I returned to my co-ed soccer beer league a few weeks ago. My team, the Stubby Holders, wears pink jerseys that the league gave us last season. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough pink jerseys left over from last season so I don’t have an official jersey. The first week, when the temps were in the low 40s at best, I wore an XXL pink polo shirt over a hoodie. We won, 4-0.
I didn’t want to keep wearing the polo shirt because as overweight as I am it was still far too big. I willingly undertook the indignity of shopping for a pink t-shirt, bought one, and intended to paint a number on the back for the following week’s game. Perhaps my usual #11, or my second-favorite #19. I was also considering putting 76 on the back to commemorate the year of my birth. But I neglected to buy the paint, so the number was moot. I went out there with my numberless pink t-shirt, asked the ref if going numberless was kosher, and he said fine. We beat last season’s champions, 1-0, on a late goal by Yours Truly.
The following week, this week, same story. I didn’t buy paint in time, I asked the ref if it was okay to not have a number, and he said he’d simply put me down as number zero. Sounded good. We were missing some subs and one of our starters was injured so he played in the goal, but we played hard, were patient and were tied 0-0 with two minutes left.
At that point, I was playing up front. The ref called a foul on us just outside our own penalty box. I thought it was a bad call, but it turned out okay because both of their fullbacks went upfield to try and score. Which left me all alone. In the middle of the field. With nothing between me and the goal except the goalie. The bad guys took their free kick, one of our fullbacks got the ball, played it to me, and I had a one-on-one with the keeper. Goal, final score 1-0.
So we’re 3-0, with six goals for and none against. After scoring late-game-winners in consecutive weeks, both in one-nil matches, maybe I have a new lucky number. Or perhaps, dare we contemplate the horror, a new lucky color.
The Saints-Vikings game almost had the perfect ending. The perfect ending would have been Porter running the game-saving pick back for six points. Brett Fav-ruh can unretire as much as he wants as long as his seasons end like this.