A football match, a serious insult and a desperate escape

At 7 a.m., several of our players showed up at our meeting place, reeling, dizzy and asleep on their feet. I drove them to Mississippi a...

At 7 a.m., several of our players showed up at our meeting place, reeling, dizzy and asleep on their feet. I drove them to Mississippi anyway, believing that an hour of movement might be a silver bullet. I couldn’t have made a worse decision. A gamer needed my Styrofoam coffee mug for a sick bag.

In Biloxi, the team walked over a field freshly covered in chalk and adorned with dew jewelry. The soccer balls looked brand new. We watched the Keesler boys thunder through their warm-ups in beautiful new uniforms and the latest flashy Nike’s. Our team looked with embarrassment at our blue thrift store t-shirts with heat-sealed letters.

A whistle kicked off the match.

Imagine baby rabbits on their way to a steamroller.

The airmen attacked. When they went to get the ball, my guys got upside down. Their kicks knocked over our players like cannonballs.

Keesler scored a goal in the first 30 seconds of the game. Two minutes later, they scored a second. Ibrahim, our striker, sent a corner right next to Keesler’s goal with a nice header, but he couldn’t remember where he was for a few minutes.

Humiliation can be expressed in several ways.

That day two of my players expressed theirs by sitting in the midfield. Another player threw up loudly, something purple with yellow clots. The worst, however, came after a sixth or seventh goal from Keesler in the first half. The leanest, most nervous player on our team slipped behind Keesler’s defense to urinate on the Airmen’s goal, an obvious foul.

As he dripped in the sight of both teams and a mixed audience of astonished spectators, the midfielder lifted one leg, then the other. He looked like he was slowly being electrocuted. It took him a long time.

In unison, Keesler’s airmen turned to me, Coach C, their eyes hard, ruthless.

Suddenly, our team jostled for the first time that day. Our rescue van was waiting in the parking lot. Everything in a blue T-shirt has moved in that direction in a blur.

I broke Mississippi laws when I left town. I took us on I-10 eastbound, shooting a getaway car filled with hangover or heartbroken football players who had dishonored themselves with bad play and even worse demeanor. As we burned towards the house, the Air Force boys screaming and waving bats in their thundering Mad Max muscle cars grew bigger and bigger in the rearview mirror.


Liberty loses a match but wins a desperate race to the Alabama-Mississippi border.

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Newsrust - US Top News: A football match, a serious insult and a desperate escape
A football match, a serious insult and a desperate escape
Newsrust - US Top News
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