Just for kicks

Congrats to the soccer team at my alma mater, Cincinnati Christian University, who won their regional championship today. They played at Xavier University, right up the street from us now, so I had a chance to witness their 7-0 thumping of Kentucky Christian. Their victory meant yet another mustard yellow regional banner will hang in President's Hall. Despite the ugliness of that banner, it's still a beautiful sight to me.

It was ten years ago that I started playing college soccer but had to quit after the first two games of the season. I needed to work to pay off college bills. They ended up winning the regional championship for the first time ever that year. The bad taste of missing out stuck with me for years; it was even worse that my friends on the team rubbed it in that I didn't win a banner. I played the next year ["the year of the squirrel" that my buddy Jason killed and skinned- another story for another time], but we lost the championship game on penalty kicks after two overtimes. Finally there was my senior year when we screwed it up royally.

I desperately wanted to have a banner to call my own so, left with one year of eligibility, I convinced my wife to let me play while I was a full-time graduate student. It was probably the worst team I played on my whole time at school but somehow we won the regional tournament that year. We clinched the regional championship against Kentucky Christian on their own field. It was pretty cool. I played some of my best soccer that year. Yes, I finally got my banner. I have a great picture of me holding the banner that I really need to scan and post.

The difference between those teams I played on and the one that won today is that these guys could actually win the national championship. I'm really pulling for them since I recruited a few of their seniors when I worked at the school. These guys are good. Really good.

Anytime Cincinnati beats Kentucky Christian is a good day. It was a good day.