Last Tuesday I did a HS boys match. I think the work “boys” is key here. One of the teams, the winning team, fought with each other through the whole game. If there opponents had been any good I don’t see how they could win a game. When a younger teammate would make a mistake, as everyone does, the captain of the team would rip right into him and continue till the kid would run away (during the course of play). It was unreal. All I could think of was the fact that if I played on such a team I would pass to the other team and tell my captain to fuck-off. It was a true example of a dysfunctional team dynamic. The coach is a guy that I have known for years and have loads of respect for. When I asked him about this messed up team he said he had no idea how it happened or how to change it. It was sad, cause I know he loves the game, coaching, and the kids.
The following day I did a Div III men’s match a few hours from home. The remnant’s of hurricane Gustav were coming through the area so the game got a late start, 75minutes. At that point I knew that I would be getting home really late and wasn’t in a very good mood. I also knew that it wasn’t the teams fault and I needed to keep my head in the game. As it turned out both teams played a tough, fair match. I only had one yellow card, 25 fouls (a bit much but not bad) and not one bit of dissent that I remember the whole game through. The other thing that caught my attention was the attitude of the players toward their teammates. I don’t know if I noticed it more because of the HS game the day before or not. Any time someones head would go down a team mate would say something positive about getting back into the game. There was no sniping with each other or any of the usual bitching that you get when teams are frustrated. I was so glad it turned out this way it made the late start a little more palatable.