Understand, I'm not ignorant about sports. I am an excellent casual spectator, with a solid general knowledge of rules and basic strategies for many mainstream sports that you can watch on TV in the U.S. -- especially if there's a liberal amount of drinking and gambling involved. I was also a bit of an athlete in my youth, boasting the largest butt on the track team and several other accolades. But that was long ago. I had never played soccer for real, and I barely knew the rules, let alone how to play it well. I was pretty solid on the idea of "kick the ball and make it go in that direction," but that was about it.
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And sometimes you have to stand in a line and clutch your crotch.
My general approach to life is that I'll agree to almost anything anyone asks me to do, provided it will be several weeks before I actually have to do it. The typical way this manifests itself is that someone will ask me to do something like attend an antique brick expo, or take a two-week seminar on sustainable bricklaying, or anything brick-related, really. I do not want to do that at all, but it doesn't sound so bad if it's not for another month, and saying yes feels good, so ... sure?
As idiotic as I know this is, I realized I could use it to force myself to try new things if I just reversed the flow -- rather than wait to be asked to do something terrible, I volunteered myself for something terrible. I joined a soccer team.