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Who Am I?

AKA DarkBlue?

the beautiful game...

Once upon a time I was quite a handy footballer (soccer player for the American audience). I wasn't gifted with midfield flair, nor was I a strong, cunning defender. I was a striker (the one who scores the goals). I had no tactical awareness and I was quite selfish with the ball, but I had one gift... I could run like the wind. So when my team mates managed to get the ball to me, I was usually able to outrun the opposing defenders before taking a shot on goal (hopefully accurately).

I played for my school team. One year, after a hugely successful season, we played an inter-school final against our most hated opponents - a grudge match, and they had the home advantage.

I was quivering with nervous anticipation as I arrived in the changing room. The absence of the usual excited chatter and noise confirmed that my team mates felt the same way, the atmospere was, as they say, charged. Like my colleagues, I quietly undressed and changed into my football kit, mentally preparing for the challenge ahead.

I wasn't immediately aware of our coach when he entered the room. That quickly changed when he bellowed out my name, followed by two words, "dark blue"!

It felt like a million eyes turned towards me and my heart dropped into my studded boots as I realised that I had made a terrible mistake... my team colours were white and my white kit glowed like a beacon under the harsh flourescent light as I remembered that, this being an "away" match, I should be dressed in my team's away colours which, as you've probably guessed, were a deep, navy blue.

The stunned silence that followed only confirmed what I had already known, I was up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Coach saved the day however, when he extracted from his bag an appropriately coloured pair of shorts and a shirt. Of course, they didn't fit. They had obviously been made for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and could have accommodated my entire family with room to spare.

So I spent the duration of that hugely important football match struggling to stop my shorts from plunging to my ankles and desperately hoping that the wind wouldn't gust - if it had, I would have immediately gone airborne. Needless to say, my performance was terrible and, to compound my misery, we lost the game and the trophy. To this day, I am convinced that every man there blamed me for our defeat and I never quite recovered from the shame.

From that day forward I was, inevitably, nicknamed DarkBlue, and I have not been able to shake off that permanent tribute to my humiliation.

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