The fall of a Giant

May 25, 2011
The soft bristling sound of the winter grass coincided perfectly with the cool but scathing January breeze. The light whistling breeze made the day feel substantially colder than it should have. Everyone’s muscles were tensed up, stiff like the support columns on a massive steel bridge, our bones shivering like that of a cheek of a quivering baby. We huddled together like a group of homeless New Yorkers on a winter night, bargaining for warmth.
Over the curvature of oblong rounded hill that embeds the soccer fields, a scruffy figure of a head appeared over the horizon. It was the dome of a pale white man, aged slightly, enough to have less hair on his head than his “kookoo” nest of a beard. He approached with an awkward yet commanding fashion. Step after step, his figure drew closer. He finally started, “Take two laps and do your warm-ups damnit”. He spoke with a condescending and commandeering nature, with overtones that resembled that of a French war general that had no real command over his troops.
As we trudged around the field, he yelled at us to pick up the pace. Within a few minutes, our soccer practice had commenced, and quite uneventfully I must say. That was, until we started a drill in which we would take turns kicking the ball across the field. For the initial few minutes, the drill proceeded without a hitch. Worry not my beloved listeners, things would abruptly take a turn for the worst. Suddenly, our coach, a large Swede by the name of Lars Nyberg, standing tall, turned to face the school. As he turned, with rhythmically and perfectly timed precision, one of the players fired a missile of a ball across the field. The ball darted through the air like a deadly shooting star, similar to the one that exterminated the dinosaurs many millions of years ago. Before Nyberg could do anything about it, he was finished.
The velocity of the ball pounded him in the lower midsection like a pile driver tearing through concrete, like Manny Pacquiao’s fist into Shane Mosley’s face, like Barack Obama’s jokes into Donald Trump’s ego. The thunderous strike had nailed him square in the “shi-shis”, the “baby-makers”, the “family jewels”; the most helpless spot on which a grown man could ever be hit. Not even the thickly overgrown deciduous forest like hairs all over his beard could hide his ailing pain. He fell to the ground like an elephant on its last leg. Tumbling to the cold hard Earth like a set of Jenga blocks. To his obvious dismay, scratch that, vehement enragement, hilarity ensued among the team. Our laughs were contagious, like that of the character Saul on Pineapple Express. We too fell to the ground, though in a state overcome with laughter.
Angrily, he quickly gathered himself and looked toward the guilty player who had kicked the ball. Voraciously, he exploded with magnificent spectacularity and awe. He spewed out a multitude of infuriated and scathingly verbose set of curse words. We could hardly take him seriously. After all, he was a Swedish American raised in Georgetown, Texas who had run for mayor in San Angelo and lost, and in retrospect had diverted his career to become a teacher slash coach in a small suburban town. Oh the Irony! How a ball had hit his balls, hard enough for our eyes to be balling with tears of laughter.

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