Sports Club: The Thunderdome

At my camp, the children are allowed to participate in clubs.  These clubs are chosen for the morning and afternoon separately on a weekly basis.  There are many good clubs, but the best is morning Sports Club.  Morning Sports Club is the perfect blending of fun for the campers, who compete against one another in games, and counselors, who coach teams, make trades and scream futilely at first graders who still don’t know which direction to run around the bases.  At the beginning of every week the children are forced by CJ, the man in charge of Sports Club onto different teams and then to choose a country that their team will represent, much to that country’s chagrin.  Countries are normally chosen by obscurity; the more obscure the better.  Albania, for instance, was a much lauded choice.

Since this is the last week of camp, us coaches had a draft where we got to choose 3 players and since I am a WINNER I got first pick.  Naturally I picked Carl, the best kid there and continued choosing in that manner untill i had a fully loaded awesome team of victory.

Pictured: My team

All the other coaches chose in a similar fashion.  Well… most of the other coaches, at least.  My friend Arthur, who was in Sports Club merely to substitute for another coach, Benjiman, decided that it would be far more amusing to choose a horrible team instead of a good one.  It wasn’t his team, after all.

“Hey charles, who are the worst/dumbest kids in your camp group?  ‘Cause Ineed them on my team.”  He asked under his breath as he sidled up to me. I told him.  He picked them, and created the single worst team to ever compete in sports club.

Pictured: Arthur's Team

To add insult to injury, Arthur made sure that his team sat down and was quiet first so that he could choose his first opponent.  Naturally, he chose me and my super team, laughing all the while.  And so we headed off to the big gym to play soccer.

“We should sit here,” said Arthur, pointing to a spot behind one of the goals.  “You guys will be coming this way, so we will get to see all of the good shots if we sit behind my goal.”  I nodded my head greedily.  The spectacle would indeed be… delicious.  We pulled our chairs over and awaited the start eagerly.

Nothing happened.

“Um… go.” Arthur shouted, and thus a game that will surely be recorded in the annals of camp history and retold for generations to come began.  My team, of course, immediately stole the ball from Arthur’s team and went down the field to score, thanks to a rousing display from Carl.

“Ha HA!” i shouted in triumph.  Arthur nodded approvingly and we both had a good laugh.  We looked over to the far side of the gym where Timmy, one of Arthur’s more stupid team members, was wandering about aimlessly, talking to the colored squares on the basketball court.  Ocassionally he would fall on the ground and roll.  We laughed even harder

“I say!” I said, “This match has proven to be quite the distraction from an otherwise boring monday!”

“Quite so!” chortled arthur as he took out a bag of cheetos to share with me.  I normally dont eat cheetos.  Something about them creeps me out.  Maybe it’s the putrid orange color or the way they stain your hands but hey, it was a special occasion after all.  We dug in.

While we were laughing and eating and laughing some more the ball was steadily making it’s way toward my side of the pitch, but I wasn’t worried.  I had cleverly placed one of the oldest and most powerful kids at camp, Buca, in goal and held no doubts that he would successfully defend it.  One of his foolish opponents took a feeble shot at goal, which was promptly scooped up by a derisively laughing Buca and then thrown down the field.  And that’s when it all went to hell.

The ball soared right to the feet of a puny player from the other team who flailed at it wildly.  One of his spasmodic hits struck true and the ball plowed through our goal.  The gym  was as silent as death, apart from the sound of a bag of cheetos and two jaws dropping to the floor.

Pictured: Me and arthur....if we were aliens....

“Arthur…what just happened?” I asked, quivering with fear as i rose from my seat and took a few steps forward.

“A goal!” he laughed at me.  I spun on him angrily

“What?  There’s no way that can be right!”

If you get this you rock

And yet it was right.  What happened next could only be described as a total rout.  The up till then disheartened and defeated team of stupids rallied with a vengeance, scoring goal after goal.  Granted, most of these goals were due to my campers not being soccer players and messing up.  Teddy, one of my players, for instance was going to block a ball, but miscalculated the angle and ended up passing it perfectly to an enemy standing right in front of an undefended goal.  He scored.  Robert accidentally passed the ball to a stupid standing right in front of an undefended goal.  He scored.  Billy did a bad header and passed the ball to a opponent standing… you guessed it… right in fucking front of the goal.  He scored.

Arthur continued to laugh his ass off.  I, however, had clamped my mouth into a terrible grimace of anger mixed with revulsion, sprinkled with a little bit of hate and topped off with a cool serving of despair.

It looked somewhat like this

I shouted.  I screamed.  I ran up and down the pitch throwing chairs and children about like the incredible hulk rampaging in a daycare.  I banged my head against the wall.  I prayed.  It was all for naught, for Arthur’s team was still in the lead.  He stayed there too, all the while sitting in his chair, laughing and laughing and laughing as the world crumbled about me, heedless of my protest.

It turns out winning at sports club mattered a lot more to me than i had previously thought.  I assumed that this is because whenever i play sports, i lose.  It’s a bad habit I’ve never been able to shake.  Even though I am incapable of winning,  I can live vicariously through my campers winning at a sports league.  I won last week.  But as the game ended in a 6-4 victory for the cast of the replacements, I clearly say the writing on the wall.  I was doomed.

But such is the fate of those who dare enter the gauntlet of…


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