A fine, sunny afternoon it was when a dozen advertising nerds traded in their saliency on Illustrator for a spot of saliency on the pitch. It had been two or three months of talk to get an SCA game going, but no dice. Then it came through. Monday. Vauxhall. Power League. Leave the 6 sheets and crayons at home. Bring skills. And sauce, lots of saucy sauce.
I’ve seen and played some football in my time and boy oh sweet boy, did I see some football I never have before. There were the obvious suspects, the ones you’d expect to be good – I’m talking the Travis’s, the Alec’s, the Charlie L’s of the game. Cool as a pair of kickers from the 90s, this trio could do step-overs before they could crawl. Their collective fitness and natural flair was enough make the rest of us look like pawns in a game of kings.
Next up we have the ‘lads’. I’m talking the Xavier’s, Oscar’s, Rob’s, Nabeel’s and Euan’s. The incoherent noises, the goading and the pointless finger injuries are their facets of the beautiful game. For them, never is a moment wasted on heckling the opposition, for they know the real reason anyone plays football is to wash the rivalries down their gullets with McCoy’s crisps and beer after the whistle. There is no distinction between playing football on a pitch and talking football down the local boozer. Life is football and football is life. I mean, I literally witnessed Rob headbutt a lamppost because he thought it was more into rugby than football.
Then we have the wildcards, the ones who just showed up and said ‘can I play?’ and then proceeded to blow everyone out of the park. I’m talking your Charlie H’s and your Andrew’s.
Let’s start with Andrew. A rock in defence. He’s so mean he makes Muhammed Ali sick. He jabs, slides and dives to get that spherical thing out of your possession. You wonder sometimes what goes through the mind of a mysterious man like Andrew but now I know. He wants revenge for the fact that you merely thought about trying to dummy him.
And finally, there’s the ice man, the man they call El Diablo. Next time you give Charlie H a ball, watch the fuck out. His feet are like vipers and his instincts are colder than Hannibal Lecter. He may hide behind a veil of generic Canadian passivity, but don’t be fooled because he’s one Scorpion kick away from tearing your goal a new arsehole. The guy’s a maverick. He wears New Balance sneakers to games when he KNOWS it’s against FA Rules and Regulations Section 2. Does he care, though? Does he fuck. This chico plays by his own rules, and all the FA can do is accept it. Oh and he’s totally addicted to scoring goals. Shitloads of goals, I might add. I lost count how many he scored, but a conservative recall is that it was in the triple digits. Real Madrid, I hear you’re looking for a new striker soon.
Keen we were for a proper run around. Oh how irony likes to cast a funny shadow; it’s the most hunger and excitement I’ve seen amongst us in quite some time. Nobody has hardly done any exercise over the last few months. Pale we’ve looked, parched like prunes we’ve felt and platitudinous our minds have become. But once this dirty dozen of rag-tag ad folk were released onto an astroturfed 5-a-side, we ran around liked we’d just escaped a maximum-security prison. After the milking of Term 2, our brains needed a runaround.