Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Behind the scenes football team AZC-5; Part 2

Dear reader,

Injuries are something special in our football team. What surprises me the most is that most of our injuries happen when Coach Half is with us. There is an explanation for this; Coach Half is with us once every 3 or 4 weeks, Coach 1 is referee and Coach 2 just plays with his grandson. So when we get injured we try to time it when Coach Half is with us otherwise no one will help us, right?
It is sooooo funny to see, when someone is injured, Coach Half runs into the field, most of the time he didn’t see what happened and he often runs to the wrong player. While he is running with his water bag we tell him where to go and who is injured. It really looks very professional. By the way every team of my club has its own water bag including a sponge to help the injured player. But someone took away our sponge. Our coaches were of course shocked, totally in panic because OUR SPONGE was gone. It must be said that they fixed it in their own way and found a solution. We now have a dishcloth, you all know it, a yellow spongy Sorbo cloth. I have to admit that after sometime u get used to it, but when I am home and look at our kitchen and see the same dishcloth I almost get a heart attack coz I am afraid I took the one from football field home. Lucky me, my wife now knows how to calm me down.

On a nice sunny Sunday morning in spring our youngest defender was injured, it was terrible to see; he was screaming loudly for nothing, but ok. The other defenders who stood nearby him, gave him plenty of advice like, “hey asshole nothing happened and don’t let us down”. This is not always helpful so Coach Half has to come onto the field with his famous water bag including that f*cking stupid yellow dishcloth, as usual Coach Half didn’t know who was injured so he runs half way around the field and finally arrives at the right player. When he arrived Coach Half saw that one of the defenders was already trying to take the temperature of the injured player, the only thing was he didn’t used a normal thermometer but just used his finger. Some other guy tried to blow on the wrist of the poor guy; Coach Half asked why and the answer was that years ago the school doctor also told him to blow on his wrist. Coach Half looked bit strange when hearing this explanation. Anyway Coach Half started to make the yellow dishcloth wet and washed the hurt player very nicely. The only 3 visitors of the game looked a bit strange but we’ve gotten used to this over the years. Coach Half also started to investigate the chest of the wounded player by pushing the chest and giving it some friendly hits, he also pushed a little on the bones. The poor guy started to shout loudly and we told him to be quiet coz we didn’t liked his yelling but somehow the player was right coz later on in hospital it was discovered that one bone was broken. We still don’t know if this happened due to the tackle or the first aid of Coach Half. It seemed that the player could not go on with the game so he made it difficult for us to win. However as we have done many times, the defenders did a really good job and saved the rest of the team and that’s why we won this game.

Of course we had a party afterwards in our canteen. The evening before Coach 2 had made some really nice meat balls, very spicy with lots of chilli, his wife was probably not home that evening. He can always explain it to us sooo nicely how he made those meatballs. In the evenings after he came back from the toilet, please don’t ask what he did there, he went to the kitchen and made from some kilos of meat nice meatballs, we still don’t know if the colour of the meatballs, a nice brown, is because of his toilet visit or from cooking but ok. Anyway, when he makes those meatballs for us he always arrives later at football field but we forgive him for this, yes he becomes our hero until we have finished the meatballs. We always tell him how much we love him. Of course Coach 1 and Coach Half become jealous but as soon as we finish the meatballs we start hating Coach 2 as much as before. Anyway Coach 2 had made those famous meatballs the evening before this game and before that youngest player broke his bone. It has to be said that after some alcohol Coach 2 start shouting like a class of schoolgirls and within 5 minutes he totally forgot if we won or lost the game. To him everyone played a good game and he likes to thump everyone on the shoulder who is close to him and when he can’t thump their shoulder he will hit them in the chest. Pity for the wounded player coz Coach 2 could not find his shoulder and therefore kicked him on his chest and yes exactly on the broken bone, it was very funny to see, although the wounded player could not laugh, he is such a pussy. Anyway we stayed late and had lots of fun.

This is also the next problem for most of us; because we have fun almost every Sunday, our wives also know we have lots of fun and that we will come home late. And the next Sunday we hear the story that some wives were angry of course. Yes all of us know that bad story.
We like football and the time we share together after the game too much and not all women agree with us.

Ok and now I reach the end of this peek behind the screens of my team AZC-5. I think this story is the same for all the other teams, every football player will have such stories, don’t take it too seriously just laugh about it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Behind the scenes of football team AZC-5; Part 1

Hi blogosphere, you will remember a while ago I had a guest blogger, Mr Jan D from my work. He's a guy with a talent for seeing the humorous side in most things, and today he has kindly allowed me to publish the first installment of a story he wrote for his football team's newsletter. He's even translated it into English and I'm sure you'll enjoy it! It's quite long, so I'll publish the second half in a couple of days. Here's Jan...

Dear football friends,

In anticipation of the new football season I want to take u back into the past, despite the advice we hear so often in our lives, work, marriage and even on the football field, “Just look ahead because you can’t change the past”. Its sounds great, those words, but sometimes it’s so nice to look back! In the past everything was better, RIGHT? But not with my team, so I will try to show you how it works.
In my team there are only young guys (45 years old and even older, much older to be honest.) But we also have some young “rabbits” in the team; one even recently became a father again. Knowing that in my team we only talk and reminisce about what we got up to when we were young - which is why we play in this team - this guy went and did what the rest of us can only talk about after our games.
Our team has two and a half coaches. These coaches are like a safe rock in the sea for our team. This is not a joke because when the game starts it really looks like we have two rocks on the field. Every now and then they move a bit but it’s so slowly you can hardly see it. So is it strange that we have 2.5 coaches? NO, this is very normal for us. Coach Half told us a long time ago that he works in a prison and is not available every weekend. Dear readers, I know u that you must be thinking “does he works in prison or is he a prisoner?” Well we had the same question but when u get bit older u get more perspective. Therefore we also love Coach Half.
I’d like to take through a normal Sunday morning. Our home games start at 9.30 am. Why for Gods sake it should be so early? Nobody knows, but maybe it’s because then the neighbours so can sleep in and we don’t bother them.
I’m usually one of the first to arrive, and take a place at the table near the coffee machine. Dear readers, it is so funny to see these talented guys come in, like young dogs! You can see how motivated they all are, their faces shows it, especially when more then half of the guys say “Goddamned it’s still f*king early, I could sleep for hours” and “I wish I hadn’t drunk that last beer." The same defender always asks; “hey mate, which team are we playing,” so then I think all will be fine, pffffff.

But the nicest moment is yet to come because our coaches expect us to be in before 9 am. As the last seconds approach we all count down and everyone who comes one sec too late gets a nice yell from us, coz he will be the substitute for the coming game. Needless to say we also inform our coaches if they didn’t see who was late, and pass on the name of the guy.
Coach 1 is usually already in and is busy in the board room, don’t ask me what he is doing coz nobody knows. Coach 2 always arrives late; we can see him cycling like an idiot to be on time. He is also the one who tells us which players will play. Don’t think it’s that difficult coz normally he writes the names on a piece of paper on Sunday morning when goes to the toilet. It seems he is able to sit very peacefully and let his thoughts go free. A little after 9 we go to the changing room. This is also very funny; the bag with shirts, shorts and socks is sitting on the ground, so you have to bend over to get your stuff. For us this is the start of our warming up. Some guys are bit naughty and pinch your ass when u bend over but as long it’s part of warming up then everything is allowed. After a while every body is quiet again and gets dressed, although some guys are busier dressing their neighbours than themselves but ok.

Suddenly the door of the changing room opens and Coaches 1 & 2 come in, and welcome us with the famous words: “Good morning assholes! Listen and keep your mouths shut while Coach 2 tells you who’s going to play today.” We even don’t have time to say good morning because Coach 2 continues, and we all know with what sentence he will start coz it’s always the same: “It was not easy to make the list of who’s gonna play, but I have succeeded again”. When we look around in the room and see only 11 healthy players, we ask ourselves why it would be so difficult but ok, Coach 2 can look very strict. Most of time when he tells us who is playing we already start talking to our teammates and Coach 2 soon leaves the room looking a bit pissed off. All the authority he has at home is gone 2 minutes after being with us. Sometimes it creates problems because when we are standing on the field, you can sometimes hear one guy saying; “oh shit, you are also playing today?”

Almost every time when Coach 2 is busy telling us who’s playing, I ask him: “How’s your wife, did you two have a nice time last night?” Then Coach 2 forgets what he wanted to say and looks really angrily at me which is a bit frightening.

Recently a linesman joined our team, don’t ask us why but we live in a free world. One thing is for sure, the guy must have a nice wife. The linesman comes in with his little bag and starts changing his clothes. We can hardly believe it but everything he takes out has been ironed, yes we are all surprised and sometimes we also think that she even irons his dirty underwear but we can’t prove that. We see a crease in his dirty underwear but we don’t dare to come to close to it.

Our warming up is a bit different than normal, because usually you go and run but we discovered that putting some ointment on our legs also helps and give us more time to rest. RED HOT is the name of the cream, just put it on your legs, put some water on it and it feels like your legs are on fire. Some guys forget to put the water on and when they take a shower after the game their legs start burning, this is why they are not 100% during the game. There are even some guys who put the cream on other places of their body, but then I think: guys this is not necessary for the game, right?

Sometimes, just after Coach 2 has told us who is playing, Coach Half comes in. He is a very serious guy and starts immediately with who is gonna play. We look at him bit strangely, coz we just heart from Coach 2 who will play, so we think “miscommunication” but Coach Half continues his talk. It seems that Coach 1 has given him the old list with names on it, hilarity all over and Coach Half decides to leave us and go to the canteen for a cup of coffee.
In the meantime we try to get ready for another exciting game. Coach 1 also changes his clothes; it looks like he will be the referee. Dear readers don’t think that because he is the referee it’s easier for us to win, not at all. Sometimes we really think he doesn’t love us anymore. It looks like we only make the violations on the field. But we are still proud when we see Coach 1 in his cute referee outfit hop over the field, like a young deer.
Coach 2 was our lines man but due to unclear reasons he was replaced to the new linesman. It is maybe nice to tell you that, before the new linesman was with us, Coach 2 was a very serious linesman, at least for the first 10 minutes. Most of time we survived these 10 minutes, despite some mistakes from the linesman, we even accepted that he didn’t see offside because it happened more then 20 metres from him. But it’s funny to see him with his flag, it gives us a comforting feeling to look at the side line and see the corner flag up and his flag down. Yes, it’s normal to us and we are used to it, or at some of us. But when, after 10 minutes, the linesman’s grandson comes to see his grandfather, and we look again to the sideline, we only see the corner flag in right position. Our linesman is gone, why?? Because he is playing with his grandson, really nice for the cute little guy but not so nice for us.

Nevertheless our team does exactly what it says, yes sometimes too exactly. Because when our keeper shouts, “leave the ball” when our opponents take a corner and the ball comes in the penalty area, every defender knows DON’T TOUCH THE BALL, but sometimes also our keeper thinks that and that means our opponents score a goal. But ok he said leave the ball and he was right, he also left it alone, F*CK!
You can read on the face of some of my mates; why we don’t have 2 keepers, because competition is a good thing? But to be honest, he has saved us a lot because he is a good keeper although we as defenders have also saved him a lot. Our midfield is the heart of the team, it’s just a pity they don’t know it themselves. But lucky us we have Coach 2. When he sees the game going badly he jumps of his chair and shouts, sorry I can’t write down which words he uses. A little ashamed, we all go on with the game. Our midfielders are awakened by those words and also Coach 2. Really now and then I think that our referee has to laugh a lot when Coach 2 shouts those dirty words to us but maybe I am wrong. be continued next time!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Flash and Jab

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.............yes you're probably all sick of hearing about the record snow falls in Europe. Airports are closed, roads are treacherously slippery, old people dare not venture out of doors. The Dutch are even pushing their bikes rather than riding them, which is a sign that it's REALLY serious.

It's also the season for 'flu of course, and the BBC reported this week that there is concern among the Powers That Be that too few people are getting vaccinated. Apparently the numbers are 10% lower than last year and with three different influenza viruses doing the rounds at the moment - including Swine Flu - higher numbers of people will inevitably get sick and/or die. Ironically the fact that the Swine Flu vaccine is included in this year's cocktail is being blamed for putting people off getting vaccinted. To me that kind of logic is right up there with deciding to start farming rats during a plague epidemic, but then common sense rarely seems to have much influence on what the massess do.

I'm feeling particularly smug, as you may have noticed, because this is the first winter that I have chosen to be vaccinated. I'm not in a high risk group but last year I had pneumonia twice, which was a truly miserable experience, and when I get a bad cold I tend to get bronchitis so I thought sod it, if there's a chance any sickness I get will be less severe, then I'm grabbing that with both hands.

My GP dutifully wrote a prescription and I collected my vaccine from the chemist after handing over about 30 euros. At this point I was supposed to arrange to go back to my GP so he could adminster the shot but I thought "to hell with that, hubby disappears every year or so for his flash offshore medical training, now's my chance to finally get some benefit from that". If he can set bones, stitch up gushing wounds and insert IV lines, he can certainly give me a tiny shot. So I popped the vaccine in the fridge and informed him that when he arrived home from sea the next day he had a job to do. And that I had a surprise for him in the fridge, haha.

Strangely enough, he wasn't particularly thrilled about the prospect of sticking a needle in my arm. I've administered shots to rabbits a few times and while it's not one of my famourite things it's not a big deal and my upper arm is a lot easier to hit than a squirming bunny. When the time came I swabbed the site, handed him the syringe (having checked the dose etc) and told him to go for it. Five second later it was all over, and no-one was passed out on the floor. He was obviously more relieved it was over than I, and admitted "I couldn't do that to one of the kids".

Gee thanks, nice to know where I come in the pecking order!