Monday, June 16, 2008

OK, I Won’t Keep You Hanging

Sorry about the brevity of my last post. Yes, it's more soccer drama, and at the time of posting, I just didn't have the energy to write the words. Now that the weekend has passed, I'm back on center.

I live in a small town. This has some well-documented disadvantages. You never know who you can trust. Before the soccer board meeting I had sent out an email to my friends to come and support my candidate for in-town soccer coordinator, a position of which whose occupant was in contention. The other candidate was part of the problem and frankly had to go, but he was also in all other ways a good guy. My wife and I were conflicted, felt bad even, that we would be standing up publicly against him. He left the soccer board meeting when I showed up, throwing in the towel as it were, which elated my wife and me.

Well, that person directed an email to me on a distribution list that includes a great many people in this town that was similar in nature to that of Coachzilla's earlier email to me, except this one was even more pointed. At this point however, after enduring the personal attacks to date, I found myself strangely calm, almost numb, objective even. I simply took it in and wrote back to the list. I will not respond to personal attacks, but will gladly take it offline. My only concern is for the kids of our in-town program, and how best to create balanced teams for the enjoyment of all. I refrained from saying more. Believe me, there were lines that were written and deleted, written and deleted, edited for neutrality.

For some perspective, this man was the coordinator of the under six soccer teams, Coachzilla of the under eights, and both are together as coach and assistant coach on a team (with their own kids as members) in each. Both teams have the best talent, and in each case, there are a string of complaints from parents and coaches about team stacking. I won't go into all the examples, but when I heard that the same pattern was being repeated by this duo in the under six league that they have been doing together in my son's league, I had to take action. The difference in the case of this guy and Coachzilla is that I actually think he is a decent guy who is either behaving badly or is being used. Either way, he had to go.

He got wind of what I was doing, so a good part of this town has labeled me as trouble with a capital T. I have become a divisive character that has come to represent the numerous folks that have had enough. Fine. When I really think about it, I prefer having the reputation as someone who will stand up for himself and his beliefs than someone who sits idly by, complaining about everything and doing nothing.

I saw him at the final soccer event on Saturday and walked right up to him and told him that I hoped someday we could still be friends, that if he walked away from the soccer board because of me it was a mistake, that he should come back. He told me that he heard I had a problem with him every time he went to the grocery store or the post office, and that he was sick of it. Then, I said, we should talk about it some time.

And that's where it is. I'm not sure if I got through to him or not, but I hardly think you should condemn someone based on what some gossip relates to you third-hand. Some of what he says is technically true, but I am perfectly willing to speak to him about my feelings. But I think he knows that. And I further think that he was just using me as an excuse. Because, as I said before, I've come to represent a group of people whose voice is growing in volume. He wasn't running from me. The man saw the writing on the wall and spared himself the indignity of being voted out.

One of my soccer mom's told me that Coachzilla confided in her that she (Coachzilla) felt bad about our recent falling out. My answer: "And you believed her?"

Strangely though, throughout this most recent development, Coachzilla has stayed out of it. There are three possible explanations. The first is that she really does feel bad and has come to realize the error of her ways. The second is that she lost her cool in the last meeting and got slapped around like a pinball, deciding now to let someone else carry the torch. The third, and most likely, is that she is biding her time, a lioness crouched and concealed in the waving grass by the watering hole, waiting for me to placidly dip my head for a drink.


Dixiebelle said...

I loved the end of your post. Great writing. I think you handled the situation perfectly. What you need to do is get a tee shirt with this sloan on it:

It's Only A Game

Scott said...

Or the tee shirt could say, "I'm with Stupid."

Alan said...

Let's assume you did tell the grocer and the postal clerk, and the Indian chief too that you had problems with Fido (Coachzilla's Pet--we like him, but still, a pet is a pet). So it gets back to Fido, and now he's all mad about it.

Has he never heard that "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown"? Did he get that position by accident? Or did he accept a nomination? If he consciously became Fido, someone should have told him that he was subject to peer review. If he had treated his position fairly, and didn't collude with Coachzilla, then 1) I wouldn't be calling him Fido, and 2) You wouldn't have needed to express your frustration all around town.

So he couldn't take the heat and left the kitchen. Too bad. He left the opportunity to become a great chef. But Coachzilla wouldn't have wanted that, would she?

Hasta la vista, Fido.

Minnesotablue said...

It's always a good thing to defend your beliefs!