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Post details: Black Star

Black Star

English folks brought us many cool things that begin with an S: steam engine, sandwich, smallpox vaccine, steel-ribbed umbrellas, submarines, seat belts, but the best of all - although in their own minds it actually begins with an F - is the game of soccer, the sparkling diamond among all sports, and an electrifying amalgamation of power, skill, coordination and strategy.

Every July, the local Czech community organizes a soccer tournament which usually takes places in the fields behind the Cooper Middle School in McLean. And every July it is a great opportunity to partake of the game's myriad of possible plays and lament over your own lost chances, not to mention other perks - the easy camaraderie of a shared cooler, the would be expertly opinions on European Champions League, and, of course, the intense exercise under the hot Washingtonian sun, which you can also think of as playing poker with dehydration.

This year I was playing on a team called Black Stars. One of my teammates was a black guy, who was new to a tournament. He showed up a bit late, and as he approached our tent, he nearly ran into me: "is this Black Stars?" - he blurted out. I put on my most offended expression and retorted - "don't I look like a Black Star"? He scanned my pasty white Slavic body from head to toe and from the way he pursed his lips it was clear that he had serious doubts about my claim.

But still I thought it was a great name for our team of misfits. We didn't do much shining, but we kicked around a lot. Much like our namesakes in the Universe.

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