Sunday, August 12, 2007

Combat Soccer

One morning, for reasons unknown, the machine gooners decided to challenge my platoon to a game of soccer. Soccer, football, or futbol, however you know it, is a heck of a game. Teamwork, strategy, and endurance out the wazoo are just a few qualities that you need to play the game. Whether it is the passing of the womens teams, the more aggressive styles of some European clubs, the magic that is the foot work of South Americans, or the theatrics that is the World Cup, I love it all. I even get a kick outta this guy:

Anyways, there were only a few guys that had played any soccer growing up, and the rest were completely clueless when it came to the game. When asked what they thought of it, one responded, "uh, yeah. Aren't we just supposed to riot afterwards, or something?" Some were most definitely not keen on all the running around that was needed.

I was attempting to be everywhere and do everything. Too bad I was only at most a sorta-kinda good player. I was actually doing ok, feeding the ball to some of the other guys, not letting the other team score, etc. when I caught a shot right to the inner thigh / groin area.

Not good.

I immediately hunched over in the universal sign for 'don't nobody screw with me quite yet, I still have to figure out if the boys are still attached' position. Amazingly enough, I distinctly remember standing up, taking a few steps, and letting out a very relieved sigh when I thought that I had narrowly avoided disaster.

I got about two more steps when the delayed agony of a direct hit set in.

Those are the worst.

The game was essentially over for me at that point.

Watching from the sidelines, it was interesting to note the devolution of standard soccer by the Marines. I don't remember who was the guy to throw in the three extra balls, just that he probably had some rank to declare that all four soccer balls were now in play, and everybody generally agreed that this was a good idea.

Tackles were also introduced at around this time. Not the standard soccer tackles, where one player will, at a dead run, sit his ass down on the grass extending his foot for a kick at the ball, oh no. These were the tackles of American football, jaw snapping, shoulder to the gut, blindsided hit that makes everyone exclaim "Ooooo..." tackles.

Grappling was initiated soon after the onset of tackling in the soccer match.

At about this time one of my buddies showed up to watch the festivities. Upon his arrival he observed; one 'wall' of Marines, like you see for the defense against penalty shots, and a couple of Marines kicking the ball at them like an episode of 'Jackass'/game of chicken. Three guys were working on their pull ups on the top bar of the goal, and there was about 4 grappling pairs scattered throughout the field. All this while the rest of the guys were actually playing a game semi-recognizable as that of traditional soccer. With flying tackles.

And that was how combat soccer was born.


Ambulance Driver said...

Sounds like a game of Calvinball. ;)

Sevesteen said...

I played soccer for several years, then moved to a town where it was new. I'm in general a lousy athlete. I took summer gym to get out of regular gym.

One of the games was a modified version of soccer, with extra balls and simplified rules. Once a goal was scored, that ball was out of play until all the rest were scored. On one team were me, one other guy with soccer experience, and a natural athlete. The three of us would go get a ball from the mess at the other end of the field, score with it, then go get the next one until all of them were used up. I remember it fondly as one of my few athletic successes.

Hammer said...

I think they called that speed ball in middle school.

Still lots of fun.

JP said...

sounds like a natural evolution into American football. Or devolution back to it!

Deborah Aylward said...

Combat soccer with flying tackles? Hopefully an Olympic event by 2008!!!

Knowing how the Marine Corps never does anything by halves, may one also inquire if you play "combat" dodge ball?

Veritas et Fidelis Semper

Murphy said...

I don't think my boys could handle combat dodge ball.

Anonymous said...

Combat soccer is as least as old as 1986 when I coached my DLI-Korean team to a loss against the "Spanish" and had to carry a broom dressed in BDUs as our guide-on in the next formation.

The field had holes deep enough that some otherwise would-have-been-excellent shots found the striker landing flat on his face and the best player on our co-ed team was barely 5' tall, female and clueless about the sport but I taught her how to scramble. And, at least in the first half, the all-male team from Spanish was a bit leery about tackling her.

We only lost by a goal.

Anonymous said...

I was an army cadet r.o.t.c. at university of wisconsin madison...between 1983 - and - friday a month we played "combat soccer"...with a soccer ball on a soccer field...2 teams upperclassmen vs lowerclassmen (freshmen and sophmores) the game was manditory and co-ed...but very violent...the soccerball could be kicked or ran with or passed to another player...when the ball carrier got tackled and slugged and kicked...the ball was turnedover to the other scoured by getting it past the goalie into the soccer net for one point...overt boxing got the player ejected but football style blocking hitting and tackleing was could hold enemy players down in the mud or snow and rub mud or snow in their face or down their could sit on other players...farting on them got you ejected...there were 2 penalty boxes like in hockey and a ref...females kicking males in the penis got the female ejected...snowball throwing and fights were legal.../ @ milwaukee I'm a former m-60a3tts armor company commander...i swear this is true!