Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thanks to Rocco...

Here's the article only Waldwick-ites got to read over Thanksgiving.

Monday, December 15, 2008


In case we don't play next week, let's meet at Nellie's in Waldwick anyway at 11am.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Now, in a change from the recent hot photos....

.... you get one of these guys, as seen in the Suburban News during Thanksgiving Week. I don't have a copy of the article, I'm afraid.

In other news, assuming we play on December 21, let's all go to Nellie's afterwards and drown our sorrows (blue team) or celebrate a resounding victory (white team.) Because, you know, who wants to rush home to the family?

Monday, September 15, 2008


Lacrosse goals were the order of the day, despite the OK turnout. They were more to compensate for the lack of goalkeepers than to try and have those brave souls that showed up in the hottest September Sunday morning in history (probably) keep the ball on the deck and not resort to hoofing it up the field.

The shot-shy White team certainly tried to keep the ball down, opting to walk the ball into the net while the Blue team, led by Jay, opted to shoot from the halfway line. The two contrasting styles provided a tight affair... much like the fledgeling affair between Dr. Sal and his new friend, who spent 20 minutes just talking on the substitutes bench. It came so naturally and it felt like they had known each other for years.

At 9-9, a "next goal wins" led to White taking the win, but there were relatively few highlights. Jay hit a nice curling shot from 90 yards that went in. Colin scored a deflected own goal from 30 yards. Dave M turned up, handballed with his first touch, then left with an injured hamstring. Rocco scored a brace of distinction. Scott P scored about 11 (mathematically impossible, but.. you know, that's how it felt.)

So, a jovial game played in taxing conditions, and let's hope some goalkeepers turn up next week.

FINAL SCORE: White 10, Blue 9. Yes, I'm sure.

Man-of-the-match: Rocco (not the fastest player on the field, but two fine strikes said: "So what?")

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Two things. Disclaimers if you will.

1) I did not stay for the duration of the match. I had to go coach my kid (she's working on trash-talking - mainly aimed at herself - and missing from six inches, but netting from two) before the bitter end.

2) I left it too long between the final whistle and sitting down to write this crap. As there were no memorable moments for myself personally (ie. no goals scored, one disallowed for offside which I have my doubts about, but I will agree with the referee's decision - even if the "ref" was also one of the opposing central defenders) the rest of the game was just a ho-hum blur of indifference.

Therefore, here's what I do remember:

Mark M scoring an own goal for the second week running. Even a woman walking past with her dog chipped in with abuse: "Hey! Miller! Head up next time, pretty boy!"

Perkinsio rightly called Keeble off of a what would have been a neck-stretcher of a header to bury one in the top corner. Fair play.

The White team didn't have a goal keeper until half-an-hour from the end. The Blue team had Doug. That ain't fair.

I was asked the score (4-2 was my reply) only to be told I was wrong and it was more like 3-3. Now, the only thing "more like" 3-3 than 4-2 would be actually 3-3. So put that up your pipe and get a job on ESPN, stat-guys.

There was an disproportionate number of people playing for the first time in ages, or first time at all. This bodes well for the winter months ahead, if they've got a pair to brave the cold and join the stupid idiots among us, out there on the glacier in mid-January.

Did I mention Mark's o.g.? Bottom corner. Bosh, pick that one out. No chance for the 'keeper.

FINAL SCORE: Hey, don't ask me.

Man-of-the-match: Mark M (White, but Blue) -Strong and clinical with his finish.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


If anyone knows of any reason why we should not lawfully play at 9 o'clock on the turf at WHS this Sunday, speak now or forever hold your piece (no typo there - I know what I'm talking about.)

Monday, September 1, 2008


(Match report by special rip-roaring, goalscoring reporter Scott P - Brazilian name: Perkinsio)

This Sunday, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, was celebrated by the white team and blue team alike; no one really worked all that hard. The use of the lacrosse goals had several affects of the game.

Play was slowed down to a lethargic pace. Both teams actually had to string together several passes from the back field and up through the midfield to get into scoring position. Neither team could use their usual offense of kicking a long ball and running after it like a wild bunch of Indians. (In 2008 I guess it is more appropriate to use the term, “Native Americans”) However, in its place was what I would call the firing squad offense. The lacrosse goals would be surrounded in a semi-circle and the ball would be repeatedly fired at the small net. This offense was brilliantly defended by the sardine-can defense. The defenders would line up shoulder to shoulder as if they were in a tightly packed sardine can. The combination of these two strategic maneuvers created pinball-like goal scoring. The most notable goal was by the Pinball Wizard himself, Mark Miller, who put the ball in his own net.

The game saw the 2008 debut of Dave “don’t confuse me with Keebo” Murphy. Dave had been too busy practicing with Manchester United to play with us this year. Dave played the big blue wall defense with Bobby Two Touch. Missing from the big blue backdrop was Hock, who defected to the white team after a severe trouncing by White the previous week. Hock did make the game highlights by falling into his own lacrosse goal and looking like Spider Man caught in his own web.

Colin put in a fine performance but left before the final whistle. I think Colin needs to put more quarters in the parking meter next week so that he doesn’t have to leave so early. Jonathan also had to leave early. Most likely it was for an emergency dental appointment. Jonathan, who was freshly back from vacation on the island of St. John’s, received an elbow in the mouth by Scott P. during a jump for a header. (Sorry, Mon)

There was only one yellow card the whole game. Dave Murphy took the ball from Jay (his teammate) as Jay was dribbling around Dave. Dave must have forgotten the very basic Waldwick Seniors rule; Jay dribbles, Jay shoots, end of play.

Somewhere near halftime a water break was called. Rich led a lively discussion during the break which lasted long enough to order out for coffee and donuts. After the break the game suffered from attrition. Players just kept leaking off the field. The final moments of the game were so boring that “next goal wins was declared.” Moe smacked a long ball that was within 15 yards of the goal. The goal was awarded to Moe due to lack of interest in continuing.

Man of the Match: Max the ballboy

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Next Sunday, the clash of the old farts will take place back at Goose Island. Sometimes a Labor Day game can be put together, and that would also be at Goose Island. 9am start on Sunday, where I'm sure the possibility of Monday can be discussed.

Also, Stoke City were very, very lucky. It was NEVER a penalty!


Welcome to GooseShit Fields, home of... well, a lot of geese.

After eviction from the glorious, consistent turf at WHS, playing on grass was a nice change. Yes, there was grass - more than at the billiard ball that is Trap Hagen. But it was under a good inch of goose poop.

Scott P didn't care. After putting in a triumphant match report last week, his five goals (all in the same corner of the goal) raised the bar for a White team who one by a handful at full time.

The Whites didn't have Doug in goal, but for a while they did have a Dog - a highly ineffective cut out of a canine designed to keep the geese away. The Blue team had a dog of its own - a tenacious bulldog named Keith who put in a fine performance with only a two-man defense back to help him.

With the White team leading by five, Blue midfield general Ed took it upon himself to rally the troops with a wonder goal solo effort. Any effect on morale was short-lived when, from the kick-off, Scott P did pretty much the same thing for the Whites.

Other honorable mentions go to Tom, who left with an injury for the second week running; Dr. Sal, who may have developed an allergy to the ball and should probably go see someone about it; Keeble who came close enough to win a game of horseshoes - but ended up with no goals; Jerry, the shortest man on the field who scored a header; and finally Mike McM, who was both sorely missed and just plain sore after his injuries last week.

FINAL SCORE: White 7 (or 8) Blue 2

Man-of-the-match: Scott P (White) -Strong and clinical with his finish.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


It has been suggested we return to 9am starting this Sunday now the temp has dropped 20 degrees. See you there all there somewhere between 8:30 (Frank) and 10:45 (Shaun, if he comes at all.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


(report filed by Scott Perkins - a man the Native Americans have dubbed "Threat From Corners")

It was bright and sunny this past Sunday but there was a dark cloud hanging over the field in Waldwick. The game was full of injuries.

Seemingly immediately after kickoff Jay left the field for the day with an injury. There was no foul that caused the injury but the blue team took a free kick in Jay's honor anyway. Dr. Sal picked the wrong day to stay home. Frank was there, however, but did not need the services of his personal physician.

The next injury happened a little deeper into the first half when John "The 10:15" Gilchrist exceeded the posted speed limit and plowed right into his own teammate, Moe. Although Moe sustained injuries sufficient to leave the field, he stayed the entire match. Gilchrist received a summons for reckless driving. That will add 4 points to his license. One more infraction this season and john will have to take the "safe defenders course" to clear his record.

The injury that really affected the level play was the Mike - Kevin crash. Kevin, as Goalie, jumped for a ball and came down hard on Mike. Mike was down for the count. Last week I mentioned that the only way to stop mike was using the '10:15-Sandwich" play. Well, I was only kidding but this crash sure did stop Mike. I hope that he is OK. After Mike's departure the game slowed down significantly.

Up until that point, the score was 2-1 Blue. Hoch mentioned that with the "blue offense out of commission" they needed to strategize. The strategy was to see who Ted could pass the ball to who could actually shoot on net. Well, it wasn't Tim. He decided to hang back and give others a chance for glory just like he had done at the Olympics for Michael Phelps.

And it wasn't Mark Miller. He was too busy trash talking to take a shot.

Newcomer, "craig" did an excellent job in the white defense along with veterans Rich, John and Colin.

Hoch, without his dynamic duo buddy, Bobby, decided to play every position on the field with the exception of goalie. Hoch was in the back, in the front, in the midfield, left, right and hanging off the field goal posts. The White team needed Hoch's scooter just to keep up with him. I think Hoch dribbled even more than Carlos did today.

Bobby did show up just to keep his perfect attendance record but left without playing a single minute. He signed a few autographs and left for a bloody Mary.

Taking advantage of the recent goalie-Mike collision, Scott P. approached Steve who was about the catch a long bouncing ball. Steve, who had just seen the carnage moments before was a bit hesitant and Scott P., in a pure Keebo moment, nicked the ball with his head and it dribbled slowly into the net to make it a tie a 2-2.

Although the Blue team was briefly deflated by the loss of their superstar, Mike, they roared back with two more goals.

One chance for White to score actually ended with yet another injury. Colin was within yards of the goal and pulled his leg back for a shot that never came because his hamstring seized up and the ball crossed the line for a goal kick. Well, that was the end of Colin for the day. A few minutes later it was the end of the day for Tom also. However, the white defenders did not realize that until they placed a perfect pass down the wing only to find Tom at the top of the bleachers headed for the parking lot.

White did tie the game at 4 but only after the Blue team had asked repeatedly if the game was over yet. As Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over 'till it's over." For the White team, it wasn't over until they could tie the game. Eddie made a perfect pass to Scott P. (at the perfect Keebo spot at the 6 inch line), who put the ball past Joe for a 4-4 tie.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


It's a very slim chance that I will be able to make it on Sunday, so those of you who prefer to wear a White shirt, but are put off by playing alongside "The Vacuum" (pass to him and it is sucked up into nothingness) that is the usual White #6, this could be your chance.

Even though it's cooled off, the 8:30 start might be a good idea. Especially as, as Rocco has suggested, we might find playing time harder to come by unless we take earlier-than-9 starts once school is back in session.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I'll be honest about this from the start. I have no idea who won, and no idea of the score.

On a day when conditions were perfect, if a little warm, and there were no goals (that I can remember) that were disallowed for offside or any other violation, I don't understand how nobody could keep the score.

The White team certainly rose to the challenge and put together some sweet attacks against Steve in the Blue goal. The Blue team, consisting of Mike and some other people, kept things interesting right until the final "whistle" but with no idea of how many goals were scored and by whom (apart from my own three including that header at the end that left me dazed and blinded temporarily in one eye as I lost a contact lens) it's hard to say for sure who won.

FINAL SCORE: Honestly I have no clue. Both teams must have scored about 10 each at least.

Man-of-the-match: Mike M (Blue) - even by his own high standards, it was a masterclass. At least five goals and an engine like a finely-tuned Ferrari.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


TIME: 8:30am


“I am raising the stakes right now, ... If this is a poker game, I am shoving my chips right in the middle of the table. I am raising the ante. Anybody who wants out, can get out. This [White] team is going to win on Sunday. OK? This team is going to win on Sunday.”

- Jim Fassel, interim White team coach

Sunday, August 3, 2008


What looked like a pitcher's duel ended up with the White team blowing an eighth inning lead and slumping to a defeat on a humid and crowded morning.

And yes, it was soccer - not baseball. Just clearing that up.

At one point we had 14-a-side as the heat index was up through the roof. Most importantly, we had two goalkeepers, Steve and Doug, and neither had much to do for 85% of the game such was the focus on excellent defensive plays that frustrated a packed White attacking force in particular.

The White strikers couldn't cash in on the handful of chances that came their way. With Dan, Colin and Moe pulling the strings in the middle of the park, the three-pronged line of Scott R, Tom and Keeble struggled to even get a shot on target. Even in a key goalmouth scramble that would have given the Whites a lead had in ended up in the onion, shots were cleared off the line.

Meanwhile the Blues continued to surge through Vince, Rocco and Ed with Sal often found at the end of promising attacking moves, but unable to hit the ball with any conviction in any direction.

Two goals were disallowed for fouls, but it wasn't a nasty game. The always upbeat Jeff livened things up, but the long lay-off had taken its toll and his rust was showing. I feel for the photographer - seemingly a friend of Sal - who came up to take photos of the beautiful game, but would have ended up with a freakshow of ugliness in both penalty areas.

At 1-1, the game could have gone either way. The Whites had most of the possession, but the Blues had Mike and that can't be overlooked. Like Mark Miller, but with even more benevolence, Mike ran the show in defense and attack. Had Joe not been on top of his game along side Scott P and Ken P at the back, it would have been over-and-out-thank-you-goodnight by nine o'clock.

As the heat went up and the White playing staff went down (Dan and Ken were early leavers, and both had sterling games until that point) the Blues finally made a breakthrough and wound up running up a 3-1 lead - that would become a 4-1 victory with the last kick that ended proceedings.

FINAL SCORE: With more confidence that most weeks, I'm pretty sure even with the goals that were disallowed that it was: Blues 4 Whites 1

Man-of-the-match: Joe (White) -didn't miss a kick from the minute he took to the field (about half-an-hour after we started.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


An 8:30 start is in order again as it's supposed to be super-steamy.

Doug is supposed to be back in goal in time for this one. Great. That makes my job harder.

Also, we are probably four weeks away from paying Rocco again. Just a little heads-up.

Monday, July 28, 2008


It was hot and wet, but a good turnout and an unlikely goalkeeper made for a fun morning.

Firstly - the score. I've no idea. I thought I knew, but when two guys gave me wildly different thoughts on the scoreline, I gave up. I know I didn't score any. Again. That header went close, but...

I digress. Tom brought his friend Colin along to make his debut, and he opened the scoring (and added at least one more - diving header, no less) before leaving early. Vince scored a bunch, cashing in on some niaive White team defending and Tom (Shaggy) making his first appearance in the White goal (and holding his own... not literally, because he would have struggled to make the saves he did if he'd been actually holding his own. I digress.)

The Blue team were certainly the more attractive team to watch - when they were in the middle of the park. Their attacks, however, stemmed from long balls into the final third for Vince and Rocco to run on to. The Whites continued to use the wings while Dan would sometimes stroke through an immaculate pass beyond the defenders for me to miss, over-run, shoot wide, trip over and generally arse-up. Scott P played a little deeper, Tom a little wider, Shaun a little earlier than usual, Tim a little later (post vacation soreness.)

FINAL SCORE: Both teams got at least six each. Then it all gets a little confused, what with offside goals and all. Opinion was that the White team won.

Man-of-the-match: Tom (Shaggy) (White) - took on the goalkeeping mantle and (probably) steered his team to a win.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Barring any calls to the wife from her office at flippin' 6:30am this Sunday, I'll be there and keen to make up for lost time. A DNP (wife's decision) doesn't look good on my resume.

8:30am kick off. 95 in the shade. And it's about time the Whites took a win. Besides, those white shirts really bring out the tan.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


As you are probably noticing right about... now, I'm not there playing alongside you this morning. If anyone wants to submit a match report, it would be appreciated.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The best news for the White team, still reeling for their humiliating 10-0 whupping last Sunday is that goalkeeper Doug will be AWOL this week. A shoot-on-sight policy will be in place, so bring plenty of balls to account for the ones that will end up:

* killing innocent people running laps

* last seen heading down Route 80

* in snake-infested woodland

* in snakes (like when they eat really big things and you can see the lump in their bodies. Eww!)

* punctured by thorns

* crashing through stained glass windows of nearby churches during the sermon

* damaged when re-entering the atmosphere

* embedded in the windshields of cars driving past

* popped due to powerful, swerving shots that end up in the goal, hit by well-endowed strikers in white shirts (with #6 on the back)

Also: bring ball boys/girls. Which also means: bring dollars to pay them.

8:30 - the turf at WHS. Leave nothing on the field (seriously... it just makes a mess.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


A lack of communication - not to mention the lack of a goalkeeper - led to a rare shutout as the Blue Team ran up a 10-0 victory over a white team who were lost for words.

It still surprises me how little teammates talk to each other during a WSS game. We're all friends. We all speak the same language. Today's game was a fine illustration of where communication would have changed things around.

Every White attack it seemed went to Jake on the left wing. While Jake is a fine player and all, the main reason he got the ball so often is because he was the only one asking for it.

That's not to say the Blue team's 10-0 win was down to better communication. And while not trying to take anything away from it, every Blue shot was a precise through-ball that split the White defence and had the Blue forward one-on-one with a non-goalkeeper in the White goal. Even Rocco got two! For the love of Jolie!

Even with almost 20 minutes of extra time (that is, time played beyond 10:30) the Whites managed maybe two shots on target. And maybe only six more off target. In nearly two-and-a-half hours. That's rubbish. It was said the Whites have played worse on previous Sundays and still won. Now the Gatorade has worn off, I can't back that up with actual facts.

The Blue offside trap was far from at its best and was ripe to be picked and chewed up. And yet none of the multitude of White forwards crouched on the line ready to be sprung were asking for the ball. And with 13-a-side, there wasn't time to dither on the ball before getting a swift kick in the shins/nuts/thigh. Keith was struggling to maintain discipline across the Blue Curtain. Bobby wasn't 100%, and the heat was taking it out on Rich and Dr. Sal when he was at the back.

There were some very heavy legs, due to a midweek outing for many of the players on both sides, and the conditions were perfect... for lying down with a sangria and watching girls go by. It wasn't pretty, but it was a good excuse to get out of the house.

FINAL SCORE: Blues 10 Whites 0

Man-of-the-match: Rocco (Blue) - two goals and beat the White offside trap time and again.

Monday, July 7, 2008


After the bizzarrary of last Sunday morning's clash, normal service could resume this coming Sunday.

Right now, it's as hot as two rats on the job in a wool sock in Kansas City in August, so I can't see beyond an 8:30am start. It was appreciated last week.

Also worth mentioning from a Keeblewatch point of view is that, if the game was today I wouldn't play. My thigh feels like a hyper-extended rubber band. But I did find my white shirt, which is something. I guess (but at least 12 white-shirt-regulars might disagree.)

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Never has a 6-0 lead been less representative of the evenness of a game at WSS level.

While the eventual full-time result was more like 7-3, the Blue team's lead was down to a lot of luck at both ends of the field, and a legendary performance from a goalkeeper more usually found in central defense.

Yes, with Doug missing, presumed fishing, Keith H was the difference in keeping the Blue team's lead as big as it was. It should be noted he only let in one goal - a thunderbolt from Jay - during his tour of duty guarding the porker's fishnets.

On evidence of the play and on paper, the White team should really have kept the game competitive. A forward line and midfield consisting of Jay, Dan, Ed, Jake, Scott P and Mo, to name the major players, have never struggled more as a collective to stick one in the onion. The three goals they managed by the time this reporter went home with a thigh strain were a combination of frustation and hitting the ball right on the screws by Dan and Jay. All three shots screamed in like RPGs and went RPG (Right Past the Goalie.)

Meanwhile the Blues took their chances, and while the size of the lead may have flattered them somewhat, Mark Miller would have had four if he had a left foot, Jerry would have had nine if he was an inch or two taller, Frank would have had a hat trick if the goal had been an inch or two taller, and Keeble would have netted two more (to add to his meager lone strike that opened the scoring) if he wasn't a 250lb snackmeister still hungover from the three pints of gin and tonic he sank as he hypocritically celebrated the 4th of July just days earlier. Oh, and Rocco should have had a bunch, but that goes without saying.

The addition of Juan, a ringer that arrived with Dan (and that should have been a clue he can play,) on the wing opened up avenues for the Blue forwards to cash in on. The White defenders, marshaled by John G, Rich, Tim M and sometimes Dr. Sal (when he wasn't playing as a striker) were heavily reliant on an offside trap that was increasingly dangerous given the manpower the Blue team was devoting to scoring and the lapses that led to some scrambling to recover.

Another big plus for the Blue team was Mike M and Scott R playing in defense. As two of the best athletes on the field were devoting their skills to spoiling White attacks, the Blues obviously gained an edge. An edge the size of a small car.

Tempers flared up as the Whites tried everything bar running Keith over with his own scooter to try and get the ball in the Blue goal. They were never going to boil over, but with the Blues racking up goals against the run of play, the Whites were running out of ideas. The lackadaisical wing play of suspiciously-under-30-year-old Jake, normally the bane of any fullback who he goes up against, summed up the first hour-and-a-half of the White's game.

The pace of the game slowed considerably, but in equal measure as the game petered out. On another day, the scores could have been reversed and nobody could have complained.

FINAL SCORE: Blues 7 Whites 3 (by the time I left at 10:40)

Man-of-the-match: Keith - a cross between Spiderman and an octopus in goal.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Celebrate the red, WHITE and BLUE with a soccer festival for the ages this Sunday.

While some players are going to be at the shore, fishing, or just too drunk/hungover to function there should still be enough of a turn out to enjoy the forecasted humidity. Speaking for myself, the 8:30am start is working well and everyone seems to be making it on time (with the exception of Shaun who barely makes it for 10:30am if at all) so if you're reading this, assume we will be on for an early start again.

After the dust bowl/goose shit haven/grass-in-patches delights of Trap, this game will take place on the turf.

PS. I know it's called Independence Day, but independence from whom?

PPS. I just found out. Should I be concerned?

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Another impressive turnout, even with the early start saw an exciting game back in the old 'hood of Trap Hagen's hallowed grass.

Yes, there was some hallowed grass on the field. More than when we played there regularly. But to be fair, most of the greenness was down to a mix of clover and other weeds and, while the goal area at one end was lush and verging on overgrown, the opposing goal was patchy at best, and parts of the midfield were billiard ball smooth. Then again, what are we? Synthetic Herbivores?

Ah, Trap! How we love you!

Several players took the change of venue, and a somewhat lighter-hearted attitude that comes with playing what is the closest to an away game as WSS will ever have, as a chance to experiment with their team colors. Among those that joined the team they would normally be playing against were Hock and Mark Miller, wearing white, while Keeble put on his blue shirt for probably only the second time since leaving Trap for Waldwick High in 2006.

The Blues got off to a flying start and by the time the White team registered their first shot on goal (a shot that went in - a Dan special that bent past Doug in the Blue goal) they were already down by four. Scott R played as an out-and-out striker, backed up by the muscle of Vince and some neat wing play from Dimos. The white defenders tried hard to maintain an offside trap, led by their Blue Team defector Hock, but it was caught out time and again, albeit with a few dubious calls in the mix. Doug's booming goal kicks were tormenting the white back line and his command of his area was leaving the white strikers praying for a mistake. Even when a rare shot beat the 'keeper, the frame of the goal bailed out the Blue team with no less than three certain goals pinging off the crossbar and away to safety.

When Steve opted out of the White goal and took up a position at right back, Justin went between the pipes for the Whites and with some unconventional play managed to stem the gaping holes the Blues were exploiting. That change gave the Whites the chance to pull back a few goals, led by Scott P, Tom D and Dan (again.)

The heat was intense, and when play was called at 10:30 there were few complaints, even from the Whites who were in touch of pulling out a win that had looked unlikely for the first hour of play.

Final Score - Whites 8 Blues 6

Man-of-the-match: Doug. A goalkeeping clinic and several assists with his long goal kicks.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The early forecast for Sunday is hot and wet, so I think an 8:30 start is probably in order. It doesn't seem to be affected attendance in any way, so why not?

I will be there anxious to make up for the end of my Lou Gehrig-esque run of consecutive games that came to an end last Sunday because I couldn't get someone to watch the kids that early on a Sunday. I also intend to start a Joe DiMaggio-esque run of games where I score, starting in this next game and ending when I'm Frank's age and considering retirement.

"The REAL Iron Man"


As I wasn't playing (although I was there) I won't be filing a match report. I'm hoping Hock can come up with something. In the meantime, here's an action shot.

Bucky, Bobby, Doug and Keith anxiously await the corner kick as Tom feels the squeeze.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

WSS HALL OF FAME: #1 Babak Azimi

Anybody who played on the same field as Babak Azimi will have some fond memories of the Iranian striker.

I haven't done the research into whether the offside rules are the same in Iran as the rest of the world, but Babi's entire career with Waldwick Senior Soccer would indicate they are either wildly different or non-existent. Or, more likely, Babi just didn't pay attention to them.

A typical blue attack from 2003-2006 would build from the middle, lead to a through-ball or cross, and then deflate as the ball reached Babi. He would either jump for the ball, shielding his face with his arms and commit a handball, swing a leg at the cross with his eyes closed and miss with unintentional comedy timing, or tap the ball in unmarked - because he was at least twelve yards offside.

Oh, how the White defenders loved him as they stood there, arms in the air in a line as Babi ruined attack after attack with his very loose grasp of what "offside" actually meant.

And how the Blue midfielders hated him as chance after chance went begging when the ball ended up at his feet (or hands.) All this combined with the most glamorous pair of silver cleats on the field. He would say they were the only ones in his size when he tried to buy a pair in Times Square at three in the morning. All they did was draw attention to his runs and their glaring color meant it was easy to track exactly how far his toes were behind the last defender when the ball was played to him.

That said, then there were the times when he couldn't miss. On his day, he was more than just a garbageman, picking up rebounds (though he could certainly do that too.) He would skip and dance by defenders and tuck shots past the 'keeper with precision - just making the Blue midfielders curse him more. He could do it when the mood took him, but his happy-go-lucky demeanor meant he would blow hot and cold from week to week.

And yet, despite all the animosity towards Babi during a game, there was no player more affable off the field. He was always smiling, always laughing, always offering praise and reassurances after misses while just shrugging his shoulders after one of his own tame shots dribbled wide.

At the final whistle of Babi's last game at Waldwick High, before he upped and moved to the West Coast, he was presented with a pair of linesman's flags signed by Blue and White team alike before we headed to Nellie's for drinks. He is the only player WSS have honored in this way.

In 2006, just before his move, someone who worked with Babi and who knew he played soccer, asked a WSS player: "Is Babi a good player?" The reply was: "He's a great guy." On his day, he was both.

When he turned up out of the blue for a one-off appearance while back on the East Coast he proved he hadn't lost any of the abilities that made him a WSS legend. And he will always be welcome to take the field with us again.

Monday, June 16, 2008


There's no way I will be at the game next Sunday (on the turf, 8:30 start to avoid the xxxtreme heat) unless the kids age 20 years and move out before Saturday night. Therefore we have two job vacancies:

WHITE TEAM STRIKER WANTED! Must be able to miss chances from more than two feet, trip over ball while attempting to control it, chase ball like headless chicken but with even more futility. English accent preferred (though camp stereotypical gay accent acceptable - not many people can tell the difference.) Experience of keeping account of goals scored (by self, not team) essential. Under 270lbs and 6ft, please bring blue shirt just in case.

MATCH DAY REPORTER WANTED! Must be able to recall memorable match day incidents for reporting later in the day. Must be able to insult everyone without making it sound like you are. Writing experience required (though if you can write your own name, you are probably overqualified.) Blue team perspective welcomed, just to see how the other half lives.

Applications for both positions welcomed!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Last week was hot, this week was a joke.

As sweat dripped on to an already slick field, the white team threatened to run away with things in a 14-a-side match up. But when cooler heads called time on the perspiration fest, the blue team had pulled within striking distance of a huge comeback.

It might have been a day for father's but the heat was a mother. The white team shot out of the blocks and at one point led 6-1. This was down to a couple of reasons - the five man forward line that was tormenting a defense that couldn't cope, and the rub of the green in front of goal. Three of the first four goals the whites scored were:

1) an own goal
2) a cross from Dan that drifted into the far corner
3) a deflection off Keeble's gut from about an inch-and-a-half

Speaking of Dan, he was unstoppable. Yes, the ball fell to him often, but his finishing was unsurpassed.

While the white team had a combination of John and Ken guarding the onion bag, Doug took up his usual stance on the 25 yard line as the last line of defense. This cavalier approach to keeping paid off - none of the goals he conceded came from outside the area (except one that was disallowed when Doug was checking on the health of a fallen Keeble and some opportunist stabbed one in from the 30.)

Perhaps it was the heat, perhaps it was the rush of testosterone caused by the annual celebration of manliness. Perhaps it was because we were playing in humidity soup on a field slicker than a Hockenbeck backheel. Whatever the reason, the injuries piled up thick and fast.

Bobby, still wearing his badge of honor and sporting a shiner from last week's incident, started the game walking wounded, but finished with a flourish. That couldn't be said for Keith nor Jody who limped off after falling and neither returned. Bilow, so often at the wrong end of a rash challenge, managed to survive but took his time getting up at least six times.

Talking of Bilow, he was just one of six Johns on the field of play today. Aside from Bilow, there was John, John, John, John and John. Surely some kind of record!

Despite the superiority, the blues nearly came a cropper. Led by Scott's booming shots (as always) and Moe, the general in the middle of the field leading by example, the scores were nearly level after an hour at 7-6. By full time, at the point where only the strongest pack mules weren't ready to pass out, the score was 11-7 in favor of the whites. It was certainly a poor reflection of what seemed to be an evenly-matched game.

Final Score - Whites 11 Blues 7 (more or less... it might have been 8)

Man-of-the-match: Dan. At least 4 goals, and every one a cracker.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Gentlemen -

We, as fathers*, get one day a year. This Sunday is our day.

If your wife/the mother of your children doesn't wake you up with a bacon sandwich, coffee, a good ******* (though there's no such thing as a bad one), then clean your turf shoes and give you a playful slap on the butt as you leave for the field and promise they'll help you wash all the sweat off when you come home after the game, they are committing a FELONY and should be reported to the nearest FBI headquarters for re-conditioning.

It might be worth considering an 8:30 start too, given that it's currently hotter than the surface of the sun and that's unlikely to change all week. Ball boys/girls get paid double if there's a heat advisory warning in effect. Grandfathers get a two-goal bonus prior to kick-off.

Might I also add that I am in the midst of my longest goal-scoring drought in a calendar year (two successive games without scoring... not even a rebound from six inches) and that this WILL be rectified on Sunday (probably with a rebound from six inches.)

* If you are not yet a father, there's still time to at least be a father-to-be, and that would count. Good hunting.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Only mad dogs and Englishmen, so they say, go out in the midday sun.

It wasn't midday, but there were plenty of mad dogs and one Englishman on display in such intense heat, most area thermometers turned in their badges.

A full compliment of players made for a lot of entertaining and a constant commentary of how effing stupid we are playing in 90+ degree heat at a time when most people our age are still in bed. After Keeble missed his fifth glorious chance in the first five minutes, he considered a return to bed quite seriously.

Meanwhile, Keeble's brother-in-law, the flame-haired Bobby, was causing havoc and ended his debut with two goals - one a six inch tap-in and one a feat of real skill and a placed finish. This will be his last appearance in a WSS match as I'm not asking him back again, unless he wears white.

Doug in the blue goal put on a masterclass. If he was Portuguese, or some other Europeanese, there is no doubt he would be playing in Euro 2008 right now instead of Waldwick. Jay was denied at least twice; a point blank save with his gut and a finger tip over the bar were the best of a fine bunch.

Dr. Sal, meanwhile, earned his stripes in the campaign. Though still prone to laying down in the middle of plays to stretch his hamstrings, he donned a headscarf and administered his medical touch when Bobby, the stalwart Blue defender, went down after a clash of heads with a third-degree concussion and lost fourteen pints of blood. Naturally, being Bobby, he went back to his car for a bit of a sit down, then returned to action five minutes later, albeit patched up by the good Doc.

As Sal played M*A*S*H, Jay was mashing in goals from all angles. The onion bag was calling as he ripped in shot after shot that ripped into the corners. Kevin also put in a note-worthy performance in the white goal as he kept the score down and provided many long balls for the white forwards to cash in on.

The quality was right up there, which considering the conditions was astonishing.

A draw was a fair result. But we don't do fair, so we played until the Blues scored the decider and then most sensible people went home. Bobby M was last to leave to field, angry he had been denied five minutes of playing time with his injury that earned him a purple heart for being wounded in action.

FINAL SCORE: Blue 5 White 4

Man-of-the-match: Doug. Jesus saves... but Doug has a better command of his area.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


As Joe has informed everyone via e-mail, after a few disruptions and trips back to the old 'hood (the ploughed fields of Trap Hagen) we are now back to 9am starts every Sunday at Waldwick High until further notice.

Also note, while I am playing on Sunday morning I cannot risk an injury as I've promised Bob Bradley I will be available for selection for the USA against Argentina on Sunday night. This despite me being: 1) a bit shit and 2) not actually a US citizen. That said, if Landon Donovan is out with a sore arse or something, I'm ready and my arse is in perfect shape (in fact it's the shape and size of a hot air balloon.)

Keeble #6
First member of the "WSS 4,000 Goal Club"

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Good news! Waldwick Senior Soccer is alive and kicking!

Bad news! That was at 10:30 this morning! Several players are now in hospital nursing heat stroke, sunburn (mainly to balding extended foreheads) and arthritis!

Indeed, on a day where an early start didn't bode well an unexpected full-sided game broke out, along with some spectacular goals, the return of some old fan-favorites and a record thirty-nine disputed offside calls.

In other words, business as usual for the blue and white.

Picture the scene - 8:30am and already 85 degree in the shade. Six old men who should have been getting ready for church ask themselves: "Why are we here?" The prospect of three-on-three fun (and not in a freaky-naughty way) loomed and the lacrosse goals were dragged across the field.

By 9am, just after Vince showed up with a "huh?" written all over his face, we had a 12 v 12 soccer game underway in the soaring heat. It took eight months, but this was what it's all about.

Early exchanges were marred by reports FIFA were investigating the birth certificate of a 4'9" midfielder who swore he was 30 - and so did his dad - but after he took the ball off Frank for the fifth time, he was welcomed with open arms and the FIFA investigators sent back to Geneva to eat Toblerones and make cuckoo clocks.

Further early incidents were not pretty with a ringer, who nobody invited to play and only lasted 10 minutes anyway, nearly got into fisty-fisty with Dimos. Equally unattractive, but more typical of proceedings, was Keeble's opening goal - a sliding-bottom-of-the-left-cleat-dribbler into the back of the granny's hairnet from four inches to open the White account for the day. Sadly it was the last time the ball would pass Doug in the blue goal for about an hour, when he let one more in thus amassing his total of goals conceded for the day.

Far more attractive was the return of Romario, fresh from Guantánamo Bay. Unfortunately, his parole stipulated he wasn't allowed to score, run or pass the ball, so he was denied glory on his welcome comeback. John Bilow's return was also both a blessing and long-overdue. On the downside he couldn't add a spectacular goal to his comeback performance, but he was able to walk off the field unassisted at full time which has to be a plus given his history of injuries.

Joe also made a return to shore-up the blue backline, but any compliments about his game would have to be offset by the gaseous discharges coming from his rectum. When a flock of geese flew overhead and tried to crap on him, they weren't being mean - they were trying to join in, but didn't have Joe's control skills.

While Scott was pounding in a barrage of goals into a largely unguarded white net, Frank's infamous Doctor Sal managed to injure every part of his body and was as effective as a wool condom as the minutes ticked away. Bound by his hippocratic oath of doctor-patient confidentiality he was able to pass to Frank, but not tell him the pass was coming. And while he doesn't take Medicare, he is clearly a friend of the Blue Cross/Blue Shirt network, such were his number of passes to those players on the opposite team. A determined Doctor Sal played to the bitter end, but should probably take his own advice and take a couple of Advil and go to bed for a week or two before attempting another comeback.

Oh, and here's a note to all the blue and white defenders alike:

Commiting an Offside Offence
A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:

interfering with play
interfering with an opponent
gaining an advantage by being in that position

Hope that clears things up for you, chaps.

FINAL SCORE (more or less): Blue Team 6 White Team 2

Man-of-the-Match: SCOTT (Blue) - Hat-trick and sarcastic abuse for all.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spot The Difference Contest

Can you spot the difference between these two pictures? If not, you haven't worn a blue shirt and tried to latch on to a through ball recently...

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Next Sunday's game will either be at Waldwick High at 8:30 (early start - we have to be off the field by 10:30) or at Ramsey High if neither we, nor Ramsey, can field two full-strength teams and we will combine.

This is, as of now, the last game time to be affected and from now on all games will be 9-11am at Waldwick High.

If you are reading this, and WILL be available for the game next Sunday, please add a comment saying so. It will help us keep track (we hope - this is something of an experiment.)


Pre-Memorial Day match report? Or Memorial to the once-mighty Waldwick Senior Soccer Association? You decide.

With expectations high for a good turn-out in glorious sunshine and low humidity, it was the same familiar faces making up the 6-a-side-lacrosse-goals session this Sunday, leaving many fans and players asking: "Why?"

"This is bullshit," said* Keith Hockenbeck. "What more do people want? Beer and strippers? Where is everyone?"

The sentiment was mirrored in the confused faces of the 10 regulars who showed up expecting more (plus Frank's doctor and some other guy who was recruited from the running track.)

The game itself was played at second gear pace at best. The blue team dominated with counter-attacks as the white team huffed and puffed but couldn't get the job done. Frank's doctor managed to pull a muscle with his first touch ("Someone call a doc... oh, wait...) and the injury appeared to affect his hearing and reflexes as he seemed unable to understand/resist the temptation to pick the ball up when placed in goal. He also couldn't produce a note explaining Frank's absence, meaning he was probably fishing down the shore.

Scott Rosner was at the heart of every blue attack, but as the game wore on every blue player got involved. Keith, often sweeping from end to end, scored the most memorable goal of the game when his first attempt bounced post-to-post hockey style before bouncing back to him for a tidy finish. His final tally was at least two, two more than he's ever scored in a full-sided game in 47 years of playing the beautiful game.

Meanwhile the whites refused to tidy up their game with loose passing (Keeble a culprit), a lack of hustle in the final third (again!) and a continued belief that a shot on goal has to be hit as hard as possible with as much finesse as a tackle from John Gilchrist. The blue goal was under-threat a lot less from the white shots than the joggers and low-flying aircraft.

The heat took its toll, even on a shortened pitch, and when the cries of "next goal wins" went up, the blues scored it through their on-loan jogger/winger Carlos. The white team applauded the game had ended, regardless of the result.

FINAL SCORE Blues 9 White 5 (Blues also taking the scorer-takes-all golden goal)

* "said" is used ambiguously. He didn't "say" it so much as "probably thought it."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Bonus

Here's a low-quality photo of a high quality player, just because it's Friday.

BREAKING NEWS! Howard! Duck!

Howard Post (the guy who wore those sports glasses at Trap that time and cut his nose) is promising to return to action this Sunday after a lengthy lay-off (not nose-injury related.) For those of you yet to meet him, on the field he has some talent and will "fit right in" with the rest of us.

Monday, May 19, 2008


WSS returns to Waldwick High's turf this Sunday at 9am. Joe has suggested the possibility of playing on Monday too. Will post more info as/if it is received.


(Adam Keeble was unavailable for this match due to self-inflicted injury involving pizza and Coors Light. Keith Hockenbeck therefore graces the blog in a manner similar to that which he graces the field - smooth, non-nonsense, and with a lack of respect towards Frank.)

No drama, no blood drawn, no physical or obvious mental injuries to report.

Enjoyable 6v6 game under sunny skies on the short field with the sweet aroma of 2-day old mown grass in the air. A new phenomona: Spectators! A league game on the large field was in progress as we filed 2 by 2 onto our smaller pitch. These spectators, too old to play alongside the league players but old enough to identify with the Waldwick Senior Soccer Association, were anxiously dribbling and passing a ball amongst themselves on our sidelines hoping to be called into action but alas, we denied them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join in. We greedily guarded our field & game *.

It was a high scoring game, fairly even, I lost count of the goals after 8 or so. Notible was a hat trick by Mark Miller ** and several missed scoring opportunites by Vince who seemed to have gathered some rust over the past few weeks. Frank brought along a guest player who was, aptly, his doctor. Fortunately, and as earlier reported, no need for his services were required.

* "You don't pay, you don't play. That's the rule, gramps."
** THE Mark Miller?

Monday, May 12, 2008


The game on Sunday 5/18 will be 9am at Trap, subject to change.

Game Review: 5/11

It was all-white on the night when a rare united front saw white and blue shirts merge into some kind of cyan super team to take on a team of young whippersnappers from Waldwick High.

With both teams playing with home advantage, and a truly partisan crowd (consisting of substitutes), there would only be one winner - the beautiful game.

But the actual winner was the kids. And the only losers were the moms, sitting home waiting for their Mother's Day breakfast in bed that would end up being 1) cold and 2) a Mother's Day brunch at best.

The WSS line-up was the stuff dreams are made of, even with goalkeeper Doug joining the teens and guarding their onion bag (and also raising the average age of their team from 16 to 35.)

While the legendary Blue Wall were wearing white shirts, there was no mistaking the cool, calm, shiny heads of the defensive pairing of Keith and Bobby. Midfield General Ed was replaced by Midfield General Ted. So slick was the transition, nobody noticed. Even the fabled "Tom and Jerry" forward line of... well, Tom and Jerry... was restored. This was truly a day that, in years to come, those who participated would say: "I was there - and I've still got the sun burn to prove it."

The early exchanges were more even than most would have expected. The starting line-up, so familiar with each others' game, refused to let the high schoolers get a rhythm going. The blues took the lead, but parity was soon restored when Tom, skinning the fullback as though it was his own son (it was) skipped through and beat the 'keeper at his near post.

In a day of rare events, something called "half time" arrived, mainly so the kids could get their breath back. The score was about 3-1 to the teens.

After the restart, the score began to slip-out of the WSS's collective grasps. Frank (playing in what can only be described as a "left" position) would blame the lack of coordination and cooperation, with so many changes affected any kind of passing game. Cooler heads would point to the lack of any kind of WSS midfield player for long periods of time along with defenders playing as forwards. While Steve in the WSS goal pulled off spectacular save after save, parrying shots away with his #1 FAN foam-hand-like appendages, he's only one man. The score got to about 6-1 to the kids, and the heat was taking its toll.

But just as the teens had their young legs, acne and wet dreams, the older, wiser heads had the edge in male-pattern baldness, cholesterol and tactics. It was time to get smart.

Critics may well get all preachy about the long-ball punts upfront, saying it's hardly the kind of soccer that wins over the neutrals. Well, bugger the neutrals. When WSS United switched to a more direct route, dividends were found instantly and while there is no "I" in TEAM there is in "WIN" - and these kids didn't realize that.

Scott Perkins, with his height and pace was latching on to booming goal kicks with ease as they soared over nine of the high schoolers eleven players, leaving the WSS with a four-on-two advantage time after time. It was only a matter of time before it paid off. An expert Perkins cross hit WSS #6 Keeble squarely in the right eye socket, then rebounded off a teenage defender's hairless body and right on to Keeble's shoelaces. Bang, thank you, goodnight. 6-2.

The kids of today don't learn, and while they continued to huff and puff, the veterans raised their game still further. Mark Miller continued his streak of covering every blade of artificial turf in every game he plays, and as John "The 10:15 train is now arriving at Platform Shin" Gilchrist scared the bejesus out of the teenagers more than A Nightmare on Elm Street ever did, the tide was turning. WSS captain and player-manager-elect Rocco ignored taunts of "grandpa" from opposing players (including his son, who should know better. Really!) and ripped up the flank like it was so much old carpet. Another defensive lapse, as the kids were probably discussing homework or girls or something, and it was 6-3.

On the back of this momentum, the tide had turned, wrecked the kids' sandcastles, and the neutrals (the people running around the track listening to their iPods) could only see one winner - the WSS Machine. There was only one course of action for the teens to take - surrender. The coach called them off (blaming the "games end after 90 minutes" rule) and gifted WSS United a win by default.

FINAL SCORE (somewhere in the region of): Waldwick High Kids 6, WSS United 8 (including a five goal bonus for the default victory)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sunday 5/11 UPDATE

The game will still be at Waldwick High, but start at 8:30 and we will be playing the high school team. First to get there get a starting spot.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Match Day 5/11

This Sunday, WSS plays at Waldwick High School. 9-11am.

On May 18, we play at Traphagen, 9-11am.