Sunday, August 16, 2009

FB Flashback

Point Loma College Soccer Team, 1977

I’d just returned from a summer trip to England, with a church group, where I’d actually been asked for autographs after doing my finest Larry Norman impression. It’s now my freshman year in college. I’ve got a steady girlfriend, which kinda messes up my BMOC vibe, but I’m in love. I’ve got a car, which gives me the freedom to get away from the Shangri-La that is PLC, mostly to get to said girlfriend, who goes to State. Classes are fine, dorm life is “Animal House” without the sex, alcohol, and fun – close quarter living with smelly people in a moldy 12-person ‘quad’- “Das Boot” without the camaraderie. Young Hall was awful, even if it was only 400 yards from the Pacific Ocean. Of course, I had no idea at the time, but life was pretty stinkin’ good – and I do mean ‘stinkin’. We had to gang up on Charles at about week 7 to force him into the shower, clothes and all.

Then there were these guys. One of them was already a good friend. Others would become so. This was a team that had started as a ‘club’, and it would be some years before it would became a viable, completely supported, competitive part of the athletic program. I was coming to PLC, having been part of the startup of my high school soccer team - we'd gone from nil to third place in three years - my senior year had been a very good one. At Point Loma, we were doing our best, but usually got our heads handed to us by the likes of Simon Fraser and USIU – teams of international students here on scholarships. I am only aware of one game in my 3 years playing where statistics were kept – I think it was So. Cal Baptist College or something, in 1978. They had 38 shots on goal. We only lost 7-1, that day. For those of you, like me, who don’t care for math, that means that I had 31 saves. If I’d known then what I know now, I would have had a better time, but that has been my nature - still workin’ on that. I do take pleasure in memories like playing in Aztec Bowl, which no longer exists. Even if it was against SDSU's "C" squad.

We usually got to take the little bus to away games. Boredom and bus hijinks, like the time we all mooned the guard shack at the entrance to PLC upon our return. On a couple of rare occasions, we even got to clean out a restaurant or two, out of town, late at night, returning from a game way up the coast. Yeah, we were geeks, but guys like Dan Brown made sure that we had good times.

Dave, third from the left, front row. Left wing. Gets a yellow card for some infraction – continues to yell “I’m not sorry! I’m not sorry!” at the ref. Makes me laugh out loud, today. Dave Oakes, next to the coach - a great fullback and encouraging presence on the field - we cracked knees, one day, his gave way, mine didn't. It killed his entire season. I still feel like crap about that. He made a lousy martyr - I would have done the job much more effectively.

Yeah, I was that skinny, and yeah, that was my real hair. For those of you who weren't there, or otherwise haven't figured out that I was the keeper, I'm #3 on the left, back row.
Robert Martin, third from the right, put this pic up this morning on FB. Just sent me spinning into nostalgia. Thanks, guys.