Do you recognize what this is? It's a yellow card.
Today we drove up to Denver for a soccer tournament. Ben's team was playing up there to prepare for the spring season. We knew it would be a tough tournament. In the opening game the Snow Leopards looked good but not 100%. We lost 1-0. In the closing minutes of the game Ben was playing "sweeper" and he went head-to-head against a guy going straight at the goal.
Ben was charged with his first yellow card for a bit of a shove from behind, though to his credit, it seemed incidental and he was really going for the ball. The card came out, the ref (an older man, not a kid) yelled at him a bit, and then the ref got out his notebook and wrote down Ben's number and team name. The penalty kick was no good so there was really no harm done, except to Ben's tender heart.
To my knowledge, that is the first card given to anyone on our team. There's a first for everything I suppose, but seeing as how Ben is not the most aggressive or fouling player on the team, it was surprising to have it be Ben. He was devastated. Completely heartbroken. He hung in tough until the final whistle and handshakes with the opposing team and then he rushed me at the sidelines and began sobbing.
I only document this event so that in years to come when he is still playing soccer, or whatever it is he chooses to play (lacrosse? football?) he will laugh that it ever upset him to be carded. We're told that as the kids get older more and more cards are expected in each game. Demanded even. It's a good thing to be playing hard enough to be carded...just not a red card.
Ben's a great kid.
A great soccer player.
A great teammate.
A great friend.
A great brother.
A great son.
We love him so much and are so proud of the person he chooses to be everyday.
(Photo from yahoo image search...not our actual ref, who was much older and actually very good)
With love and respect, we acknowledge you as the FIRST PLAYER to receive a YELLOW CARD on the Snow Leopard football club (that's how their coach refers to it). Way to bring it, Ben!