Orwellian discourse on the soccer field

I’m attempting to write a straight-up article with a rule: NO using myself in the first person pronoun. I was actually going to practice right now, but I kind of took a wrong turn when, oops, the first word of this paragraph came out “I’m.”

Since I subscribe to the theory that the world revolves around me - not the sun - this third person thing is very difficult to do. No, but seriously, I haven’t written much of anything without “I” or “me,” or even “you” in awhile, at least since college. Since I’ve been writing mostly about music and politics, I’ve resorted to first person commentary because I believe that music and politics are very subjective, personal matters, and although I don’t presume to be an expert on either one, I care about these subjects so much, I often enjoy sharing what I read/hear rather than selfishly keeping it to myself, hence, the everyday racket of The New Goo.

But sometimes it’s good to venture out of the comfort zone, take on new challenges, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do with this article. I suppose it’s a bit like a typecast actor…one who plays the same guy over and over again (Morgan Freeman comes to mind, but he does the wise man so well. That’s why it wasn’t so unbelievable to have him playing God in Bruce Almighty in the five minutes I saw of it because the Morgan Freeman character is usually right and knows everything…except what Andy was up to in Shawshank)…attempting to play a complete 180 role. Well, maybe it’s not quite that out-of-element. I just wanted to write that about Morgan Freeman. But it’s weird because I’ll write something that’s my speculative opinion in the third person, but when I read it back, it looks like a fact, which is not the effect I’m after. I think the trick is to put your voice in an article without physically showing up to guide it.

What I’m trying to do in this article is connect two things that have seemingly nothing to do with one another in such a way that is so far removed from conventional thinking, and make it seem logical, even possible…to the point where you think about the two separate things in a whole new light. I’m slowly getting there, but it’s going to take a lot more tweaking (as in editing, not meth. Apparently someone didn’t get the “speed kills” memo) and work than any mumbo jumbo I post here.

I was thinking about this article-in-progress today during halftime of my soccer game. It was the championship of my 11 v. 11 women’s league, and we were ahead 1-0. The Sunday team is interesting because in the past year, it has undergone quite a makeover. It used to be a thrown together hodgepodge of unreliable players. Now it resembles a well-oiled machine, a pseudo-all star team that can attribute its recent success to heavy recruiting at colleges in the San Gabriel Valley area. To say my skill level is on the bottom tier of this team would be an overstatement, but I try my best.

As I sat in the shade, off to the side, during the halftime team meeting, I glanced up at one of my teammates talking about our strategy for the second half. Normally, I take this time to just zone out because I know that this particular teammate isn’t exactly going to practice what she preaches when she gets back out on the field. But instead of zoning, I started thinking about my soccer team in the loose context of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

The connection is farfetched, but put simply, when I first joined, my team used to be a collective. No leaders, no bossiness, lots of teamwork, everyone played an important role. We didn’t always win, but we got by having a good time. Now, post-makeover, a couple players have emerged as leaders, or honorary coaches, resident soccer experts, who believe they're entitled to tell other players what to do. It’s less cooperative and more competitive, both within the team and against other teams, because everyone has got skills, and getting those skills drop the ego and work together as a team is a constant challenge. But playing level is not really what concerns me. Today’s game didn’t seem fun at all. As much as I resisted, I couldn’t help feeling like it had become more competition than recreation.

When the final whistle blew signaling that we had won the league, no one looked surprised, and any celebratory actions or remarks seemed forced and out of place. I guess what I learned from this mind-wandering exercise is that I have socialist leanings when it comes to soccer teams. While I will continue to play on my Sunday team, just to keep things interesting and reassure the Feds that I’m not seeing red (even though, coincidentally, our jerseys are red), it’s definitely not as fun as my socialist teams.

But anyway, back to halftime, sitting and tuning out my bossy teammate telling us the correct way to kick a soccer ball or whatever. I had just made my Animal Farm observation and was left wondering if there was anything strange about putting two things like that together. My teammates would certainly think so. But I can’t help it.

In much the same way, this article I’m writing in the third person is strange because I’m drawing deliberate yet lofty comparisons between two seemingly unrelated phenomena. Initially, realizing the connection is like hitting the jackpot (it happened out of the blue, driving down the street). But therein lies the challenge of convincing others of the theory’s potential validity, making them see it the way you do. Critical thinking cannot make an impact unless you can present it to an audience in a way that opens minds, allowing them room to be critical, make their own subjective judgments, and maybe, hopefully agree that you might be onto something. I know one thing for sure: there is no room for “I,” “me,” or “Delia True” in this process.



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