Tuesday 28 May 2013

I feel like a woman

Seems Shania is kind of on the same page.
The title of this post comes from the Shania Twain song, and great it is too.
However whenever I heard the hook line, I always answered mentally, "I feel like one too, in fact I'd like one right now."
Then again, I was once interviewed by ABC radio on the mid-north coast as a failed stand-up comedian and I told a listening audience of some thousands that whenever I see the sign on the door that says 'push', I think they want me to sell drugs and when the sign says 'pull', I think about masturbating, which shows you what a petty, small-boy mind I have had most of my life.
I might add, when I told people I was going to try stand up comedy they all laughed, a great pity I didn't appreciate it at the time as it was the only laugh I ever got.
All of this smutty chat is a curious lead in to this post which is about, I believe, my development away from being a sexist pig.
And said development had its most recent reveal to me, of all places, with my soccer team.
Wank first then sell some drugs.
If that surprises you, it does me an' all, but then you can learn things in the oddest places and there are really two types of learning, 'how to do it' and 'how not to do it'.
I can write about my soccer team because I am confident none of them read this blog. (actually I'm pretty certain some of them can't read period.)
This was probably best put on the Simpsons when Homer and Bart are running scams to get enough money to fix the car which was damaged when a fish, a sturgeon it was, fell from the Russian space station, Mir, onto Homer's car as he was driving home.
(Man, I would have loved to have been at the script editor meeting when they pitched that plot.)
Anyway, for various plot related reasons Homer father joins the scam team and says he has the best scam of all and "this was in The Sting II, so no-one has seen it".
Likewise, I can write what I like about soccer with impunity as none of them will ever read it.
I wrote last week about my great soccer coach, Alec, that I had as a boy and the way he eradicated criticism from the team and created a hard-running, high-morale unit.
My current team had a big problem with this, one player in particular.
So a couple of weeks ago, Steely (the coach/manager/captain) and I had a word with him before the game.
He responded well and he, and the team, played well and 'won' 3-3.
Then the next game he was back at his worst, sticking it to me at half-time.
He said that thing that never fails to AGG the living christ out of me, "I don't want you to take this as criticism, but...", and then went on to criticise me roundly for the next three minutes.
We were down one nil at half time in that game, but I collapsed under the weight of this criticism.
One great midfielder, Adam Goodes(l).
 He is better known for his attack,
but as this photo shows,
he didn't shirk when it came to defending. 
I was playing a position called sweeper, the main organiser of the defence, and so down was I that we conceded four goals in the second half and lost a resounding 5-0.
Then the last game we played, he went back to being good.
And here's the point that has been gestating for the past paragraphs.
I thought the problems with our team were all due to the negative talk, but with that removed I saw clearly that the real problem is that we are just bloody hopeless.
Laugh over?
More accurately, it is not that we are hopeless, but disorganised and worst of all, some players won't defend.
Back to Alec for a moment, apart from working hard on the psychological health of the team, he didn't do a lot of tactical work, because it wasn't really required, but one thing he was very hot on was everybody, from striker to goalkeeper helping with the defending.
Another great centre-of-the-park player, Bryan Robson(l)
of Manchester United. It is said of him that he covered
more blades of grass at Old Trafford
than the guy who mowed the lawn.
For the unfamiliar, soccer and Aussie rules are very similar sports in their way.
The guys in the middle of the team, the midfielders, have to run the most, they have to push forward to supply the ball to the goalscorers, and, in my and certainly Alec's opinion, they have to run back hard when the attack is over and help with the defending.
And this is our big problem, certain players will not do this, they like attacking (who doesn't?), but when it's time for the hard work, they go on the missing list.
I tried on the night of the game, when I realised how disorganised we were, to call players back into position, but once I'd said it five times or so I intuited that I was going to be ignored all night and so shut up. (we lost 4-2 by the way)
And here is the part where I finally gained some understanding of what women have been putting up with since time began.
I have to get the point about defending across to these players without it coming across as criticism.
I have to tiptoe around their fragile egos, just like women have been doing eternally.
So all the women throughout the world that have ever had anything to do with me, in a relationship or otherwise, "I'M SORRY".
I finally have a glimmering of what you've had to put up with.

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