Archive for the soccer Category

Sweet soccer

Posted in guitar, humor, rock, soccer on August 8, 2010 by finerstacy

Let’s take care of business first.  Finer will be at the Battle of Birdy’s this Friday August 13, 2010 at 10:40pm sharp.  Come out and vote for us. It’s going to be a great night…

Speaking of great nights…I just got back from N.Y. and got to spend a few days and nights with the family and for anyone who knows me and my Brady bunch sized crew you know I am the youngest of six and have an entourage of nieces and nephews.  Well, my flight got in late on Monday night so my first full day with the younglings consisted of intense soccer and playing with dolls.  My youngest niece reminded me that nothing is better than banging out some notes and beats on my old Casio.   She showed me all the latest dance moves including the yet to be made famous bang the ceramic doll’s feet together.  This rhythmic pattern will have all the pre-kindergarten children feeling instant joy and will be sure to annoy your teacher.    As the summer heat wave continued we headed outside for soccer.  This game was only for the strong.  And by strong I mean me and five of my nephews.   First it was me and the eldest guy ruling the field.  I felt all the glory of a top-tier athlete.  Swerving, jumping, and sprinting.  I got a lot of “Aunt Stacy, don’t’ play so hard!”  “Play at 50 percent.  Now play 40 percent.”  Soon this was deemed way too unfair.  We switched up teammates and the real effort began.    In an official soccer game there are two goals to be defended.  Each goalie stands in front of a net and guards it with his or her life. In my case it was a swing set with full on slide, ladder and rope swings.   I had to deflect the ball and at the same time watch out for a moving playground.  At the other end of the yard was a long fence and hitting the ball against the fence counted as a goal.   Although the playing field was a little bit uneven,  I was ready.  I had my new white Nikes on or as I liked to call them my nephew shoes. I did my best Elvis dance and sang “wearing my nephew shoes” in everyone’s face and subsequently got them stepped on.  I was being given the message…”Age is not on your side Aunt Stacy!”   So we set the teams up, 3 versus 3.  The youngest was on my team, I thought I had a ringer…maybe he was small, but that sweet smile is very deceptive and would be great for sneak attacks.  He had other plans.   He took a seat belly down on the swing and thus gave me one more thing to defend and look out for in the goal.  So much for sneak attacks. This was more like a swing attack.  Maybe he was a mole for the other team.  So it was down to 2.  I got an opportunity to play the field for a moment, scored about 6 goals and was told I was playing to hard from one side and not hard enough by my own teammate.  E tu Brute?   So we took a brief intermission and I gave the self-help lesson of compound Interest.  We reviewed you can improve over time, even if it’s little by little.  Your efforts will compound upon its self and your gains will be great.  They laughed it off, but we went inside and watched some Finer YouTube videos of bass player Uncle Ethan shredding on the bass.  They all knew how great he was.  But next I should them some of me rocking out on the guitar. They thought it was awesome and commented on how my armpits were right in front of the camera.   I explained that it took me time, but I have made great strides and now I am certainly a solid player.   But once this school lesson was over they were ready for more game time.  It’s not easy to keep up with elementary schoolers who are smart, witty and beyond athletic for their age.  But, I hung in there and charged up the field as much as could.  I left my sweeping the leg for another day and another story…remind me to tell you about the time I was playing Capoeira with my cousin in front of his mom and accidentally sent him crashing to the ground. Good times.    Soon we switched positions and I was back defending Central Park, I mean the goal.   They scored on me once, twice, three times.  You get the picture.   My nephew and what I thought was uplifting team gave a nice pep talk.  “Aunt Stacy, you’re letting them win!”  “Aunt Stacy, your skills are getting worse each time.”  “Seriously, are you for real?” So I dug in deep and said Buddy, this game is in your hands, but I need you to follow-up on every ball, watch their moves and attack and make a bee line for the goal, every time.  Now at this point we were down 7 to 20. I thought for sure it was over, but I was going to do my best to encourage him.  8 to 21, 9, to 23.  I was not helping the cause here.   “Aunt Stacy! We’ll never catch up.   But I kept yelling.  “Compound interest! “ “ Keep at it.’’  “You’ll get better each time.”  And then it happened.  10 unanswered goals!  It was 19 to 28!  My nephew was battling back and I had managed to hold off a few goals.  Remember the youngest was still swinging on the swing set and for all those concerned about the safety;   the ball was a rubber ball almost as light as balloon so no harm was done to anyone except to my face.  A few kicks had the ball land straight on my nose.  But you don’t need to look pretty for rock and roll so I’ll be okay.   At this point we were at hour 5 of soccer madness.  With one small break for grandma’s fresh cut watermelon (now that should be a song!), we were all pretty puckered out.  So we decided next goal wins.  The pressure was on.  My other nephews made it clear that I had to cheer for them as well and give them strategies because I loved them all equally and my information should be fair and balanced.  So with some grumbling from my team, I gave the other side some tactics and encouragement.  We had one play left and about one ounce of energy left to make it happen.  It was over before the ball even hit the ground. My teammate and “equally” loved nephew scored the goal.  The echo of a fence vibrating never sounded so sweet.  Victory was ours!  And so was the ice cream that followed!  I politely watched as the guys dug into their sundaes and my niece rocked out with her ceramic doll to the rhythm of the sprinkles being crunched.  It was a perfect day!

Watch my compound interest style guitar playing at the Battle of Birdy’s this Friday.


Bulldogs can dance

Posted in basketball, music, soccer on April 6, 2010 by finerstacy

I am not an athlete, but I was so proud to be a Hoosier last night.  The Butler bulldogs were incredible.  Duke was great also.  Yes, they came out on top but I love a team that doesn’t give up.  There was not one moment on the floor last night when Butler ever looked defeated, bored, or ungrateful.  They just played ball all night. Nothing phased them. Yes, the game got physical, but there was never any “I deserve this” attitude.  It was more of a “let’s get this done!” type of game.  I am sure it stings like bee right now and their hearts are hurting, but the whole state and country is still in awe of their poise, grace and yes competitive side.  Thanks for a great run Bulldogs!

Now, every time I have seen a bulldog hat here in Indiana I have done a double take.  My town Hewlett,  where the Hewlett High school bulldogs reign has a great tradition of high quality basketball  teams, football teams,  and soccer teams.  Actually one of my brothers played on the state championship team for soccer.  So somewhere in the back of my mind,  I always felt I had a shot to be in it, to be competitive.  I saw videos of Pele floating on the field.  He made it look fun and easy.  I would jump over the ball and think if Pele can do that, so can I!  I would do one move over and over and say “Hey, watch my Pele move,” even though I had never seen him do it nor did I know whether the move was effective. I just knew it was fun, felt good and kind of made me look like I knew what I was doing.  I would practice in the yard, do drills, run sprints, and had a great growl.   If you listen closely enough you can still hear the echo of my grunts as a much better player out scored me.  “That will teach her!  If I make noises maybe that goal won’t count!”  In elementary school every Saturday was like an adventure to the same three fields where are our parents would cheer us on, teammates would critique each others shin guards and we would enjoy our post game victory/loss at Mc Donalds.    One weekend we were playing at the number 6 school field and I was lucky enough to be in goal.  Really, they put the shortest, smallest, least coordinated kid in as the  goal tender.  It must of been the growl, very deceiving during the selection and coaching process.  It had such a ring to  it that I think it might have made me vibrate and “look” bigger and stronger.   So there I was about 4’1, stylish shorts, flowing locks of stick straight hair and eyes like a hawk. I actually had great focus so I knew when danger was coming, I could sense it like a fox.  That moment before the eagle swoops in to claims his fish, I could see it a mile away.  So when a girl was coming left, I would always go right, because she was just tricking me…right?  Or when a ball was high in the air I would a do football kick off return fair catch signal as if that was going to help dissuade our competitors from moving in.  I did really try, I guarded the goal like that hawk.  Every inch of it mine, the net,  the white chalked dirt lines and the bars, all mine.  Oh yes the bars where mine.  They were so much mine in fact that when I did  finally get a great save, I hugged the ball and did the best punt return kick ever! The ball went straight up in the air, not out, but up and hit the bar, went over my head and scored a goal for  the other team.   I saw all of the parents hands hold their heads in disbelief like a stop motion scene from The Fantastic Mr. Fox.   One group  “Oh!”  came out as the ball  made it’s home in my home.  The referee was too kind and didn’t count it as a goal.  Maybe he was scared of my growl, maybe it was because I had openly had a crush on him all season.  Either way  I still remember that slow motion feeling of   extending my leg, the ball leaving my foot,  entering the air and thinking “Wow! This is awesome!  I can be a champion and have winged bangs, all at the same time!”    But as the ball hit the floor and splashed its way through out the  net,  Only one thought came to mind,  Hey I really do look like Pele doing that!  Hey we all have to start somewhere.

Come see Finer at Birdy’s next week.   No soccer balls will be hurt or mishandled during the show.