6:11 I burst out of the bed like steroid-fueled Ben Johnson and hit the hotel ellyptical for 30 minutes while some tiny guy puts himself through a grueling work out with weights. I was quite impressed, but not shamed enough to lift myself.
7:05 Bryson wakes up and hits the shower. He seems alert and not terribly contentious, good signs.
7:45 Man alive am I hungry and dizzy. Hotel breakfast in a few.
7:51 English muffins the order of the day with two cups of apple juice. The pre-processed cheese omelet and the glaring omission of crispy bacon simply unforgivable.
8:24 Arrival at Patton Park and the realization Bryson has lost yet another ball, and failed to disclose this fact until now.
8:26 To avoid further aggitation, I retire to a nearby bench while Bryson makes small talk with other players and enjoys a ball-free warm up.
9:00 Parents meeting featuring a hundred parents standing around listening to a guy talk from the top of a picnic table. All of the best intentions are undermined by an androgenous kid riding back and forth on a three wheeled scooter, oblivious that he is making an unacceptable amount of noise. Visions of clothes-lining this kid flash through my mind.
9:12 Got nothing from the meeting, and return to the field to watch some 8 v. 8 scrimmaging. Bryson’s team features a strong defender, a fast striker, but no desire to pass the ball.
9:38 I am developing a deep dislike of the left winger on Bryson’s team. He lacks the two primary attributes of a winger, speed and flair.
10:03 The team continues to grind out decent results, but I can’t figure out why. Always a troubling development.
10:44 Fatigue setting in and the games are opening up. I am very impressed by the speed and tenacity of a striker named Raheem, playing of course on another team.
10:50 Checked twitter and Joe Paterno is dead…..this time apparently for real. Penn State would have been looking for a replacement anyway for next fall.
10:59 Teams are gathered and it appears we may be done, but no….one more 15 minute scrimmage. Can’t imagine what was accomplished in that last scrimmage other than shortening the lunch break.
11:25 Disappointment sets in as the pizzeria I scouted out last night is closed. Back to the alehouse. I give Bryson my impressions of the first session and we eat like men (whatever the hell that means).
11:50 Tried to impress upon Bryson the importance of playing hard. The two most impressive players I have seen during the trial had talent, but one of those talents was simply playing harder than anyone else.
12:01 Ruud Van Nistelroy gets a start for Malaga against Barcelona. Many believed he was still toiling in Germany. Stand corrected.
12:15 We linger in the Alehouse after our super efficient waitress has already cashed us out and removed our leftovers watching Man U and Arsenal. (We left just before Arsenal scored and then were gutted by Man U winner minutes later after some dubious substitutions by Wenger).
12:28 Arrive back to the field. I read the book War Room, while Bryson warms up.
1:08 Team selection for the final phase of try-outs.
1:33 Bryson’s team takes the field. He plays reasonably well albeit somewhat conservatively. Later he would report a strained calf muscle.
1:56 Bryson scores an excellent goal in the final kick of the game. Undoubtedly his finest moment of the two days.
2:46 Bryson steals the ball in midfield and sends a player through for a goal.
4:15 The trialists endure a twenty minute debriefing while the parents stand awkwardly to the side packed and ready to go home.
4:23 We are done. What happen will happen.
4:28 My debriefing of Bryson commences with impressions of other players, always a dicey proposition because he has the benefit of knowing everyone’s name, and I am left to piece things together with scraps of information like “oh the kid with the red shorts, blue socks and really bad hair.”
5:15 Pit stop at Mcdonald’s where we pick up the Raven’s touchdown to take a 17-16 lead.
5:24 I struggle to find a radio station covering the game and give up to silence and following the game on my blackberry.
6:15 Pats win when the Ravens drop and TD and miss a chip shot field goal. Happy for the Pats, but Ed Reed and Ray Lewis deserve better.
7:04 Emergency double piss stop less than one mile from the house.
7:10 Walk through the door and collapse.
Trials were great fun, but a great challenge. Results will not be known for a couple of weeks, but my fingers are crossed that Bryson did enough to get the chance. I am simultaneously his biggest fan and critic. I think and I hope he knows this. Good Luck my son!
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