72 hours with my soccer team

I am writing this from my hotel bed just before my second state cup game. State cup is a statewide tournament or the top twenty or so teams. Each team plays three games in their bracket and the winner of each bracket returns to Columbus next weeks for finals. My team is on our second game. We lost our first game 3-1 to an RPL team (region premier league) that we clearly outplayed. But that’s in the past. We have two more chances to put work in and prove ourselves. This isn’t what I want to talk about though. Soccer is interesting, but it’s most interesting played on a field. I want to talk about the 66 hours I’m spending with my teammates off the field.

I’m out to the teammates who I hang out with regularly and who I played high school soccer with. The others, I’ve got no idea. It’s strange sitting in a hotel room with ten other rowdy teenage guys watching the UEFA finals with a guy’s crotch right up near my head (he was sitting on a bar stool next to me and I was sitting in an arm chair.) I enjoy the time I spend with my team and I love pretty much every player on the team, but there’s still that aura of too much testosterone that hangs in the air and reminds me I’m out of place, especially when everyone starts talking about tits.

Anyway, here’s a taste of my weekend. I’d like to shout it to Rick Welts, Pheonix Suns owner, for having the courage to set an example for the rest of the sports world and the gay world. It’s not everyday someone in such an integral sports position makes a stance like that. I applaud you, sir. I feel more comfortable around my teammates knowing that’s the sports world and the gay world don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

-Ben

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About Brad,Robert,Ben

We are three kids from three different time zones, with one common goal. This is our voice:
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4 Responses to 72 hours with my soccer team

  1. Jay M. says:

    Sorry about that first game, but that’s the beauty of tourneys that aren’t one-and-out…good luck in the next two.

    I understand exactly what you are saying about the down time. I had it with the band and drama group. While those two entities tended to be a little more gay-friendly, there were no openly gay members in either. And whether it was before we were banished to our own rooms, or afterwards, with all of us sitting around in underwear, I always felt out of place. So I guess it’s universal.

    And yes, Mr. Welts has done us all a great service. His bravery will mean a lot. Now if the NBA, et al, would fine players who use homo-offensive slurs some significant amount ($100,000 is nothing to a multi-million dollar a year salary), we might make some real progress.

    Nice post, Ben. Have a great time kicking your opponents butts!

    Peace ❤
    Jay

  2. DJ says:

    Gay, bi or straight, I don’t think anyone feels comfortable with a dude’s crotch next to their head in a non-consensual sexual situation. I personally sit far away from people whom I have to share a room with for this sole reason.

    Congrats on what you’ve done so far and good luck to you and your team for the remaining games.

  3. Slytopman says:

    I worked as a trainer for several HS teams over the years and the situation that you describe is way too common. I escorted several wrestling teams to our state finals and if you think the testosterone flows when a soccer team is on downtime, check out a wrestling team. Here are a bunch of guys who wear skin tight outfits while they roll around on a mat with other well-built men. They spend a LOT of time talking about their interest in females and commenting on their various attributes. Often the loudest voices belonged to guys that I later found at various bars where very few females tend to go. Always interesting to watch.

  4. Burch says:

    Ben, you aren’t “out of place” with your team – you belong there. Yes, you can’t fully share the talk about girls but you have as much reason to be there as anyone else. The physical intimacy means something different to you than to the other guys but that is inevitable. The other guys that know your orientation are probably comfortable and want you around. Some of that testosterone may be more bravado than reality.

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