Ahh...it's a real Indian summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Clear blue skies and warm. Everywhere you look, the warmer earthen hues have dressed our maples and oaks, the beech and the birch, all in shades of gold and red. And the cool dew that blankets the lawn at this time of year is the first harbinger of the youth soccer season in our little corner of the world.
As idylic as it may sometimes be portrayed, life on the "Wet Coast" does come at a price -- particularly if you have a kid playing youth soccer. Now, don't get me wrong -- I don't mind crawling out from under the warmth and comfort of my 1200g European eiderdown quilt, complete with 400-thread sheets (whatever that means) to brave the worst that a spiteful gale might lash me with until I'm a miserable pile of sopping drenchtitude. Really, I don't.
However, there are some aspects of youth soccer that frankly suck. So, tongue mostly in cheek, here are my top 10 reasons that I might not complain too much if I had to have a lie-in late on Saturday morning...
10 - The kids are always stuck playing east - west (instead of the traditional north-south that the big boys get) squinting into the rising morning sun on those clear near-zero mornings, when it's your kid's turn in goal.
9 - As unpractised as players may be at U11, most refs are equally undeveloped -- a totally vexsome but wholly understandable and unavoidable truth.
8 - Geese enjoy crapping on soccer pitches -- seriously, they smile when they do it.
7 - Gravel fields. School boards love them. Kids and geese don't.
6 - Removing snow from pitches manually. With a plastic shovel 30 cm wide. Made somewhere warm where they don't even know what snow is.
5 - Not having a dressing room -- where at least you have some privacy when some bozo coach calls out a kid.
4 - Having to vaccuum up all those damned little black artificial turf peblets that pour out of your kid's cleats all over your white thick-pile carpet.
3 - Just about every pitch in the city is strategically located downwind from the nearest fast-food grease pit.
2 - No concessions. Some enterprising kid could make millions this November selling hot chocolate pitchside.
1 - Travelling two hours on a washed out highway to Squamish to watch your kid squinting into the driving sleet in early December -- and there's no hot chocolate, but plenty of goose crap sprinkled with black pellets, and a ref who'd look good wearing a snowshovel.