many questions and one firm statement

I was bullied in Junior High: pantsed, laughed at, mocked, knocked around, chased, tormented…

I was fast, though, and, when I could, I would run.  I’d run away from my tormentors, run away from my bullies, run away from the pain…  Sometimes I managed to get away clean.  Sometimes I didn’t.

Regardless.  I could never outrun the shame and humiliation.

I often wished I had the courage to stand and fight, to take the punches and kicks, and lash out with my feet and hands, returning blow for blow.  I wished I had the strength to turn my shame into channeled fury.  I wished I had the fortitude to turn my fear off, to not worry about what they would do to me if I stood to fight, to not worry about what it would mean for my school career, the suspension, the possible expulsion.  I wished I could inflict the kind of pain on them that they had inflicted upon me.

But…

Would that make me as bad as them?  If I hurt them as they had been hurting me would I too be a bully?  Where was the line between defending myself and taking it too far?  Would I have known that line?  Would I have ever even come close to the line… me, against all of them…

Would I be a different person now if I had?

Because I like who I am now.  I like where I am now.  I love the people in my life and I wouldn’t give them up for anything.  Did those terrible experiences in junior high set me on this path?  Did I have to go through those trials and tribulations to make it here, to appreciate what I have now?

As much as I wonder how my life back then would have been different if I had chosen fight over flight, I wouldn’t go back and change anything.

However, if my little prince is ever bullied, I will let him know it is okay to stand and fight, it is okay to set aside the fear of the consequences and give as good as he gets, because if the time comes we will face the aftermath together.

And when your team lets you down…

throw a coin at the opposing team… ?!  Okay, we’ll come back to that.

Sunday was derby day in Manchester: United vs. City.  Blue hosting Red.  2nd against 1st in the early league standings.  So, pretty much epic on all fronts. 

Last year City won both derby matches, including a victory of monumental proportions away to United at Old Trafford that could be argued handed them the league, since they ended level on points but ahead on goal difference at the end of the season.  (My heart still hurts a little thinking about that game.)

To continue on my theme of not really doing a full review of anything, here are my comments on the game:

Wayne Rooney was immense.  Showing up at the right time for the second goal.  Creating good space for himself on the first goal.  His vision, his tracking back, and every other aspect of his game were spot on (except for a few passes that didn’t come off quite as he (and the rest of us) had hoped they would.)  He was the man of the match, without a doubt.  His 10 derby goals are a testament for what he has meant to United and what he will continue to mean for the Red Devils.

That’s kind of all I want to say… but, since that doesn’t seem like enough, here are some extra tidbits:

It was good to have Valencia back on the right side, and I hope with some more game time he’ll get in a few better crosses in the coming games.  Ashley Young had a great game and it’s not often I find myself saying that.  I have a bit of a man crush on Robin van Persie.  And, if it wasn’t him, then it would probably be Rafael.  It’s too bad that someone didn’t step in front of Yaya Toure’s shot because if that hadn’t resulted in a goal, David De Gea’s two saves right before that would have been contenders for save of the year.  Zaboleta’s goal was fantastic.  There isn’t much I like about Samir Nasri, but I find myself strangely fond of his right foot this morning.

Okay, that pretty much wraps that up.

What?  Really?  Okay fine…  The officiating:  Yes, Smalling handled the ball.  Yes, Evra should have been awarded a PK.  I still think Young was offside.  Yes, the ref should have given Toure the advantage when he was on a breakaway rather than halting the play to hand Rooney a yellow card.  It pretty much all evened out.  Pretty sure the game would have ended with the 3 points going to United even if all of the above had been called “correctly.”  Argue with me if you want.

Okay, now, that pretty much wraps it up.

Wait, what?  Oh, yeah, I guess I should explain the title of this post.  You are correct, my team didn’t let me down.  So, what am I talking about?  In the 92nd minute, after Robin van Persie had scored the winner for United, a City fan threw a coin out of the stands that struck Rio Ferdinand in the face, opening a gash that forced him to come off the pitch to get the blood cleaned up.

I’m fairly passionate when it comes to football (soccer).  I will readily admit that I am a fan in the true sense of the word (fanatic) when it comes to my two teams: Los Angeles Galaxy and Manchester United.  But never at any point when I’ve experienced a frustrating and demoralizing loss (including a certain derby last season already mentioned above) did I think, “Hey, I’m very upset and I just happen to have this coin in my pocket, maybe I should throw it.”

Who does that?