Friday, 27 July 2007

Footie in mouth

Them's that know me in the flesh (regular perusers of the King James Version should read that clause with caution) will be aware that gross motor skills are not my pianoforte. Indeed - and I think I may have mentioned this round these parts before - when I were a wee tacker they sent home a letter to my 'rents advising remedial physical education on Thursday afternoons. I'm good for a swift uphill walk; I'll even break into a canter on occasion; can swim round islands and lift whole cantaloupes with a single hand; but throw anything in my direction any smaller than a bar fridge (as people insist on doing), and I drop automatically to the ground. This endearing trait I appear to have inherited from my father, and along with it, I've inherited a total indifference to ball sports. (That's "indifference", in its less used "fear and loathing" sense).

So when I received a phone call today from a young chap who wanted to know if I'd been contacted yet by his manager - the one who manages elite athletes attempting to dribble* their way through university - I stifled a yawn and brought up my tutorial schedule spreadsheet. No, I didn't yawn. I am totally uncynical in my interactions with people on telephones. But let's just say that when I hear "elite athlete", I think "Horseman of the Apocalypse", not "Where are my pompoms?"

He plays AFL, says the young chap. For this team, which he names. And his name is, and he says his name. An hour later I mention to a friend that a student wants to take my course without attending lectures because they conflict with his football practice. Who is it, asks my pal. I get out a first name, because that's all I can remember. My friend promptly supplies his surname, his team, his height, anecdotal detail of his enormous 15-year-old female fan base, and is on the verge of suggesting we just give him his degree, when I am suddenly overcome by an urge to drop to the ground.

* I believe I'm deploying a metaphor from basketball, yes?

12 comments:

TimT said...

Teachers tried remedial physical activity out on me once, and it completely failed. The fools! If only they had set me onto the sport of Chess Boxing, I would have become an enthusiastic participant in their PE regime. Alas, chess was banned* at my school - (unsafe practice for children, apparently. It actually makes us think.)

If you had mentioned this chaps first name to Tony, I am sure he would have given you all those details and more.

*This is a lie, but only a small one.

nailpolishblues said...

My sister used to throw things at me for fun based on the fact that I duck and cannot catch to save myself. She still does it when she thinks about it and when I'm close enough to make it worthwhile.
I was born a spaz. I cannot even walk a straight line and frequently trip over my own feet.
Also, I have no idea who you're talking about. I'd be mildly curious but since it's AFL I'm just lost.

alexis said...

Ducking's a very sensible strategy. I used to spend hockey games running away from the ball.

Tony is terrifyingly up on his fußball figurines, but I think it would be a little unkind to make a habit of disclosing this kid's identity. As it is, he already has to live with the fact that he's spending the better part of his youf chasing a leather egg around a paddock.

JahTeh said...

Harlot, you have to give him a chance, after all he remembered his own name and managed to dial a telephone number. He could be halfway to genius....for a footballer.

Tether tennis, I could hit the ball with this one, mostly.

Tony.T said...

Indeed.

But in my defence I must state for the record that while I am a knowledgeable, long-time football follower, I have a strict personal policy of not ever associating with footballers. I was one once, after all.

Meeting these clichéd fatheads ruins what is, in essence, a vicarious pleasure which I'm not yet set to give away.

Although, on reflection, it could be about time.

These days the caper offers less and less attractions and I'm increasingly aware of the games flaws, but 40 odd years of invested emotion, no matter how misplaced, have made it extraordinarily difficult to break the habit.

I think this calls for a post.

Can I also add that I find it extremely offensive that the Blogger spell-checker wants to change defence to defense.

Anonymous said...

Alexis, you are living in Malburn and beware if you have not picked your colours. Embrace this young man, if you can get a free 2008 season pass to the MCG, then isn't it worth it? As far as your limited prowess on the ball sports field is concerned, remember dear that you do not actually have to play the game yourself, merely get in ye olde spirit of...See it as an anthropological study. One can not truly experience the Bourne until she is heard screaming "chewy on yer boot" to Adam Goodes in a grand final

Mitzy G Burger said...

I think Anonymous should out themselves bravely before preaching to Dr Harlot on the implied un-importance of her teaching compared with the pig-bladder-kicker's career as a highly skilled ball-chaser. On whom so many petty hopes unrealised by the anonymous everyman are pinned.

Mitzy G Burger said...

Now, a nicer post to all and possibly sundry: I too have had the experience of being forced to lower my teaching standards to accept the half-assedness of a student simply because he captains a state soccer team and appears (insert comment hear about student's favourable appearance used to impress/cajole/blithely win indulgence of others).
So here's what I say to AFL and Soccer heroes doin' for the people and thinking their teachers will barrack for them "in class" when they do jack: you've got to be joking, and I ain't laughing.

Mitzy G Burger said...

p.s Don't be alarmed by previous vitriol. I love soccer and play in the sydney uni speech pathology masters' women's team (despite my non-speechie status). Our best score yet has been 5:2 (not our way.)

Maria said...

I had a paranoid fear of Chess Boxing when I heard it mispronounced as Chest Boxing. A girl has to protect her assets, even if they already look like they've been boxed into a corner.

Ducking IS a very sensible strategy, or can be. Depends on where they aim. You could be unlucky and a blow to the tummy might get you in the eye. On the other hand you might value your tummy more than your eye (depending on whether you've got a penchant more for eating or watching reality TV) and you may think the blackened eye was good luck all over again.

alexis said...

Tony, I had no idea about your former life (but then I wouldn't, being one whose ears suddenly invert whenever AFL is mentioned). This is an open-minded blog (give or take a few of my grosser bigotries) and you and your once and former footballing feet will be treated with respect.

Anon., I don't think it's ever going to happen, my complete and utter integration into the 'Bourne and its footballolatry.

Mitzi, bravissimo! Long may your soccer legs run.

Maria, this reminds me of random breath testing, which I always mishear in a mammary sense.

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