What This Game Really Means

(left to right) Kyle Wilkinson, Mike McCarthy and Mike’s son, Jack

(left to right) Kyle Wilkinson, Mike McCarthy and Mike’s son, Jack

All right, let’s get philosophical for a second and ask a simple question: Why do we play?

All of our answers are likely different, and many will hinge on our life stage. Some play for the workout, some for the competition, and some for a combination of the two. Still, others play with our club each week to make connections in the community.

In fact, a gent named Bobby O’Keefe, who serves in the U.S. military, reached out a few weeks ago to say his family had recently moved to the area and wanted to play a game they’d seen in Ireland. Plus, they wanted to dive into their new community. Did they ever. The entire family played a match with us and generally kicked some serious ass. Bravo, O’Keefe clan. (See their family pic below.)

And then there’s Kyle Wilkinson and my son, Jack. They’ve been friends with each other since they were toddlers (it helps that I’ve been close to Kyle’s dad since fifth grade and Mrs. Hanson’s class).

The boys rolled through school together and even played Little League together (Mudcats forever!). Both just graduated from college and are bound for new gigs in the next two weeks; Kyle heads to Disney, and Jack to the Washington Capitals. To be sure, it’s a transitional point in their lives, and their paths will likely only cross a few times during the next several years, if that much.

So, it was beyond wonderful to see these two on the pitch together this summer. They played with utter abandon and, above all, big grins. They probably couldn’t pinpoint why they were out there with us during the sticky, buggy nights of June and July, but my hunch is that it’s for the same reason they’ve played together for 20 years: it’s fun.

Life is sometimes that simple.

(A big thanks to GARY DIZE for these images. If you ever want to join us on the pitch, reach out at fairfaxirishfootball@gmail.com … and yeah, we play tonight. Cheers, Mike McCarthy)

Michael McCarthy