The Winner

The Winner

I was watching some little kids play soccer. These kids were only five or six years old, but they were playing a real game – a serious game – two teams, complete with coaches, uniforms, and parents. I didn’t know any of them, so I was able to enjoy the game without the distraction of being anxious about winning or losing – I wished the parents and coaches could have done the same. The teams were pretty evenly matched. I will just call them Team One and Team Two. Nobody scored in the first period. The kids were hilarious. They were clumsy and terribly inefficient. They fell over their own feet, they stumbled over the ball, they kicked at the ball and missed it but they didn’t seem to care. They were having fun. In the second quarter, the Team One coach pulled out what must have been his first team and put in the scrubs, except for his best player who now guarded the goal. The game took a dramatic turn. I guess winning is important even when you’re five years old — because the Team Two coach left his best players in, and the Team One scrubs were no match for them. Team Two swarmed around the little guy who was now the Team One goalie. He was

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