Tuesday, June 15, 2010

are we human or am i you are i... (through a futbol lens)

It wasn’t the strongest shot, the way Clint Dempsey wheeled the ball through defenders at just about the 18 and took a shot on net.  I’m not even sure he was looking, but that’s the thing about strikers at that level of play; they don’t need to look; they are pulled by a magnetic force having spent every waking hour practicing, playing, replaying, reviewing, drinking, breathing, sleeping with the one sport they love to live and live to play.  it breathes in them, becomes them.  the net is merely an extension of the leg; a trajectory of sinew and grace connecting player to play.  and the man who defends the 192 square feet of open space spends equal time training to become the greatest obstacle between the two.  he perfects the art of reading body language in split seconds, anticipation becomes second nature, periphery vision is 20/20, his hands move deftly in front of his body – he paints the air the color of Brick Wall.  the goalie makes it his life to know how to fall and how to fly, to stop the ball from pulling into the only space it’s meant to go. 

and when he misses, the world stops.

or so it seems, or so it’s seen,  as the world saw, when England’s goalie opened his arms to receive Dempsey’s shot, and the ball rolled between his hands and into net.  when his fist came down and met the earth in defeat, I can only imagine the heaviness of heart and hand as it fell to the buzz-cut grass of a South African stadium amidst the blaring vuvuzelas at the World Cup.

now the game was tied, and remained so, until the final whistle rang out.  a great “win” for the U.S., and an embarrassment (perhaps) for England.  oh, we won’t remember Dempsey’s shot for being excellent, but instead, the butterfingered mistake of a world-class goalie.  the chain reaction of foot to ball to goal through hands to net to tie.

chain reactions are a funny thing that way.  you never know what can happen. 
those chains.
those reactions. 
what you put out there, how you handle something, someone, some idea that is impossible or amazing and is hurtling at you as fast as that adidas sphere on the world stage.  what will you do?  and how much of it is left to chance?  so how much should you do?  all of it.  everything you can.  put it all out there.  dive.  I suppose if you miss or you don’t miss, you’re left with a new perspective.  and the world absorbs the impact as you hurtle through it.  and therein lies another chain reaction.

watch this.  love cloud cult.


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