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Sporting triumphs and disasters

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Something a little different for today

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox

As we come to the end of the baseball season, the World Series awaits for a small and select group of players. For some it will be a a year crowned with the glory of victory, for others a year ending in crushing defeat.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be that good at baseball, to play professionally every day and get paid for it. It must be amazing when you win and a terrible feeling when you don’t.

Obviously we all love baseball on this forum (or lets face it wouldn’t exist) and many of us have played it to a certain level. Some of us are very good (jealously looks at Kraemer) and others of us...hmm not so much.

I’m sure that in addition to baseball, we also enjoy and follow other sports. Im also sure many of us have played/are playing hockey, football, basketball, rugby, soccer, etc. What stories could we tell? What was our memorable moment(s)? What was the moment when we felt as useless as Yasmani Grandal is at blocking pitches?

I’ve had a few years of playing a variety of sports and it will come as no surprise that my sporting disasters outweigh my sporting triumphs by a large proportion.

Sporting disasters

  • I once lost a game of schoolboy rugby by a score of 82-0. And that was with the referee being kind and ending the game 20 mins early. And then we had a 3 hour bus trip back home to stew in our defeat. My captain cheered us up by saying, ‘Hey at least it wasn’t 100-0!’.
  • Later that same season, we played another school and lost that game 78-0. At some point in the second half i decided to liven things up by clothes lining my opposing winger as he went around me for the umpteenth time. He went down like a sack of spuds and it started a huge fight. Both sets of players, the coaches and staff got involved. It was the best amount of effort we had put in all day. I may have also got away with a sly headbutt in the midst of it too...
  • I played soccer for 17 years in the UK. I played as a striker. One day due to a huge swathe of injuries all our central defenders were injured. Being 6’3 and 190lbs my manager figured i was Big and Strong™ enough to play in defence. What could possibly go wrong you ask? A lot I reply. Like one own goal, two penalties conceded and i contributed hugely to our 6-1 defeat, Post match, i asked politely if i could never play that position again. My manager ignored me and kept me there for the rest of the year. It didn’t go well....

Sporting triumphs

  • As noted above, soccer was my main sport and my only claim to fame was that 20 years ago i played in the FA Cup in England. Admittedly, it was only the lower qualifying round but still, ill take it.

The game was crap. We were a much better team but were nullified by a team that was the soccer equivalent of the Rays. I was played on the left midfield (see my manager’s weird decison-making noted above) and i was cack. All i did was defend and chase around like a headless Teoscar Hernandez.

Then 10 minutes from the end the ball broke to me and me being right footed decided to have a crack from 20 yards. With my left foot. The ball curved neatly around the defence and then dribbled into the corner of the net. For the winning goal. It was fugly. Like Orioles fugly.

As we traipsed off the end my manager took me aside and said’ you didn’t really mean to do that did you?”

  • 12 years ago i participated in the 15 Peaks Mountain Race. 52km (30 miles) with 4000m of climbing over the 15 highest peaks of Wales in Snowdonia National Park. The aim was to do it in under 24 hours. My team name was ‘I Swear You Said 15 Pints’ which tells you how seriously we all approached this.

Being Wales it hosed it down the day before nearly leading to the event being cancelled but they pressed ahead and we only had torrential rain at the 2 a.m start. Lots of teams had (sensibly) pulled out leaving just 66 of the original 300 people. The rain continued, two of my teammates fell and injured their knees and backs, one of my team mates got hypothermia and the other just couldn’t be arsed anymore and pulled out at the halfway point. I stubbornly joined another team and pressed ahead into the hail and sleet. The the fog descended. The visibility was to bad i had my hand on my teammates shoulder and i couldn’t see him....genuinely a scary moment in my life.

Eventually only 24 of us of the the original 66 finished, with the others being taken down off the mountains by the RAF Mountain Rescue Team. Three had fallen and sustained broken limbs. Most had hypothermia.

Somehow I made it and completed it in 20 hours. I got back to the base and managed to get a whole hours sleep before it was breakfast time.

I then awoke to bright sunshine and clear skies.....Farrelling Wales.

What are your sporting triumphs and disasters? Feel free to add them in the comments below.

(And free cheese doodles to the best one. Ask Tom for them from our snack budget).