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Sport is something ingrained in the Australian culture. As a child growing up in a warm climate, you find yourself outdoors most of the time. When you begin playing with friends you always wind up with either a cricket bat and ball, soccer ball, football, netball or basketball. Basically there are lots of ball sports occurring in your front or back yard.
Playing touch football every week is something my Fiancée has done since he was a sprout and something I’ve taken up in the last four years and really loved. I like to think of it as ‘forced-cardio’.
Moving to London we have been on the lookout for a touch football competition we could join. Matt has recently tracked one down and signed us both up as two individual players seeking a team – but hold on? Doesn’t this sound a bit desperate and dateless? ‘Two young, semi-athletic Australians seek football team. Must be experienced and willing to try new things’.
Thankfully there were a number of ‘desperately seeking’ would-be touch football players and we were all put in contact with each other over email to join forces and form a team.
It was decided that we should meet up for a quiet drink first, to get to know each other and discuss abilities etc. So we set a date and agree to meet on a thursday night.
It wasn’t until we were on our way to the pub that both Matt and I realised we had no idea of identifying these people. Should we have arranged some kind of visual signal? “I’ll be the one with a red rose in a book”… what is this? ‘You’ve got mail’!?
It was right about then that it dawned on us, we were going on a blind date – with an entire football team of people.
We entered the pub and decided to do a quick lap to try and identify the team. To be fair I’m not sure what visual signs we were looking for. Should they be wearing football gear or holding up a sign or just looking around eagerly? After one full lap it looked like everyone in the place knew the people they were with very well.
So we ordered a drink each and cast our eyes around the bar, now we just looked like a couple of swingers out on the prowl for the evening. Matt decided to put it on me to approach a group “You’re the girl! Everyone likes the girl”.
That argument has no substance behind it. I didn’t want to approach strangers, I needed to get out of this – fast. “I have man hands. You know it’s true, I don’t want to scare them off with my ape-like palms and unreasonably long fingers. You go”.
In the midst of this intense back and forth a girl with a thick kiwi accent approached and asked “are you here for footy?”. Ah ha! We’re saved! We joined her and a few others at a table and began discussing where we are from, if we have played before and eventually what we thought our team name should be.
Now it is important to note at this point, that I had been plotting all week and coming up with ridiculous team names, purely as a joke and an ice breaker. Among these joke names were; possum magic, the lobsters and croc squad.
When the topic of team names was raised at the table Matt happily chimed in that I had some suggestions. Thanks comrade. All of a sudden all eyes were on me and this group of strangers were waiting to hear and evaluate my suggestions for the name our team will go by. I cleared my throat and said as loudly as I could ‘Croc Squad’.
This was met by complete and total silence, oh no that’s not entirely true because it was also met by baffled looks exchanged between them. The first girl looked at me and said…. “Crotch squad?”. I am mortified. They have misheard me. I did not say “Crotch Squad” I said “Croc Squad”.
There was no recovery here, there was simply no way to recover from that. I could tell that inside, Matt was in fits of hysterics over this little faux pas and could not wait to discuss it later on. Finally the first girl broke the awkward silence with “I’ll just send around an email about it later”.
My first impression in tatters, I left the pub as the girl that said “Crotch Squad” on my football blind date.
Our football season starts at the end of April, we still don’t have a team name so if you have any suggestions let me know.