‘Twas the Night Before Soccer

Posted on 
December 24, 2023
Twas the night before soccer. Soccer ball and christmas ornament

‘Twas the night before soccer, when all through the pitch,

Not a player was stirring, no sound, not a stitch.

The shin guards were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that Game Day soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of soccer games danced in their heads;

And mama in her jersey, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight famous players,

With a Skillability coach out there in the snow,

I knew in a moment it must be Thuto!

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Messi! now, Beckham! now Wambach and Morgan!

On, Pele! on, Hamm! on, Diego and Zidane!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now break away! Break away! Break away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the housetop the players they flew

With the sleigh full of balls, and Coach Thuto too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The rainbows and dribbles of each champion foot.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney a soccer player came with a bound.

He was dressed in his gear, from his head to his foot,

And his cleats were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A whole bag of balls he had flung on his back,

And he looked ready for drills as he opened his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his ball-handling skills scary!

His smiling mouth was full of delight ,

As we talked about soccer, long through the night.

The stump of a mouthpiece he held tight in his teeth,

And he had the fastest, most sure feet;

He told me about an athlete’s mind

How they must be brave, hard working, and kind.

He was ready to coach, I could see it was clear,

He had a lion mentality, not a thing did he fear.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

Leaving cones, nets, and ladders; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight—

“Happy Soccer to all, and to all a good night!”

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