The Coggin Toboggan Hall of the Absurd

I’m bored. You’re bored. We’re all fucking bored out of our minds….and what’s the best way to pass the time when you’re bored? When you can’t look at the same four walls again without wanting to scratch your way outside and eat fertilizer by the handfuls just so you can feel SOMETHING?!

Why, it’s laughing at the misfortunes of others and reveling in the misery of people who aren’t you!

There are no sports right now unless you’re going to pretend to give a shit about Turkish dirt clod throwing or whatever else is left to gamble on in the wasteland, so your dear old Uncle Coggin is opening up the doors to the Coggin Toboggan Hall of the Absurd.

I want to hear your weirdest, worst, most memorably terrible or depressingly hilarious sports stories from your collective lives. Nobody likes hearing about triumphs….the best stories are about the worst failures of your lives. Send any and all sports stories to me on Twitter (the DMs are always open) or email them to me at thecoggintoboggan@gmail.com and we’ll publish the best in an induction ceremony column in the future.

I’ll give you an idea of what I’m looking for after the jump.

I wrote about this on twitter, but I think it bears repeating here because it is such a gloriously miserable story from my high school soccer.

Throughout high school I played varsity soccer PURELY because the team needed a backup goalie and nobody wanted to sit on the bench for an entire season behind the all-state goalie who had already led the varsity team to a New Jersey state title. Sadly, I had been forced into goalie duty for my freshman squad, wasn’t half bad at all, but was pressed into backup duty during my sophomore year.

It was a miserable experience. I was too small to be any good at a high level, most of the upper classmen hated me because I didn’t take anything seriously, was a complete wiseass, and employed a key strategy of letting teammates lap me several times during our sweltering double sessions and claiming I had run the amount of required laps to a confused conditioning coach who didn’t think it was possible someone could be so out of shape they could be lapped NUMEROUS times on a run.

I was hated by everyone on the team who wasn’t in my own grade, and to be honest, rightfully so.

But junior year I decided was going to be MY year. I was actually going to train (the year before I roller bladed maybe four blocks ONCE before double sessions started, a truly dedicated training regimen), I was going to practice and I was going to actually play in an offseason league that several of my teammates participated in to get ready for the upcoming year.

So I found myself on a club soccer team with several of the varsity scrubs who were employing my strategy, wholly out of my league, as the only goalie on a below average team who got crushed nearly every week.

One game, the game that has been burned into my memory that I still DREAM about to this day and will likely flash back to moments before my untimely death, is what I will tell you about today.

On this inglorious Saturday afternoon we were getting demolished….but not our usual decimation of 4-0 or 5-0 by the final gun, but 8-0 at HALFTIME. It was a slaughter, a finely tuned and oiled tank glistening through the fields of battle, mowing down a rag tag group of rebels who threatened it with pointy sticks and rocks as they were churned beneath the treads of the great behemoth.

It was humiliating. To my credit, I’m sure not all eight goals were my fault, but my coach mercifully relieved me of my duties to start the second half and I was forced to play in the field, as we had no substitutions.

The other team played possession the entire second half, mocking us throughout, easily playing perfect volleys to each other as we stumbled around like attendees at a vertigo convention. It was humiliating. They were openly LAUGHING at how inept we were, how we dared to actually pay for a position in this league, how we were defiling the sacred pitch with our impotence.

But here’s the rub (and what stopped me from casting myself into oncoming traffic after the match) in this particular league there was a sportsmanship rule that said if a team won by more than 7 goals they would automatically LOSE the match. The other team either forgot they were up by 8 or realized the score in stoppage time and started passing the ball BACKWARDS to their own goal to score on themselves.

At one point they had the ball inside their own own six-yard line, just taunting us, and they placed the ball LITERALLY on the chalk of the goal line. It was just sitting there as one of the assholes wound up to kick the ball into his own net to make the score 8-1 so they wouldn’t automatically lose.

I can vividly remember the opposing playing wind up to blast the ball into the net, his teammates laughing, ready to score on themselves to preserve the victory……until I swooped in from the side of the goal and BOOTED the ball 50-yards out of bounds into the woods.

When I tell you I gave the most obnoxious “FUCK YEAHHHHHHHHH” chant of my life and the biggest fist pump that my body could allow it wouldn’t do it justice. If I could have dislocated my shoulder to make it more obnoxious I would have. Fuck the rehab, it would have been worth it.

It was stunning. The other team frantically screamed for one of the young ball boys to find the ball deep inside the thickets of a dense wood that surrounded the field as the ref counted down the stoppage time.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5….

Nobody could find the ball. They begged for someone to throw in another ball, but nobody could find anything else to play with as they frantically ran into the underbrush to find the ball.

4, 3, 2, 1…..

Game over. We won by giving up eight goals. Elation.

And then my coach called me over to the sidelines in full view of each team and screamed at me for not respecting the game, not respecting the team and not respecting him as a coach. I argued that it was far more humiliating to take the gift goal and I salvaged a tiny bit of our team’s pride by not allowing the other team to score on themselves.

He disagreed and loudly kicked me off the team, in full view of my dad and every other player’s parents on the sidelines.

Oh well. I fucking hated the team and it was worth getting kicked off to be able to tell that story.

Send in your stories to thecoggintoboggan@gmail.com or follow me on twitter @coggintoboggan and we’ll publish the best stories in our Coggin Toboggan Hall of the Absurd induction ceremony.

 

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