I stopped playing soccer for a reason; I hated how serious and competitive people became. I saw 11-year-old girls scratch, bite, pull hair, spit on, purposely kick, grab and throw other girls to the ground. I was thrown to the ground one time and I spat on the girl who did it. I have never told anyone that. I was raised to treat others with respect, and this is sometimes impossible in the game of soccer. For this reason, and because I fractured my back and was in a pretty serious back brace for three months, I stopped playing soccer, but every four years I feel like I am back in the game.
When the World Cup comes around the slide-tackling, elbow-throwing, ass-kicking player comes out in me. I become more competitive than my usual self, and that’s saying something (last week I cheated in mancala to beat an 8 year old … unfortunately, he caught me). Sometimes I even start looking around for a good pair of shin guards, some sweet cleats, and if I am in the mood, I look at super-awesome-witty soccer T-shirts.