Peter Newsom

Soccer: The Universal Language

In My Soccer Friends on November 8, 2008 at 10:33 pm


On my way back from the State Soccer Tournament, in Chattanooga, my dad pulled off the Interstate to show us Swanee: The University of the South. He said it was an excellent school. I agreed that it looked like a nice place – but my stomach had more important priorities. We hadn’t eaten since brunch – and I was starved!

It was late Sunday afternoon – and there was only one restaurant open near the school – and it didn’t look like I would like it. After reminding my dad (20 times) that I was hungry – he finally pulled into a Mexican restaurant – outside of Sewanee. The restaurant was in the middle of nowhere and we only saw a couple of cars out front – so we weren’t even sure if it was open. Luckily, it was – so we went inside.

The hostess showed us to a table and we had a seat near a back window. As I was munching on some chips, I looked out the window and smiled at what I saw. One of the waiters was behind the restaurant and he was kicking an old soccer ball around a tiny little goal. Half-joking, I asked my dad if I could go out there and play soccer with him – and he sad, “Sure…but you have to eat first”.

Well, I probably broke a world speed record eating a quesadilla!

When I finished, I went out back with my 8 year old brother. And when the waiter saw my soccer jersey – he instantly knew what was on my mind. He just smiled and kicked me the ball. Within a matter of minutes, three other employees of the restaurant joined us on the field and before you know it we had already divided up into teams of three. I was on one team and my brother was on the other.

Me passing to my Mi Casa team mate. The cook (not pictured) was playing Goalie on my brothers team.

Me passing to my Mi Casa team mate. The cook (not pictured) was playing Goalie on my brothers team.

The guys were twice my age – but we had a great time! We never spoke a word between each other, because they were speaking Spanish – and I couldn’t – but it didn’t matter. We communicated with our feet, our eyes and our smiles – and we all had a great time. We played to a tie – before my mom and dad said we had to hit the road. We waved goodbye to them and they waved adios to us.

I never learned any of their names and they never learned mine – but I’ll always remember the fun game I played with some friendly guys who obviously love the game as much as I do.


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