As far as I know we don’t have any professional footballers that frequent this little blog of ours.
In order to play the sport that we love most of us are required to go down to the park to find the occasional pickup game or join a local rec league.
These can be fun, casual ways to stay in shape, meet new people, and, once in a while, to recapture that feeling of a killer pass, great save, or scoring an always satisfying goal.
They can also be great opportunities to run into some real assholes.
Inspired by a very funny and spot-on 2007 piece by Patrick Hruby for ESPN’s Page 2 (The Ultimate Hoops Game From Hell), I am pleased to present the initial installment of a recurring look at the people who conspire to ruin the fun for the rest of us.
First up, Goldenboots: the guy whose feet you can see coming a mile away.
Not to be confused with Goldenballs Beckham, although this guy will probably tell you he’s dating a Spice Girl, Goldenboots is the guy who shows up with the most garish, “look-at-me” cleats you’ve ever seen.
Chances are they are in immaculate condition, signifying this guy hardly got off the bench enough in high school to even put any wear-and-tear on these $300 bad boys. That or he shelled out ridiculous dough to play 50 minutes each week against you and your co-workers.
They’ll usually be in a metallic color, as hues found on a standard color wheel may have been chosen to match a previous uniform. Once the game actually begins you’ll be able to make a more informed decision on whether or not you’ve actually caught a glimpse of this specimen.
Make no mistake, this guy is hot shit.
Things Goldenboots is guaranteed to attempt (usually with little success) during even the most friendly pickup/rec game:
– Nutmeg you
– 3 to 4 scissors/step-overs in a row
– Switch to strictly outside of the foot passes for long stretches
– Juggle for no reason
– Take on 5 players in a row, even if he has to go away from the goal to do it
God forbid there be any females within a 5 mile radius, or else Goldenboots’ team-neglecting tendencies will only grow more frequent and pronounced.
Goldenboots might further announce his presence with an authentic jersey (Brazil, Manchester United, Real Madrid), the thick smell of cologne, and more hair gel than the entire Italian National Team.
How to deal with this menace? Deprive him of the two things he wants the most: attention and the ball.
If he’s on your team let him actually hog the ball for a bit. Your teammates and you will then have no trouble and little guilt in colluding to keep him out of the play.
If he’s on the opposing squad, fear not. He is easily dispossessed.