Somehow I ended up being soccer goalkeeper, even though much of what I know about guarding the goal comes from playing NHL video games.
I play in a weekly soccer league. Our team is called the HK Orbits. Lately I’ve been playing goalkeeper, with mixed results.
We used to have an awesome goalkeeper in actor/stuntman Michael Chan. But lately I’ve been taking the goalkeeper position in his absence. The only issue is that I only have a vague idea of proper goalkeeping technique for soccer (or “futbol” as the rest of the world calls it).
A relatively recent picture of the HK Orbits team
I know to make sure the ball doesn’t go into the goal, but my lack of physical acrobatics in front of the net leaves me lacking compared to Michael’s stuntman prowess. That being said, I’ve seemed to hold up well enough that the guys are OK with me sticking in goal.
The other day, however, I made a slight, but painful mistake in front of the net. We were playing against a tough team, lots of shots on goal, unrelenting attack. We were short a couple of our better defenders. So I had to step it up as the balls flew in with a vengeance.
A few good shots got past me and we were down in score. I knew I would have to bring in some next level shit, especially since they had this one French guy that could run it in and hit corners with pinpoint precision if he got past our defense.
Sure enough, the French guy, the other team’s star player, got a breakaway and was heading right towards me. I knew I had to shut down this shot on goal at any cost. I got into my crouching, pouncing position. As he came close, I made my move. The French guy shot it full force from point blank range and leaped in front of him crotch first like f*cking John Vanbiesbrouck!
John Vanbiesbrouck while he was on the NY Rangers
That’s right. I dove for that ball like a hockey goalie. But I very quickly realized something… this ain’t hockey. And John Vanbiesbrouck wears a shit load of pads to make saves like John Vanbiesbrouck.
Iran’s Alireza Haghighi going John Vanbiesbrouck on Argentinas Gonzalo Higuain
Me on the other hand, no crotch pads, no cup, just Adidas shorts and Calvin Klein boxer briefs protecting my nuts.
I kind of looked like this guy afterward
Sure enough, I was in a world of hurt. I needed some ice, but no ice to be found, so I had to settle for a semi cool bottle of Pocari Sweat that I had brought to the game. In either case, I was done for the game after that nut shot.
In the end, we lost the game, someone jacked my goalie gloves, and I limped out of there with my pride just as busted as my balls.
So, not necessarily a happy ending, but when I first told the story, my friend Seth sent over this video to lift my spirits.
I also found this nut shot compilation video as well.
Luckily, my nuts survived the incident and I’m back to walking without a limp, but the moral of the story seems to be that I need to A) get myself a cup and/or B) stop taking my soccer lessons from hockey players.
In either case, make sure to keep your balls away from the flying ball my friends.