After last week’s narrow loss in the cup the Legends were looking forward to testing their mettle against BW Gottschee in a top of the table clash. Their one sided scores this season indicated they had a tough defence with a prolific offense. Fortunately CPR had a strong squad available and a good 4pm kickoff at the favoured Randall’s Island Field #74 after Resnik’s wedding reception the night before.
The game eventually started with the Legends possessing more of the ball but without many shots to take advantage of the late setting sun. BW Gottschee’s plan of deep balls for forwards to run onto was capably kept in check with Belizano organizing the defence. Despite this, the best chance of the half fell to the opposition as a header glanced off the outside of the post. . Half time came with CPR slightly shading the game but with their defence now facing the brutal sun. Strategy was discussed and attacking changes were to be made for the last twenty minutes if the game remained close. But nobody saw what was to come in the second half.
As Gottschee started to realize that this wouldn’t be the cake walk they were used to, the physicality started to increase. The usual banter between teams was going on, but what a frustrated Gottschee started to do was add unpleasant elements to deteriorate the game. Chatting is one thing, but cheap shots started as well as off the ball punches and shoves. The referee tried to pay attention but with so much going on it was hard to keep focused. The Legends tried to maintain composure but dealing with borderline criminal activity made it difficult, as was the referee trying to be even handed but instead encouraging Gottschee to continue making a mockery of the game. Certainly the Football Gods took notice and smiled at CPR for playing the right way, with Sean Street taking a cross from Stephan and burying it in the net with aplomb.
This was more than Gottschee could stand, and the dirty play and complaining exponentially increased. The Legends took the opportunity to exert their mental superiority over the opposition, goading them into a frothing frenzy while limiting them to long free kicks. Eventually one of their filthy moves was performed right in front of the referee, a punch to the face of Ochoa that left the referee no choice but to give a straight red. The only thing more embarrassing than the punch was the Gottschee players pleading against the red.
The Legends had won the mental battle and eventually the game. However although there was a certain satisfaction in Good triumphing over Evil, there was also a general disgust in having to deal with such disgraceful shenanigans from supposedly grown men. Not since the days of Partizani a couple of years ago have CPR had to deal with behavior that would get people arrested if performed on the street. For the next game CPR will certainly be requesting linesman from the league for protection, as well as videoing the proceedings and contacting the appropriate probation officers as needed. As corporate professionals the Legends need to actually go into work the next day.
Competition: BW Gottschee, League Opposition
Location: Randalls Island #74, Randalls Island
Conditions: Chilly fall afternoon
Result: 1-0 (0-0 at H/T)
Goals: 1:0 Street, Assist Stephan
Yellow Cards: What a farce. The fact any Legends got booked was a joke, but the referee was trying to be even handed. It’s hard to pick which booking was the worst, but Venkataraman pushing a player away for slapping him and then getting booked while the other animal didn’t was definitely up there. Venkataraman, Bernoske, D’Andrea, Ochoa.
Red Card: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Casanova felt a twinge and in a game this tight wisely took himself off. Of course there were numerous injuries suffered by the cheap shotting opponents, with Stephan’s ankle already swelling up from the surreptitious stamping and Ochoa’s face bruised from the punch.
Old Man of the Match: Sean Street took the award with a well taken goal and good runs, but the whole defence gets an honorary mention.
Old Man of the Bar: None.
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None, although Shafranek showed up as an honorary Old Boy / Legend.
Team Bar Showing: 7 out of 14 (50%)
Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5: Several people managed to make it back and combined with the Old Boyz it made it a good morning into afternoon (into early evening for some).
Team (No new profiles this week): Mark Becker (GK), Luciano Belizan (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Dan Bernoske (DF), Sean Street, Dan Ochoa, Chris Muro, Chris Jee, Manohar Venkataraman, Willan D’Andrea, Dylan Fitzgerald, Paul Stephan, Manuel Casanova