Soccer is my life? That’s a bit of a fudge

By John Owen | Nov 14, 2013

The Seahawks might describe a fourth-quarter, touchdown drive before 65,000 rabid fans in CenturyLink Stadium as "a gut check."

Nah, that's like a stroll in the park.

You can witness the real article on frequent autumn and winter weekends when Edmonds residents jam the sidelines at Civic Stadium or Frances Anderson playfield for junior soccer games.  It's like watching a hockey match played on an arctic iceberg. Parents clutch frantically to umbrellas, which are almost worthless when the wind is blowing sheets of rain sideways.

But the boys and girls involved in the matches splash enthusiastically up and down the sodden turf, happy as clams on the beach at Picnic Point.

Some will advance into high school teams.  Others may one day play at the collegiate level, but they will probably never enjoy organized sports with more enthusiasm bordering on passion.

I can remember one day when my wife and I offered to take granddaughter Sarah to a kids’ flick at a local theater.  She declined with thanks while pointing out that she was due at a soccer practice with her team of 7-year-olds.  When we seemed disappointed that she had rejected this weekend movie treat, she explained her decision.

"Soccer is my life."

Well, that was not completely accurate.  She played soccer in high school and with club teams at college.  She now works for a dot.com in a Bellevue high rise.  She and her husband attend Seahawk and Sounder games.  But sometimes she has to reject such temptations, explaining that her adult-female soccer team has a game that night.

So if those 7 and 8 year olds I see stomping the turf in Edmonds believe this  is an important part of their lives, well, good for them.  Better soccer than football.

As a sportswriter, I attended Rose Bowl and Super Bowl games, covered all the home Husky games and many on the road.  Now as a non-professional viewer, I have to admit football is my favorite spectator sport.

But when I check out the injury reports in the newspapers each week, I am reminded that the factors that draw football fans to Husky Stadium or CenturyLink Field argue against participation.  Putting a football helmet on a 9- or 10-year-old and then to station him as linebacker or offensive guard makes absolutely no sense to me today.

At the junior soccer level, contact is minimal.  But, boy, can a soccer parent or grandparent take a beating from the elements, while stalking the sidelines in Edmonds or Everett.

I once met legendary football coach Bear Bryant and admitted to him that I highly admired his teams at Alabama and Texas A&M. He cooked up some innovative schemes for offensive and defensive college football.  I would guess that his wife was the cook in the family.  All I know is that I also highly admire a dessert linked to his name. It is called:

Bear's Fudge Pie

Melt one stick of butter and two squares of chocolate over hot water in a double boiler.

Take off stove and stir in one cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of sifted flour, a pinch of salt and two eggs, lightly beaten. Add one tablespoon of vanilla extract. If you want to fly first cabin, toss in a few chopped nuts.

Plop this glunk into a pie pan and bake in an oven, which has been preheated to 375.  Turn down the heat to 325 and cook 30 minutes.

Serve hunks of the warm fudge with ice cream.

This dessert is so easy, I suspect it could be prepared by a real bear.

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