I don’t feel like going to search back for the post)

I don’t know how many emails you guys get from Americans regarding football, but I’m sure this may be the only one from a yankee regarding their legendary high school coach. He gave some great halftime and fulltime speeches, but all around he was just an insane coach. Figuered you might have a category for this one.

I started off playing football when I was in 1989 when I was six years old. As you well know football hasn’t been the most popular sport ever in America and just being able to stick with it until the present has been a struggle in itself, trying to find pitches, clubs, and the like.

When I went into high school at age 14 I went to try out for our highschool side and was immediately warned not to mess with our coach, who all the players referred to as Crazy Bob. It didn’t take me long to realize just how crazy he really was. The first day we were out running distance on the streets around the pitch when he followed up in his car and started yelling at us to ´get the f— moving’ while drinking a beer and driving. All of us newbies were shocked and this was really just the tip of the iceberg with him.

The best story from Crazy Bob was in my third season in high school we were playing one of our arch rivals. In the pregame speech he was coming up with tactics on how to get our large and burly sweeper to take out their center forward, amongst other things. When the ref arrived at the pitch, Crazy Bob looked at him and said ‘Oh f—, not this f—— guy.’ The proceded to tell us ‘Guys, there is a good possibility I may get a red card today’

About 5 minutes into the match, the ref awards the worst penalty I’ve ever seen to this day on a dive, complete with face grabbing and all. Crazy Bob runs onto the pitch and starts berating the ref. The referee shows him a red card and Bob grabs the card out of his hand whips it a good 20 yards across the field and storms off the pitch and gets into his car (since it was at our own ground.)

Now two things happened next, one was that we had no assistant coach, only a trainer. This was in the late 90’s and football was still gaining some steam and reputation and there were plenty of folks that knew nothing about the game. We turned to the trainer to see if he had any words of advice and he took a deep breath and said ‘Guys, I don’t know shit about football’. We were stunned and left without a coach, and a 300 lb redheaded trainer that was as useless as the watercooler he was sitting on.

The second and best thing that happened is that apparently Crazy Bob lived about 6 houses away from the ground. About 15 minutes after the ejection, Crazy Bob appears from behind the trees with a folding lawn chair and a cooler stocked with 12 frosty alcoholic beverages. (Mind you, I went to a private Catholic School). The rest of the game, Crazy Bob downed 8 of those beers and was yelling like I have never seen in my life. We ended up winning the game 1-0 and upon my scoring the winning goal, Bob tipped over in his chair and ran on the field and joined in the celebration, only to finally get the gate by our school principal in the 80th minute upon being told of what was going on.

After a 6 game suspension and some alcohol counseling for the drinking around his team aspect, Crazy Bob was back and ended up coaching us to the semi-finals that year. His speeches mostly consisted of incoherent rambling, or the f word being dropped a record 34 times one game.

So Crazy Bob might have given some great speeches, but all of the Cardinal O’Hara Hawks in ‘99 will always remember ‘The Game’.

My second one takes on a bit of a ‘sadder’ note as essentially an opposing coach told me my parents were rubbish, little did he know one of them was my best friend and had died, but subsequently my mother remarried a mountain of a man.  

In my last year of ‘real’ football, we were a U-20 team and most of us had just come back home from playing at our respective colleges, etc.

One game we actually played another team who had a true coach. During the game, things got pretty chippy and one of my friends got essentially elbowed in the mouth while running up the wing. The benches cleared and people were doing more pushing and shoving than anything that completely involved punches.

Suddenly one of my teammates said something to the coach and their coach went bat-shit crazy. Mind you, this guy was about 250 lbs and about 5′2, not the most in shape guy you’ve ever seen. Anyway a 40 year old man starts running after the guy on my team and I step in front of their coach and tell him to stop, gently putting my hands on his shoulders. Anyways, he now turns his rage to me and attempts to wrestle me to the ground. I end up just moving aside as he was grabbing on to me and he fell on the ground with a thud and started swearing at me and saying ‘you son of a bitch, your parents should be ashamed of you, obviously your father raised you terrible, etc’

Now, this struck a bit of a sour note with me. My dad who was my best friend since birth died when I was 14 years old of cancer. And my mother is the most influential person in my life. Instead of ripping this guy’s head clear off his shoulders, I let it go, thinking it was the best thing to do.

Anyways, the game gets back underway with a few cards handed out and the coach is still livid on the sidelines yelling about me and how I’m an asshole, and how we would see what happened after the match, etc.

Little did he know that in fact my parents were in attendance at that game. My 5′2 100 lb mother can be a pretty intense lady when it comes to it, but she is generally dwarfed (quite literally) by my 6′5 300 lb mammoth step-father who was known in his younger days of simply playing hockey because he loved to fight.

After about 15 minutes of the guy still yelling, my step-father finally yells down ‘Why don’t you pick on someone your own age.’ The guy turns around to toss a expletive-laden tirade at my step-father, who at this point has moved about 20 feet away from the bench. When the coach turned around to start, he saw my step-father standing there saying ‘I’m ready whenever you are..anything you want to say about my step-son and his parents you can say to me’

The coach shriveled up like a man in a cold swimming pool, sat down on the bench (never looking behind him for the rest of the game), didn’t say another word to anyone outside of 2 feet away and after the final whistle he literally gathered up everything and ran to his car and left.

The best part was all of our parents were laughing at the coach, and even the other team’s parents were laughing too, one saying ‘You’re on your own with this guy.’ referring to my Paul Bunyan-esque step father.


One Response

  1. great stuff as always

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