The Conflicted Father
To Crew or Not To Crew
What Was the Question?
By: David Burgin
7am...Saturday, May 11, 2013...Alarm gently wakes me.
7:30am...Saturday...Finally get out of bed after reading a few pages of Christopher Hitchens’ god is not Great (just some light reading in preparation for a reasoned day)
8am...Saturday...Out of shower, teenage son asks typical one word question, “FIFA?” I reply, “Sure” mostly because I am going to miss seeing him off to his prom tonight. Playing a video game with my son will certainly replace the chance to see him excited and looking good...not!
8:30am...Saturday...One win (in PK’s), one loss (in regulation) while playing “FIFA”
8:45am...Saturday...Ponder the possibility of attending a Crew game for the first time in 2013. Start the laundry. Frown a lot as images of my son dressed in his tuxedo, images I won’t see in person, float through my head.
9am...Saturday...Vacuum entire house.
10am...Saturday...Steam clean all rugs
12 noon...Saturday...change laundry
12:15...Saturday...Do dishes (dishwasher hasn’t worked for two years)
12:30...Saturday...Go to store, buy groceries to fix Mother’s Day brunch (agonize over decision to splurge on Angry Orchard Cider, decide in favor of 6-pack, yeah!)
1pm...Saturday...Change laundry, fold laundry, put away laundry
1:15...Saturday...Realize that I must leave for Lebanon, Ohio, immediately. Coaching U16 boys game at 4pm in Lebanon
2:45...Saturday...Arrive in Lebanon, Ohio. Stomach suddenly reminds me I have not eaten since Friday evening. Stop at Skyline Chili (have not eaten Skyline in years, not bad, not great, okay)
3:15...Saturday...Feel like tiny guppy in Pacific as I walk ocean of fields stretching as far as the eye can see
3:25...Saturday...Start warm-up with eleven of fourteen available players, remainder show-up ten to twenty minutes late sporting sandals and tennis shoes even though parents were driving. Don’t mind the tardiness, too much, but not already having cleats, shin guards and uniform on prompts discussion about self-reliance. Probably went in one ear and out the other.
4pm...Saturday...Game kicks off
5:30...Saturday...Final whistle blows. Victory, 3-0. (I have now officially missed seeing my son in his tuxedo, with his girlfriend, as they prepare to attend Prom. Bit of a downer)
5:40...Saturday...Back in car, begin weighing the pros and cons of heading to Crew Stadium for 7:30pm match against Colorado Rapids. (Photo arrives on my cell phone. It’s a photo of my son and his girlfriend dressed smartly and grinning like sixteen-year-olds on the way to the Prom. Photo raises my spirits, but it’s sideways on my phone, and when I turn the phone the photo turns too. I pull over to the side of the road and turn my head sideways to match the photo. Yep, they look happy)
5:55...Saturday...Decide to go home, can watch the game on TV while enjoying an Angry Orchard Cider.
6:10...Saturday...Flip/Flop, decide game might be fun, haven’t been to one this season.
6:30...Saturday...Not just a little conflicted, change mind again while continuing to have visceral reaction to thoughts of Angry Orchard Cider at home.
6:35...Saturday...Find good station on radio. Listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Prince, and The Who. Where have all the real musicians gone?
6:55...Saturday...Making good time. Pass Berliner Park. Apple beer forgotten, game it is.
7:05...Saturday...Park for free (somewhere?) Carefully walk to stadium VIP lot. I like trains.
7:10...Saturday...Friends have no extra tickets, but are generous with recently grilled food and cold drink.
7:25...Saturday...Find a guy hawking 8 ½ by 11 pieces of paper which sport bar code and supposedly serve as tickets to game (guy is kinda shady looking, dressed in jeans, long sleeve grey sweatshirt, wearing sunglasses, it’s anything but sunny, brown hair hanging over glasses, get ticket for ten bucks)
7:30...Saturday...Piece of paper fulfilled its promise, bar code scans properly, I’m safely inside stadium.
7:40...Saturday...Find fellow writer and his attractive, intelligent girlfriend, talk for forty five minutes about Crew, soccer, incestuous relationships (not that kind!), and then leave to hang with some old soccer buddies. Hope I didn’t mess up fellow writer’s date night
8:30...Saturday...Standing, watching as the Crew proceed to shoot from distance, while off balance, about six hundred buzillion times
9:15...Saturday...Back in car, contemplating earlier decisions which led to attending Crew game (brain already tasting Angry Orchard), wondering if all the other adults my age who used to attend games, and no longer do, are waiting for the same thing I am....
A mature sports franchise which caters to adults, understands Columbus and its people, respects the game, and encourages the media to do their job as independently and professionally as the players and coaches of the Crew...
...Because, the media should not be covering the professional game in order to make the Crew happy. The media should respect the people involved, but they should report honestly about the team and the sport based on what they see, hear, and feel.
I was once a conflicted father, a father of a son who plays in the Crew’s youth system. My son works hard, plays hard, approaches the game honestly, and enjoys his team. When I write there is one thing I keep in mind, my son deserves a father who writes honestly and with respect; otherwise, what’s the point of writing? I respect Robert Warzycha, the person. I even respect Robert Warzycha, the coach. But Robert Warzycha should no longer be the coach of the Columbus Crew.
David Burgin is the author of three books published to Kindle: If You Dreamed of a Street, The Animal Caretaker, and Vanished Mountain. If you would like to email David you can reach him here email@example.com
I would like to thank David here once again for sending this over to me. There may be some out there that recognize him from youth soccer sidelines and in coaching but know him from his writing on Global Football Today.
Here are few of my favorite David Burgin posts from around summer of last year:
Seattle 0-2 Crew. TV On, Feet Up, Window Open. Musical Score for Intense Game Provided by Kermit and Cousins.