I spent some of Independence Day playing a sport I've never attempted.
How did I manage to live for almost 30 years, having traveled from arcades to sports centers, and never play foosball? It’s actually pretty cool.
I spent Independence Day at the Calugars, along with a couple other families. After stuffing my face with grilled burgers, dogs, sides and appealing desserts, I went upstairs to sing a little karaoke with the kids. I led the pack in our far-from-perfect-but-joyful rendition of “Livin’ on a Prayer.”
After butchering—I meant singing other songs, I saw some of the other kids playing foosball. Now, I’ve seen that table hundreds of times in the past, but it never looked interesting—until this time. So, I played my very first game against new Palm Coast resident Jacob Huntoon, and I beat him 10-8.
Following my fist pump for the victory, I eagerly awaited my next opponent, Saxon Swantic, who served me disgusting pie called “humble.” She won 10-5—but who’s counting?
After a short coffee break, I returned to the table, this time with a teammate, Elizabeth Orefice. We played Huntoon and my nephew Malik. The game went down to the last score, and they eventually beat us. I thought about grounding Malik, because he didn’t allow me to win, but I figured that wouldn’t be fair.
In addition to winning, I discovered other benefits within foosball. Twisting those table rods creates a solid workout for the arms. After just one game, I felt like I had been curling dumbbells. Give me a month or two, and I just might have Popeye’s forearms, if I can play enough games.
Foosball also initiates comraderie and teamwork. Amid the trash talk—which I love—teammates have to communicate and work together in order to be successful. Person controls offense, while the other defends.
Lastly, most ages can play and win against each other, depending on experience. Unlike physical sports, foosball is similar to the likes of video games, table hockey and board games.
I’m still a bit shocked it took me this long to play, but better late than never. And I hope to find a table soon, so I can begin to beat my wife and nephew—and any of our visitors—on a consistent basis.
Who knows what may come of my newfound foosball enjoyment? There is actually a professional level, where the players are absurdly talented on the table. They can actually use all four rods, unlike me.