Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pirates of the Park

That our star goalie was in town this weekend was enough of a reason for The A.C. Pirates to plan a game. He lives in Atlanta now, but since his wife lives in NYC he pops by for visits and we schedule games.

The Pirates is a co-ed soccer team that rose to stardom out of the McCarren Park dustbowl and over the course of a nine month-plus first season in 2007, the Pirates, like the F.C. Barcelona, became more than a club. The last official game the Pirates played was at the end of the season on February 28th, 2009, when the Waterfront Champion’s League season ended and the Pirates disbanded - off to sail in different parks.

I miss the glory of those days. Though today is threatening rain and has a wind chill in the thirties, I was ready to play. The Pirates have been on my mind lately. By the end of that 2007 season, even as exhaustion set in, the Pirates bravely pushed forward.

Unfortunately, some of my descriptions of those days don’t do them justice. In order to recapture the joy of those moments, I need to get back on the field.

This year, soccer has taken a back seat to running as I attempted to qualify for the 2010 New York City marathon. Now that I have run enough NYRR races to fulfill the guaranteed entry requirement, I am ready to go back to my team sports.

Starting today.

Or so I thought until I found out – as I was heading out the door, running late, wearing shinguards and all – that Star Goalie's wife had gotten sick and the game was cancelled.

In the haste of searching for long forgotten sports gear while getting ready for a wet bike ride and a chilly game, I had ransacked two trunks and the bottom of closet, leaving my apartment looking like a men’s locker room gone wrong.

My options were limited. I could stay at home and tidy up, or not. It was gray and horrible out. It was an easy choice: I took off my shinguards but kept the rest, grabbed the laptop, and headed to Southside to write, proudly wearing the Pirates uniform shirt.

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