So I was away from the sensation that is Circle Rules Football (quick video summary) for a brief spell while I was out in California. But it continued, without me, and I returned to it triumphant both on Sunday for some pickup games and for a league game on Wednesday evening.
SUNDAY GAME - GAME 1
The first small-rules pick-up game was, basically, a shut-out. My temporary team for the afternoon, Sobe Beverage Company, dominated quick and early. My roommate, Bret, was playing his first game and scored the opening goal in the first minute or so, with a quick swing around the key and the ball knocked in. Bret went on to score three goals, although only two of them was for our own team.
I personally scored two goals, including the winning goal -- a beautiful moment; the ball was kicked by someone else to the goal, but came to a halt on the goal line. Since in Circle Rules Football you can't touch the ball in the center of the key, it was stalled -- until I took two steps back, and leaped head-first into the key.
SUNDAY GAME - GAME 2
A big-rules game between Paralysis (my team) and Death -- and it was a brutal one, a real brutal one. Because of effective goalies, there was a long time between goals, each side wearing down slowly and carving out a goal here and there. This, on top of the 85 degree heat, made for one of the closer matches. I got a couple goals in myself, but the margin never really exceeded two goals up.
At the end of the game, Paralysis eked out a close victory, largely fueled on the three dominating forces of Greg Manley (who only invented the sport), Raymond, and Nate -- two of which are on my league team, so it left me feeling pretty good.
WEDNESDAY GAME - LEAGUE GAME
My team, The Slow Polks, came into the game with 3 losses and 3 wins. The early losses came from team disorganization early in the season, when we didn't know each other, many of us were in the process of graduating, and we often had trouble fielding enough teammates on the field. Since then, we'd been on an unbroken winning streak. That, plus America's win at the cup, had me feeling pretty good about the game.
The other team, The Aristocracy, was now in that position - they could only field five players and a goalie, which is awfully light. Meanwhile, our team had thirteen players on the team (and our "mom" who sat on the bench cutting orange wedges for us).
Let it not be said, however, that there was some sort of a shut-out. Early in the first half, the score was 10-4 in our favor, but as the Aristocracy began to catch on to some of our tactics, they staged a quick insurgent comeback, taking advantage of some sloppy pass-work and some hesitancy to get in front of the ball. Early in the second half, the score was 10-9, and The Slow Polks realized they had to get their A-game on.
We played hard, as did they, and finally the game wound up as a Slow Polks victory, up by a nice but not ideal margin of about 4 points.
Want to join in with Circle Rules? Pick-up games are come-as-you-are and everyone's-welcome, Sundays at 2PM at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.