Don’t Be THAT Guy
I’m going to depart from my usual trend – I’m going to make fun of someone besides myself.
I will still make fun of myself, but this time the focus on this is to poke fun at someone ELSE. Usually I try to keep these to just making fun of myself – but in my defense, I think this story is pretty funny.
When I was in the 7th grade I lived in West Point, New York. The home of the United States Military Academy. My family lived on post because my dad was in the Army.
I signed up, through the Youth Center, for soccer in the fall and spring seasons. I can’t remember if this was the fall or spring season – but I’m tempted to say fall.
The coach of our team was a cadet – those guys were everywhere (God’s Gang, a youth group through the church I went to, also had cadets helping out). Our coach seemed like a pretty committed guy, considering it was a soccer team comprised of 7th and 8th graders (let the ribbing begin…).
I told some friends of the family, who were also cadets, that so-and-so was my coach. They informed me that they did not like him, he was a tool, and he … get this … cut the sleeves on his PT (physical training) shirts, and then sew them back so they were tighter. This way his shirts would hug his arms.
NOW, I’ll be honest and tell you that I doubt this was true. But it was still an odd thing to hear about someone. And an awesomely odd rumor to have about someone.
Our soccer team that year was amazing. Seriously.
Kids on our team also ran cross country or did track, or hockey, or basketball – we were machines. Two guys on our team dominated cross country all that season. One guy was in 8th grade and about 6 feet tall. He scored a goal from midfield one game.
But, as good as we were … we almost lost a game. It was the same game as the midfield goal.
After the game we noticed that our coach was still sitting over on the sideline where he’d been during the game. What’s that all about?
He called us over for a talk. And what a talk.
“Guys …,” I’m not sure how exactly the talk went, only four points stick out in my mind.
1) He was disappointed in us because we didn’t perform like we should’ve.
2) He sounded disappointed. You could tell by the tone.
3) He said (4) sincerely, sadly, and with regret (because he’d spoken too soon). More impressively I somehow managed not to laugh in his face.
4) “I even told my girlfriend I was proud of you guys.”
There you have it. One of the great motivational speeches of all time.
(On a plus note one of my other coach’s was named Sven. How cool is that? Coach Sven is very fun to say.)