The Walk Ons

Tim (with ball) being shadowed by Graham (foreground). 

Tim (with ball) being shadowed by Graham (foreground). 

Years ago, when I played vastly inferior sports in the park (I’m looking at you, American touch football), we’d occasionally worry about having enough players. 

My wife Maureen would cheerily say, “Hey, maybe someone will be walking through the park and want to play with you guys!” 

I’d always laugh. I mean, there was a better chance of a wolverine (wearing a Gucci bikini, no less) rising from the nearby woods to perform card tricks for us. No one was going to jump into the fray to play touch-football with our motley group—ever.

But if the game we play changes—say, it becomes Irish football—something pretty wonderful happens: People walking through the park do three things: 

Stop, scratch their heads and think, “What the hell?"

Watch us play…usually for a long while. 

Watch some more, and think, “What a cool game. Wonder if I can play…”

Yesterday, for example, a gent named Fahad joined us midway through the first half. The Saudi Arabia native, who has only been in the States for a few weeks, clearly has played lots of soccer in his life. He took to the game in a hurry. 

Fahad, a native of Saudi Arabia, joined us yesterday in the park. Yes, as a walk on. 

Fahad, a native of Saudi Arabia, joined us yesterday in the park. Yes, as a walk on. 

This happens frequently nowadays, and, once again, my wife proves she’s a genius.  

Anyway, we had a blast yesterday, and here are the pics to prove it. 

(Many thanks, as usual, to GARY DIZE, a terrific local sports photographer who is kind enough to shoot our matches.)  

 

 

Michael McCarthy