Soccer Fail: When Dreams Don't Come True

Uploaded by vice on Jun 28, 2012


HARRY CHEADLE: Well, hello.
I'm Harry, and I'm a loser.
Growing up, I was one of those weird kids who would play by
the dumpsters at recess and ride the school bus by myself.
But now I live in Brooklyn.
I have a real job at a real magazine.
I have a bank account and a bunch of shirts.
So I figure I can go back, revisit some of my failures,
and, with a little bit of luck,
turn them into successes.
This is "All Around Losing" with Harry Cheadle.

You know how every youth soccer team has that one weird
kid who just kind of stands off by himself and lets the
ball go right past him?
My whole team was those guys.
There were a couple guys named Carl.
Prithvi, Prithvi Shankar.
We could have won a math championship with all the
brains we had on my team, but, running around, not so much.
And I was part of the problem.
In six years playing, I scored exactly one goal, got hit in
the nuts with a soccer ball more times than I can count.
Sometimes it would hit me in the face.
I feel kind of responsible for a lot of the bad seasons we
had, including the last one, where we didn't
win a single game.
Now I've got a little bit more self-confidence, better
foot-eye coordination, so maybe there's a chance I will
actually be an all right soccer player.
But in order to not embarrass myself, I'm going to need some
coaching from an Austrian named Gerhard.
HARRY CHEADLE: Hey, Gerhard.
How are you?
So the deal is, I'm trying to get back into soccer.
I haven't played in like seven years.
All I want to do is impress people.
GERHARD STOCHL: That exactly.
HARRY CHEADLE: I don't really care about--
GERHARD STOCHL: Because otherwise it
will take 10 years.
How long we got?
A week?
HARRY CHEADLE: Like a day.
GERHARD STOCHL: I think you did good.
GERHARD STOCHL: You got the juggling.
HARRY CHEADLE: I kind of like juggling.
GERHARD STOCHL: Goalkeeping.
Good penalties.
Maybe a few push ups and--
tonight, before the game.
GERHARD STOCHL: And you're ready.
HARRY CHEADLE: I'm feeling pretty nervous about this.
I sat on my glasses this morning when I woke up.
My arm hurts for no reason.
It's pretty cold.
Practice with Gerhard went OK, but actually playing a game is
a lot different than just kicking a ball around.
So, these guys are probably going to be a lot better than
me, and I'll try not to embarrass myself,
but I always do.
The first person I met was Minh.
Hey, Minh.
Sort of an unofficial coach or referee, or at least the guy
who brings the jerseys.
The other guys are really friendly.
MALE SPEAKER: Are those your special soccer shoes?
HARRY CHEADLE: They seem supportive of my
weird little mission.
Wherever I can do the least damage.
And then, all of a sudden, I was playing soccer.
I've got no idea what I'm doing here.
I just was trying to follow my man around a little bit and
couldn't do that.
Oh, that was probably my fault.
Sometimes I saw where I was supposed to be way too late.
Oh shit!
Sometimes I'd get the ball, purely by chance--
it would just deflect off of someone's foot-- and
I had to kick it.
And that was just totally impossible.
Oh shit!
Not very well.
A little winded.
Yeah, sure.

It's tough to run around.
I haven't run around like that in a long time.
No one was making fun of me for being really bad.

Although I could tell they didn't want to pass it to me.

I don't really know how this works, but I'm too intimidated
to ask questions.

Actually, the hard part was running for half an hour, or
45 minutes, or two days, or whatever it was.
Because I'm in really, really bad shape, I realized.
I've got to sit down, actually.
I was feeling pretty bad.
I just met all these people.
And my rule is don't throw up in front of people
you've just met, ever.
And then a black guy started talking, but I was also trying
really hard not to throw up at that point.
MALE SPEAKER: How long you haven't played?
HARRY CHEADLE: And then your body's like, nope.
This is coming up.

And I was like, oh, shit.
I was trying not to puke on anyone's bag.
I succeeded in that, at least.
I know how to puke probably better than I
know how to play soccer.
MALE SPEAKER: That's a good thing.
MALE SPEAKER: Once all that's out, you're
going to play better.
And then I puked again.


That's how my life usually goes.
I gave the guys some orange slices, and I hope that kind
of patched things up.
I was like, here, not only did I puke, but I brought you some
vitamin C.
Nothing like a good orange slice, right?
And I kept playing, at least.
I'm glad I didn't bitch out.
I did try to bitch out.
MINH NGO: You only played what?
30 minutes?
HARRY CHEADLE: I'm really out of shape.
MINH NGO: You have one more game in you.
One more.
Even though I was bad, and I had just thrown up, Minh was
like, come on, get in there and play.
And that was nice.
During the last play of that game, no one was paying
attention to me--
probably for good reason.
I got the ball, and I'm looking at the goal, and I
kicked the ball pretty hard--


It went right to the goalie, but it was a shot on goal.
MALE SPEAKER: [INAUDIBLE], just nail it in.
HARRY CHEADLE: I probably would have thrown up again if
I had made that goal.
I think this situation was about a 70% failure, mostly
because of the puking.
Honestly, you don't feel good when you puke in front of
other people.
I've lost this one.
Just like I lost the ones when I was a kid.
Same feeling.
Keep looking.
Keep looking for redemption.
And I guess that's what I'm going to do.

It wasn't that bad out there, though.
Maybe I could--
if I practiced--
get a little better at soccer, I think.
But I'm not sure I will because, honestly, I remember
all those times, my favorite part of the soccer game was
when it's over.
And you're in the car, and you get to go home and take your
shin guards off.
So that's what I enjoyed most about it, was stopping it.
Is that good?
Keep going.