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Step Into The Arena

250 dollar cleats, a 200 dollar ball, and a perfectly manicured pitch.

That’s all I’d need, and I promise you, I could come off the bench for a top flight European team that’s up 3-1, and needs a number 6 to sure-up the midfield in the 79th minute.

Like the majority of the general public, The Encyclopedia wasn’t groomed at the IMG Academy. I put my time in on bumpy grass fields that weren’t mowed regularly, and torn up football fields that were as hard as a blacktop basketball court.

Naturally, as a former Junior College Athlete, I consider myself in the highly competitive tier shown below.

But shelling out $250 plus for the Legend Elite is an exorbitant amount of coin, so I gravitate toward the more level headed middle ground that is the Legend Pro…shoutouts to all the other Tiempo Guys.

It’s hard enough to compete against yourself, your opponent, and the refs. Now mix in some unforeseen circumstances on the playing field, and you’ve got a curveball Tony Gwynn couldn’t hit.

It was just a couple weeks ago when we landed on the 48th anniversary of 10-Cent Beer night at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. A far cry from the $250 dollar boots pictured above, the cups of Stroh’s were overflowing that night, to the point fans ended up on the field.

Tom Grieve of the Rangers did manage 3 hits and 2 ribbie’s amidst the chaos.

Real G’s fly in silence like gnats.

This time in Cleveland, it was the midges that were airborne. Attacking the players on both sides of the plate in the 2007 ALDS. Not even a full can of Off could quell the onslaught from one of the seven deadly plagues.

Travis Hafner had 2 hits, including the game-winning RBI in the 11th for the Indians.

A tradition unlike any other.

Bills fans have been throwing unmentionables on the field against our arch-rivals since 2016. Although, I don't think the rubber sex-toys have anything to do with the beatdowns that've been occurring on the field lately for the Pats. It's been more about the 53-man roster from Western, New York.

As an athlete, and a writer, when you step into the arena, you never know what you’re gonna get. It doesn’t matter how immaculate the grounds are, or if you’ve got the freshest gear, the game is it’s own Bio-Dome.

Wait, that’s not the right movie reference, this is.

Look at Maximus; beaten and bloodied by the countless battles, and yet he endures within the coliseum.

An unforeseen knife in the back eventually stopped the warrior in his tracks. Last week you learned that the only thing preventing me from posting in 44 consecutive weeks was losing power and Wi-Fi.

This week leaves me with 8 more posts to hit a year. Totaling in five years of writing. I’ve ridden it out, and adapted, but I’m not sure what more I can say to you?

Maybe you’ll love me when I fade to black.

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