By: Constable Monocle on March 2nd, 2009
Juices of Fire 7 - 7 Gender Bender
Indoor football’s “Open Orange” division has undergone a transformation this term. Now considered “the 7th most elite coed-league played in Dublin, Ohio on Sunday evenings,” fans have been treated to a number of thrilling matches this season - all thanks to the Juices of Fire (naturally). The Juices, or Greens, (or Los Jugos) have become the quintessential football fan’s favorite bunch of rascals. Known for their ever improving, free-flowing brand of football, the Juices have established a local fan base rivaling OSU’s Archery Club. The Columbus Crew’s fatcats have taken notice. And they are scared.
Sunday evening’s classic saw the second and third positioned teams battle to keep their title hopes alive.
The Juices of Fire, fresh from their draw with Pay Per VU, were hosting the confounding-named Gender Bender. Despite the latter’s inability to challenge norms through atypical gender roles or androgynous behavior, the squad did produce a fair amount of squeals, not unlike those heard in a slaughterhouse or Mariah Carey concert. (It should be noted however, that one player was wearing a beanie - ed.)
From the opening whistle it was clear to the record five-person crowd that this would be a physical encounter. The Juices started strong, controlling possession, and opened the scoring with an excellent strike from Randee. But it wouldn’t be long before the Benders equalized. Leading the charge was the carelessly tough Dukes of Hazard blond dude, weaving the ball towards the white-shorted, unfortunately talented “That Guy,” who drove the ball into the back of the net.
With Abdi, Nadine, and Randee handling the majority of early possession, the Juices were able to create a number of chances, and kept the opposing goalie busy. The Benders showed glimmers of an impressive counterattack, with “That Guy” causing trouble for the Juices fortress-like back line of Adam “Dread Juice” and Josh. The advantage might have gone against the Greens if it weren’t for the services of Micah, who offered more savings than a Wal-Mart (er, sorry).
The first rotation of subs provided the Juices with a new round of opportunities. The Benders were quickly outclassed by Pedro’s Samba style moves and trademark exposed shin guards. Towards the end of the first half the Juices built upon their lead. Troy was back in the squad after an injury setback and immediately proved his quality, assisting a goal, and playing solid defense. Nadine added to the tally with another impressive strike. Despite “That Guy’s” rampant protests and fears that his bro-bangs might be tussled, the Juices defense did their best to neutralize the attack. Leslie and Jason were as reliable as ever, providing effective clearances and creating space for the midfield, while Darren pushed forward, playing all positions at once, and launching a few rockets near goal.
The game started to intensify, and after a dangerous colliding challenge with Michael, it seemed as though “That Guy” may finally get booked. The ref, taking a strenuous four paces, was later outraged by the xenophobic comments of the striker, and showed him a hardline, no-nonsense…wag of the finger.
The second half saw The Benders climb back into the game after a two-point goal eeked past Micah. The response was strong. Pedro calmly converted a penalty, and coordinated the attack. Chris returned to action for the Juices, winning a number of challenges in the back. The defense had its hands full containing Green Hornet star Kato, who gave a whole new meaning to the term “sidekick” (wink). Meanwhile, “Dread Juice” mixed things up, pushing forward relentlessly and orchestrating a number of chances.
There was a scary moment for the Juices’ supporters, as Josh came off with a groin injury. “Rec Specs,” answered the call and kept the line. Further confusion erupted near the end of regulation, with the score level at 7-7. Abdi was shown a blue card after “That Guy” shed tears over a slight handful of jersey. After a heart stopping fracas in the box, the Juices converted to attack and missed a near winner. The final moments saw Abdi race from the penalty box to help in defense. Just as it looked The Benders would be awarded a penalty, time had expired.
Tensions were high afterwards, and both teams were left to rue missed chances. With the result, Top-of-the-table Worthington Christian could capture the title with a win. Next week the Juices will have to bring their A-game if they want to “crucify” the leaders. Though their title hopes took a hit, the Juices remained the better team, involving all of their players and playing positive football. As usual, the scoreline doesn’t tell the entire story.
Juices of the match: Nadine and Randee