Every once in a while, even ringers in a ringer league can drop their game down to the level of the competition. That was the case in the game last night. I will spare you most details, as my personal conduct was embarrassing, to say the least.
The game was actually pretty evenly matched, however; about two minutes in, their best player went down with an injury which put the game in our control. They were a very physical team, and made little to no attempt at the ball when going for a tackle. That never sits well with me and I would soon be fed up.
I didn't do too much to establish myself as a game changer. I think I ended up with just 2 goals, which didn't stand out much in our 6-1 victory. The real drama came in the second half of the game.
We were up by a few goals already and they were never going to close the gap. Each little kick at me was firing me up more and more. I first lost my cool after a foul deep in their end. I got hacked down to the ground and from there, took a swing at my opponent with my leg and stopped just short of calling him a terrorist (he looked to be of middle eastern descent). Blue Card: 2 minutes.
Two minutes later I was out of the box and seeing red. I was finding reasons to get mad at the refs and opponents. On one instance, we had a free kick and they set up a wall no more than three feet from the ball. I asked the ref repeatedly to move them back. I acted like he didn't hear it, so I had to take the kick anyways. I got mad and let the ref have it. Consequently, the other referee gave our team a "bench warning" and the next showing of dissent would be a blue card.
Now, their defenders were talking trash and fouling even harder. I collected one ball around midfield and as I pass a defender, he swung at my leg and connected very hard. With no intent for the ball, he was issued a blue card and my leg hurt. It only got worse from there. After chasing a ball into their box, I got to it just before the keeper and knocked it by him. As I kicked it, their last defender simultaneously gave me a shove as I was in the air and my momentum carried me into the wall. I got up, talked a little trash and then asked the ref what was up with that. He said, "you scored." I didn't care, that should've been a blue card. Whatever.
With about two minutes to go and all of their defenders out to get me, I carried a ball deep into their box. Battling the constant hacks at my shins and ankles, I cut the ball inside and slipped it just past the keeper, avoiding a last ditch effort to inflict pain from the bald defender. I got up and went to get in his face again. He said something and then threw the ball at my face. We both got blue cards and spent the remainder of the game in the penalty box.
You would think that it stopped there, but it didn't. Throughout our time in the penalty boxes, we were talking trash back and forth. He said "if you elbow me, I'm gonna whoop your ass." I said, "did I elbow you?" "Yeah." I didn't remember doing that. In any case, I needed to put a stop to this because if it carried into the parking lot, I definitely would've gotten my ass kicked. So, at the final whistle, I took a one out of the British team's (from a few weeks ago) playbook and shook the guy's hand. Probably a good idea. It's just not worth it.