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Come On, Coach / Soccer Spirituality?

Come On, Coach

"It was meant as joke, obviously. But it went too far."

How many times have stories following mayhem and disaster begun this way?

In this particular case, the speaker was Lake Tahoe Unified School District Superintendent James Tarwater, and the "it" was the coach of the South Tahoe High School softball team inviting players who’d struck out during that day’s game to drink soda from a baseball shoe belonging to one of their teammates.

Was it hazing? Probably depends on the temperature of the beverage and definitely on the condition of the shoe. I mean, if it was an old sneaker, stinky and everything…whoa, yeah. But a relatively new, relatively clean leather baseball shoe…with ice in it…or a straw and one of those little pink mbrellas… maybe not.

Read more about the incident from NPR, here.

Soccer Spirituality?

Off the field, F.C. St. Pauli, the soccer team that had been operating in Germany’s second division, has employed a two-pronged strategy to achieve success.

F.C. St. Pauli’s stadium includes an executive box featuring candles, an alter to football, and stained-glass windows depicting the players as saints.

On the other hand, or perhaps the other foot, as this is soccer, many of the team’s fans attend games dressed in clothes that bear the skull and crossbones. They embrace an anti-authoritarian image that includes the motto, “non-established since 1910.”

This season, the combination of approaches worked. F.C. St. Pauli earned promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in eight years.

Read more about this unique team from IrishTimes.com (second item down) here.

This program aired on May 25, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield has been the host of Only A Game since the program began in 1993.

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