Soccer tournament madness

Jon and I got our first taste of mass soccer tournaments today, and I must admit that if we never had to go to another, I wouldn’t be too upset.  It is a madhouse with full parking lots, pop-up hot dog stands, people grazing the fields trying to find where their kid is playing, and sun beaming on you as you stand on the sideline.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if our team scored a goal or if Ri played a bit more but without those two things happening, I was ready to turn on the AC in the car and take a snooze.

I have a girlfriend whose son is on a select team and she has talked about traveling to his games in the past.  They go to Dayton, Cincy, sometimes Kentucky.  It sounds rather romantic; they all get in the car, drive down to the hotel, practice, watch the games, and head home.  I picture lots of laughing and talking and frivolity.  We traveled to New Albany – 30 minutes from Grandview -and a majority of the time Jon and I were bickering about the best route to take and where the field we were playing on was located (because there are a make-shift 40 fields, easily).  So much for my romantic notions.

Ri played her first game at 11:00 am and they got blown away.  I think that makes it especially difficult to watch, too.  The other teams seem way out of our league and they just dominate us.  This is Ri’s first year on this team, and she is still trying to figure out footwork and stealing the ball, much less dribbling down the field.  So it can be excruciating to watch at times.  By 12:30 when they ended, it was sunny and hot outside and we were all starting to show red shoulders and cheeks.  Ri and Henley wanted to go to a restaurant with AC.  As we tried to head out, we couldn’t find Henley’s mom.  We stood in the heat on the phone with her trying to figure out where she was in this maze of a place.  Meanwhile, Mario begged for a soccer ball and when we said no, he had his Mario fit throwing his arms around and biting his lip.  Maria whined about being starving.  Good times.  We finally found Henley’s mom and all of us squeezed in Jon’s truck to head to a restaurant.

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The restaurant was supposed to be two miles up the road.  Yet, we only saw homes and vacant lots.  Lovely.  We had no choice but to keep heading down the road and we finally spotted a Subway – not exactly the “restaurant” we were hoping for but we only had an hour.  The Subway line was a mile long (ok, maybe not quite a mile) with girls and their parents who had the same idea as we did.  After 20 minutes standing in line, we got our subs.  What an experience.

We headed back to the fields and found our crew grilling out under a blue tent.  Some of the girls were running around playing tag and soccer but not Ri.  Her face was still red and she was not going to get out on that field and run around unless the soccer whistle blew and she was forced out by her coach.

Pretty soon, it was time to pack up and head to the yellow field for our next game.  We looked like nomads in the desert – struggling with our bags in the scorching heat.  Everyone looking a bit ticked about life.  How do parents do this every weekend?! We made it through the second game without a goal on our end, again, but quite a few for the opposing team.  The end of the game whistle blew and the parents rose up with new life in them.  Time to go home.

And how is that we can lose two games so badly yet still have one more game tomorrow?!

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