On Pickup Soccer
The common internet vernacular “[to] touch grass” refers to when a person normally subsumed in internet discourse ventures outside their home and experiences the “earthly” qualia of life. Touching grass can take many forms, such as feeling the cool, soft touch of a springtime breeze or enjoying a pleasant evening around a campfire with friends. It is meant to re-center a person and remind them of the smallness of their petty internet quibbles and the general insignificance of whatever online platform they inhabit. This weekend, I not only metaphorically touched grass, but did so in the most literal sense, and I think it is worth commenting on briefly to re-center this community and bring our discourse here within its requisite scope. Having little or no international soccer to watch, and nothing particular to interest me at home, I decided to lay down the pen (or in this case, keyboard), and take up the cleats, and touch the grass of a soccer pitch in a pickup game.
This probably won’t come as a surprise to most of you, but despite being a loudmouth who voluntarily spends his time voicing his unsolicited opinions about soccer on the internet, I am not actually that good at playing the sport. To use a more precise term, I am fucking terrible at it. The next occasion you happen upon one of our ratings articles and you see me criticizing Donyell Malen because his crosses are “sub-par,” remember to ask yourself this:
Has the man writing this not completely whiffed a cross and blasted a ball 50 feet into a parking lot? What is worth the tactical analysis of someone who routinely forgets that as the last center back he’s supposed to actually be marking the striker standing unchallenged in the box? How can a man criticize another’s finishing when he takes a shot inside the box that goes out for a throw?
I’ve written many things over the years at Fear the Wall, and although I’m sure many of my writings would not hold up to the test of time, I still stand by most of what I’ve written. But this weekend served as an obstinate reminder that for every criticism I make of a professional footballer, I must still hold them in perspective.
Anyway, that is my treatise for today. On to the stuff you probably actually care about:
- Borussia Dortmund were well-represented in the various goings-on in international football this weekend. Emre Can, Nico Schlotterbeck, and even Marius Wolf (!) suited up for the German National Team in a friendly against Peru. It was Wolf’s first ever appearance for the German National Team, and he even assisted one of Niclas Fullkrug’s goals! Germany’s Youtube Channel doesn’t allow embeds, but you can watch the clip here. The cross from Wolf is absolutely inch-perfect.
Unfortunately, Nico Schlotterbeck injured himself during the game, and although Hansi Flick has said he is “fine,” he will not play in Germany’s upcoming match against Belgium. Doesn’t sound so fine to me!
- Jude Bellingham has continued to accel with the England National Team. He’s pretty much chiseled his own name onto Gareth Southgate’s starting XI at this point.
- According to our friends at Bavarian Football Works, Eric Choupo-Moting is doubtful for Der Klassiker, which is coming up next weekend.
The Daily Buzz
How was your weekend? Did you touch grass? Did it make you think over some of your online opinions