This piece is by Alastair Bellany – a historian working at Rutgers University. Alastair boasts a single chili pepper (denotes hotness) on ratemyprofessors.com. He is unlikely to garner more.
It is difficult to convey just how bad my primary school football team was in the 1978-9 season. They always lost; and they always lost heavily. Playground opinion blamed the goalie—he had all the vices of immobility (he couldn’t or wouldn’t move to get the ball) but none of its virtues (hit the ball straight at him and, miraculously, his legs would move—just enough to let the ball roll between them). I blamed the coaching. One kid got onto the team after watching a show on TV about Brazilian football. He became convinced he was Pele, and started dancing around the ball Brazilian style. Unfortunately, dancing was more or less the sum of his footballing skills. But this apparently didn’t bother the coach—he was on the team.
I tell you this not to slight my old classmates or my old teachers. No, I tell you this just to make something very clear. I am really bad at football. So bad, indeed, that I never made my primary school team. I just wasn’t good enough. Not even good enough to be goalie. Yes, that bad.