As many of The Index readers know, Spencer MacDonald ‘15 regularly takes on athletes at K in their respective sports and loses. This week we tried to build his confidence back up so I, Nick Marsh the golfer, played him in his sport, soccer. Spencer will tell you that he beat me, but that is a completely fabricated lie.
First off, I have never played soccer before in my life. I watch the Premier League every weekend and play my fair share of FIFA, though, so I’d say I was pretty prepared to play Spencer.
To begin with, Spencer lied to me about the time we were meeting to play so he could say I never showed and claim victory by forfeit. However, I got to Anderson six hours early just in case he planned to cheat. Spencer cannot be trusted.
Before we started rules were established that there would be no slide tackling, no handballs and no penalties. Before the match was over, Spencer had broken all three of these rules.
Being a good sport, I let Spencer start with the ball. He attempted to dribble around me and tripped over his own feet. He stood up and immediately called for a penalty, breaking his own rule. He scored and took the early lead 1-0.
I brought the ball out from my own goal and before I could get halfway to Spencer’s goal he came in with such an aggressive slide tackle that it forced me to crash down on the hardwood gym floor. This brought out a yellow card from match referee, K Soccer Coach Lumumba Shabazz. Coach Shabazz, without even seeing the tackle, sprinted from his office upstairs down to the gym just to award Spencer his well-deserved yellow card.
On the ensuing free kick Spencer caught the ball with his hands, a blatant handball. He broke all of his own rules. I was furious. Spencer then somehow dribbled through my brick wall defense and scored again to make it 2-0.
As I brought the ball out a second time, Spencer’s slide tackle was less of a slide tackle and more of a football tackle. It brought an immediate red card from Coach Shabazz, and successfully sealed victory for me. So don’t listen to Spencer when he tells you he finally won a “Spencer Vs.”, the truth is he cheated, got disqualified, and I won this round.
At this point in time, it is my immense honor to announce that, for the first time in my Spencer Vs. career, I have won a challenge. Now, I fully expect this to set off a fevered madness and celebration amongst my fans that has not been felt since prohibition was demolished, but I would like everyone to please refrain from rioting. That’s not the image that I want to portray. Actually, riot all you want, this is one of the greatest moments in sports history.
This historic victory came against an unlikely opponent in Kalamazoo College sophomore golfer Nick Marsh. The twist to this matchup was that Nick was adamant in his request that we play soccer against each other, rather than golf. I was skeptical at first. Nick’s insistence on playing the sport I was most comfortable with set off major red flags and I at first speculated that he was living some sort of double life and playing soccer for the United States national team. Luckily, this was far from the case.
Nick and I met at Anderson Athletic Center to play a little indoor soccer. As I began my pregame warm up ritual, I looked across the gym to watch Nick getting ready. Nick was darting around the gym, obviously faking out imaginary defenders, with the soccer ball securely tucked under his arm. After going over and carefully explaining that you could not touch the ball your hands, I strode away feeling much more confident while Nick muttered under his breath “What kind of stupid sport is this?”
Now, was this game filled with controversy? Quite possibly. Did I make some very unnecessary side-tackles? Absolutely. The most important takeaway here, however, is that I emerged victorious. My defensive strategy was quite simple when Nick started dribbling the ball towards me. I took a running leap and dove feet first into him. If I got the ball, well, great. But if I got Nick’s ankles, even better. I scored my first three goals by casually dribbling into the goal while Nick was writhing on the ground in pain.
After that, I pledged to play a cleaner game and the results started evening out. Without my physical play, Nick was able to net a quick one, bringing the score to three to one. However, on my next two possessions I executed two stunning flops, earning two penalties for the win.
I have no ethical dilemma with the way I won this game. I did what needed to be done and Nick’s injuries were just a by-product of the bigger picture; I won a Spencer Vs. matchup. I guess whatever helps me sleep at night.