I have one more interesting tale to spin about my some with the irish blokes. (well truth be told there are probably another three ro four I could squeeze out if pressed).
It will probably come as no suprise to anyone with friends from the UK or it's former colonies that these guys were CRAZY about soccer. And I mean crazy. Remember I grew up in Rural Nevada so I've seen a thing or two about crazed sports fans (anyone who has been to the Elko county annual Race and Wreck Car Destruction Derby can attest to that). And I work with Chuck who is, in my opinion, unhealthily obsessed with the FUCKING denver broncos and their apparantly great quarterback...I think his name was john elway....you'll notice my de-emphasis and that is intentional...I've frankly had it up to hear with American Football talk around the office...
But as usual, I digress. No to these boys (and girls) soccer was an absolutly life enriching experience. I mean it was like beyond religion...though close to that...a way to live your life...a way to understand the world. Soccer...could cure almost all ills.
Well, the apartment complex we lived in was almost taylor made for a soccer rivalry. On one half of the apartment there were all these tanned, muscular, beautiful Argentinians and on the other half were this chalky, lanky, chain smoking Irishmen. Flags were strewn in windows and courtyards. A battleground of sport was drawn in the sand. These two freakish clans would wake up at 3AM to watch soccer matches at our house (since we were the only ones with TV in the complex...we said fine as long as they paid for beer. they were happy to oblige...)
It wasn't long before someone suggested a match between the Irish and the Argentinians. Originally my brother raleigh and I were chosen to be referees but when it became obvious that we had at best a rudamentary grasp of the basic concepts that idea was abandoned. We did however get drafted onto the Irish team due to the fact that the Argentinian team had three more guys on it.
I wish I could have filmed the thing it was glorious. My brother and I got to the soccer pitch and on one side were these shirtless, bronzed icons of the masculine form and on the other side (our side) was a group of SMOKING, pathetic looking irish castaways who had seen more sun in the last week than in their entire lives. While the Argentines ran passing drills and sprinted up and back the pitch the irish blokes were clumped around their team leader who was handing out the game plan in a near indeciprable northern irish accent. "Widge ye gu ta thi frint un trea ti block thi naff wink." and so on. My brother and I were assigned to be defensive guys who hung around the goal ( I don't know their official soccer name...something like defensive wing or some such). And so began our first ever real game of socccer.
And it was a real brutal affair. I mean these guys all HATED each other. I guess that there is something of a rivalry because the Argentinian Soccer team is like the greatest in the world and they were lording it over the pathetic Irish. So these guys were tackling each other left and right. And if you haven't seen a soccer tackle you don't know...they basically slide into your ankles and send you spiraling ot the floor. Imagine someone running into you at FULL speed and kicking your shins out from under you. It was bloody and brutal.
Now I played soccer as a little kid...but I didn't really get into heading the ball and all the fancy shit. these guys were doing all sorts of flips and spins and batting the ball with their foreheads...it was insanity. A couple of times two guys would go for the ball at the same time WITH THEIR FOREHEADS. And I remember thinking...man that would suck if they actually smacked into one another when they did that...man that would be awful...and sure enough it WAS...
No sooner had I thought that then upfield I heard the most sickening thud I have ever had the displeasure of hearing. Widge this Irish kid who was a real hot dogger smacked head first into the steel cranium of an oncoming Argentinian defender and his body slumped imediatly to the floor. I mean he just DROPPED like a rock. I thought he was dead for sure. And I didn't feel to much better when I ran over to take a closer look.
I have lived through head trauma so I know what it is like...but it didn't really prepare me for this...when you looked at this kid you could literally SEE HIS BARE SKULL. He had two inch split between his eyebrows that went up his forehead and you could see the white of his fucking SKULL!!!!!!!
And of course everyone just went apeshit. The Irish were all bugging out and flayling about and screaming. My brother pushed his way through the crowd...pulled his shirt off (much to the chagrin of the Irish girls who had come to see the sweaty shirtless Argentininans) and started barking out orders. He held his shirt over widge's head and was yelling for someone to call 911. Now this was before the days where everyone had a cell phone...but luckily a guy on a bycicle had one as he rode by and we got an ambulance out there pretty quick.
from there it was your usual emergancy room deal...the guy got out of the hospital with about fifteen stiches and had to wear a big bandgage for a couple of weeks that smelled really bad.
But the great part about this story is that the shirt that Raleigh got SOAKED with widges blood was from a Blood Drive and it said "Donate Blood". It was classic...