So maybe I should have tried out

I was looking up some of the 40 times from the NFL combine and was interested to see where mine fit in the mix. Turns out my 40 was in between Danny Amendola’s and Wes Welker’s. That’s not a bad comparable. Of course, if I’d actually been able to play at the pro level, I’d probably have post-concussion syndrome or whatever now, so it’s probably just as well that I stuck with soccer. And given that Gordie Lockbaum couldn’t make it – I saw him play against Bucknell once – it’s highly unlikely that I ever could have even with an NFL-caliber 40.

Especially since my vertical was a pathetic 28 inches.

This season started great but got a little shaky when I somehow strained that ligament in my leg that nearly ended my playing career about eight years ago. The cold seems to make it more susceptible, but I’ve learned to take myself out immediately when I feel anything, which seems to help, and I managed to play 12 minutes the next game and about 45 the next. I’m still starting, which is something of a surprise since I’m probably the #3 wing in terms of skill when everyone is there, but I do get back better and play considerably more defense than the other two guys, which I suspect is why I usually get the nod over the other two.

On the one hand, it’s nice to be valued and to see your efforts rewarded with playing time. On the other, it’s incredibly frustrating when the team loses and it’s mostly because your substitute simply can’t run with the opposing wing or do much with the ball when he gets it.

Also, as an ex-sprinter, I’m quite happy to come out after 20-30 minutes, then return in the second half all nice and rested, whereas the guys who grew up on 3-substitution games never want to come out and are reluctant to go back in once they’ve come off.