Saturday, May 19, 2007

flying ninja soccer kicks--strange weapons!--one more life's goal completed

Back when I was a wee lass writing in my private pink diary, I wrote an entry that went like this:

"Dear Diary, someday I hope I reach a point in my life where I have seen not one, but two brawls near the tail end of a soccer match that have involved the introduction of strange objects employed as weapons, and in which people try and then fail miserably at flying ninja-kicks."

Of course, I never thought this would actually happen, like it did today, suddenly and totally unexpectedly, like a gift from god fallen from heaven, or rather a gift from two groups of middle aged Chinese teachers inexplicably and illogically assembled to play each other in a game soccer. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you about the first time.

It was a special day, and a special moment that left my right foot with a tingling sensation. I was in high school and my JV team was playing Binghamton on their home field. Binghamton was known among everyone on my team--none of whom ever held biased opinions towards anything--as a team of talentless thugs, although still only second best in talentlessness and thuggery when compared to Susquehanna Valley.

One player on my team was named RK (I guess I best keep his full name private) who was one of those kids that just couldn't avoid trouble. I can't remember the specifics of the "trouble" who was involved in, other than that he got into some serious fights and shoplifted a bit and so on--he was just, you know, one of those kids. And I can't remember the specifics of the game, except that it occurred below a giant "JESUS SAVES" sign and my team was winning and at the end of the game something happened and in a sudden a flash there were flying feet and fists and RK was fighting two Vietnamese guys.

The benches cleared--but, I should point out, to stop the fight.

After everyone had calmed down RK walked off to the corner of the field, seething, and yanked out the flagpole.He sure did look scary, waving it around and screaming and yelling, but thankfully somebody somehow got it away from him. Not me. I remained a dispassionate observer throughout the whole affair.

Anyway, fast forward ten years to today, and my match with my new soccer team, the D-------- University Teacher's team. The game ended with a massive brawl instigated by a poor challenge and an even poorer elbow-to-the-head reaction. This time the benches also cleared, but it was more to take part in the fighting than to break it up. Flying kicks flew. They missed. Punches flew and did, in fact, hit. They looked painful, especially because they most were blows to the head. I didn't suffer any blows to the head, however. I stayed watching at a safe distance in the middle of the field, mesmerized and amazed.

After everyone calmed down and cleared off the field, the offending party from the other team suddenly came back with an oddly shaped iron rod (I think he got it from the bathroom) in his right hand, screaming and yelling. Thankfully his teammates intercepted him and dispossessed him of the rod. No one was bludgeoned.

I went home and contemplated the fact that these are professors or teachers at one of the best universities in Sichuan province, playing other professors and teachers. That fight on my JV team was the only one I ever really experienced, and it was generally fairly civilized. I've seen more fights on a soccer field in my last year in China--and they all tend to be pretty vicious--than I have in all the years before combined, and I've been playing soccer since the age of nine.

What's the deal, China?

Well, whatever the deal is, in the end it doesn't really matter. I've never gotten in a fight. And today my wish, written when I was a wide-eyed wee lass all those years ago, finally came true.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous China Law Blog said...

Face. That's the deal.

8:47 AM  
Blogger KMM said...

Shouldn't they lose more face by acting like a bunch of little kids?

Or at least by making truly pitiful attempts at flying ninja kicks?

11:31 PM  
Anonymous doom said...

Every time I saw a street fight in China I did notice lots of flying ninja soccer kick whiffs. I think people who resort to the flying ninja soccer kicks right when the scuffle begins are blowing their load all at once. But the fact somewhere in Chengdu a bathroom is missing a lead pipe bothers me the most about this post.

8:41 PM  

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