I not only believe in them, apparently, I cause them.
Tonight I took Number One and Number Two to the City Islanders playing in round 3 of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Wait, let me back up.
Yesterday, the Open Cup announced the round 4 games. If the City Islanders won tonight, they'd host next week. But Number Two had a school sports physical scheduled. So I changed it to August, figuring even if the Isles didn't win, she'd have additional recovery time for her ankle.
It started storming around 5:15. Management announced a half-hour postponement. J decided not to go, despite already having bought the ticket. He's not that diehard. But we were determined. We packed up towels, umbrellas, sweatshirts, and jackets. Hey, it worked last week.
Not this week. The storm passed by game time, but it rained for about 75 of the 90-minute regulation period. Which ended in a 0-0 tie. You can't end a game in a tie during a tournament. We were pretty pleased with our little USL-PRO team's performance. They had a lot more shots on goal than the New England Revolution did.
(Yeah, a bit of irony there. I was wearing a New England Patriots hat into the stadium, and one of the greeters got a horrified look on his face. "You're not rooting for them, are you?" Oh, hell, no! LOL)
So we're sitting there at the start of the first of two 15-minute overtime periods. They play both, so there's no sudden death. With the rain delay, we were already not getting home before 10. Now we weren't getting home before 10:30. I said I was being a bad mother, and I did feel a little guilty, though I had no intentions of leaving early. I have NEVER left a game early. EVER.
So then we have this conversational exchange:
Me: What do you have at school tomorrow?
Number One: Mom. In period one we're watching X-Men: First Class. In period 2 we're watching another movie. In period 3 I have study hall. Period 4 I have to work on a paper, but I'm half done with it. Period 5 I'll probably just have food with Madame. Period 6 we're watching Pirates of the Caribbean. Period 7 we'll probably just play FunBrain.
Me to Number Two: What do you have tomorrow?
Number Two: My Algebra final.
Oh, lord, now I AM a bad mother. But she has a 98 in the class, and aced the practice test, so I wasn't that worried. Still...
Overtime starts. The officials demonstrate their continued bias (they'd called 17 fouls against us, only 7 against the Revs, and we had 3 yellow cards to their 1 yellow and 1 red) when they didn't call a Revs player offsides though he was at least three strides past the defenders. They scored.
The Revs were also adept at taking dives. I know this is rampant in soccer, but I swear, they see a foot, they deliberately trip over it. They'll push and push and push a player until he moves, then they'll fall—and we get the foul. So one of our defenders did a slide tackle in the box, all ball, and their forward deliberately trips. PK (penalty kick, for the few uninformed who for some reason have read this far LOL). They scored. Five minutes later, on a breakaway when we didn't even look like we were trying to stop him (though admittedly, we'd pulled one of our defenders and replaced him with a forward), they score again.
3-0 is a pretty insurmountable score in professional soccer. Not impossible. But tough, especially with only 15 minutes of play left. Number Two had a final tomorrow. And the last straw was a fan who turned completely obnoxious during overtime, as if he'd downed six beers in the 74th minute (that's when they stop selling them—people will buy 2, then get in line to buy more while they drink those). We couldn't stand listening to him anymore. So I asked the girls if they wanted to leave. They agreed.
I'm lucky they didn't kill me.
We heard cheering when we got to the parking lot (about 1/2 a mile away). So we'd scored, but we still needed two more and probably had less than 10 minutes left. By the time we got home, the City Islanders had scored TWICE and tied it up again. They were going to penalty kicks. Each team gets 5 shots on goal, alternating. If you've ever watched this one-on-one showdown, it's awful. For both sides. It's as difficult to score as it is to stop a goal.
We watched on Twitter, screaming and lamenting our stupidity.
And then holy crap, we scored and Nick Noble, our fan-freaking-tastic goalkeeper, stopped the final shot. We won.
The Isles used the hashtag in my subject, #doyoubelieveinmiracles, but all I can think is how much they owe us. Because you know that if we'd stayed another hour, they'd have lost and Number Two would lose two points on her final.
Either way, tonight I'm the bad mom.