So, the other day, I gave my list of Wisconsin Sports Despair. That got me thinking about my own personal sports despair, most of it coming from high school, much more heart wrenching.
My high school sports history was rather interesting as I went to school at an inner city Milwaukee Public School and played soccer and tennis. Suffice to say, Milwaukee Public Schools are not a hot bed for soccer and tennis. I'm pretty sure my junior and senior season of tennis I did not lose a set in conference tennis. But I digress.
Here's a few of my more memorable ones. Lost with 5 seconds left and 41 seconds and in overtime my freshmen year of soccer. Freshman year hurt my knee before a big tournament by hitting it on sewer cover while juggling. Sophomore year red card in the same tournament. Sophomore year tennis, one win away from going to the state tournament, lead the first set 4-1 lose, lead the second set 5-2 40-00 and lose. After the match I kick my partner's water bottle onto the court next to us, it opens, splashes water all over the court. I say, "We should've won that fucking match." I get kicked out of the tournament. Junior year overtime soccer loss which cost us the conference title.
But one story in particular stand out. It comes from my last high school soccer game. Let's just say that my senior year of soccer was pretty disappointing. I had loads of potential, making varsity my freshman year and honorable mention all-conference my sophomore year. But I never even got close to living up to that potential.
So our first regional game is against a suburban school. They are decent, but very beatable. We have a lot of injuries. We're playing on their weak field. It's a night game, a pretty good crowd for a soccer game. We start off well. I make a great run from my central defense position and assist our first goal in the 14th minute or so. We're excited. They come back and score two goals right before half. In the second half I get a bit more aggressive and push up more. I was fouled pretty much everytime I got the ball, probably 10 times and was marked pretty closely. Anyways, we never really had a close chance in that half. We lose 2-1. At the final whistle I bend over in despair. The other team's fan's start taunting me. Really. Just me. "Go home and cry #18" "It's all over Tony, why don't you cry about it" That probably wasn't the right thing to say to me at the time. I go into a bit of a berserker rage and run over to the stands, JUMP the fence and get into the face of the people taunting me. "If you got something to say, say it to my face" I keep saying, getting chest to chest with a bunch of the other teams fans, mostly football players. A bunch of my friends from the stand come running over to get my back, even my brother, and the only one of my teammates that comes over was the one with the broken foot. Things are about to jump off, but the kids stop trash-talking and I cool down. That's it. No fight.
The ironic thing was, they were right, I did cry after the game.