Futsal is a derivative of soccer played on a hard court with a smaller ball with less bounce to it. The game features five players per team. In a pick up format each games last four minutes or two goals whichever comes first. In the event of a tie, the team that’s been on the court longer, or both teams if teams exceed four are off. Each player is numbered 1-5 and goalkeeping duties are shared with a rotation every 90 seconds or upon scoring a goal. Up until two years ago, I did not know this game existed. It is quite fun.
My son Bryson plays Monday night with his team, and Sunday is open futsal. For two hours a collection of kids ranging in age between 8-13 play and in the third hour a strange mixture of old men, high school students and 12-13 year olds play.
Bereft of any real skill, I charge around the court with reckless abandon, cobble together a few goals mainly and mark for my team. I am a role player, nothing more. Despite this fact, I normally feel that I can have some influence on the outcome of the game, and have no problem telling any of this to Bryson.
I have long ago conceded that he is actually a better player than I am, but have continued to highlight my better moments and aforementioned influence on the outcome of games. Perhaps in light of this or simply that he has already recognized the limits of my play, he prefers to play on the opposite team.
Last Sunday, we played together. We did not have a good mix of guys. Our team featured the father son duo, an older guy who was likely the worst player in the gym, a younger guy who appeared to be a player, but thoroughly sucked, and a fifth player who’s involvement in the game was so inconsequential that I can’t remember a damn thing about him.
Bryson was playing well, and we had nothing, but him going for us so desperate to win as always, I took to the habit of taking double duty in goal so we could bypass his time as keeper, and repeatedly muttered stuff like “if it’s gonna get done, you’re the only on capable of doing it”.
In doing so, the final vestiges of athletic superiority in the context of soccer/futsal were abandoned and the torch passed to him as the Pink family flagship. In the flagship’s wake a combination or pride and humility.