Tim’s Thoughts: The Foosball Battle to the Death

I never thought that something as childish as foosball would bring out such a bitter side of me. But as I have proved to my younger brother, all of the intense battles we fought trying to prove who the real king of the foosball world really made me nasty and belligerent. Or so it seems.

A few months ago, I helped my mom clean out my basement, which was a complete mess. While doing this, we stumbled upon a dusty foosball table, which my younger brother and I received for Christmas about seven years ago. The times we spent playing the game when we were still in our youthful years definitely filled us with joy and satisfaction, no matter if we won or lost. Let me just say that when my eyes became glued on such a masterpiece as this table- a table that beholds such an exquisite game of skill and technique – I was immediately hooked once again.

The next few weeks, my brother and I played tons and tons of games. The competition began to get so intense that the ball would fly across the table like a bullet leaving a gun; everything was moving at a pace so fast that you would’ve thought we just drank four cans of Red Bull. We would fight for every little pass and shot, in avail when the ball would accidentally roll into our own goal, and in excitement when our hot hands would knock in a goal right after dropping it into play. We would have daily battles, where the two of us played marathons of games. We would often play four, five, or six games in a row, only to find that it wasn’t enough to satisfy our competitive sides. So we’d play again.

But I kept losing. And losing, and losing, and, wait for it…losing. My brother seemed to have a sort of skill I didn’t possess. He blocked all of my well-designed passes. His precision defense seemed to push me back in my own tracks. He slapped and chopped at the tiny white ball, aged by the punishing foosmen who, though inanimate, seemed to have their full concentration on achieving the glory of scoring a goal, of which they always somehow received. The games kept coming, and so would 10-6, 10-8, 10-3, all in triumph for my overambitious brother. I just had no answer for his ferocity.

After a while, I got the hang of things and began to defeat him every once in a while (I mean come on, I couldn’t lose to him forever). But a little piece of me started to fuel my anger when I lost. I flipped the table on its side. I took the little white ball and threw it on to the hard concrete floor of my basement the way that an NFL player would spike a football. Every time I lost, a different form of bitterness evolved from the monster inside of me, and my brother no longer could take such animosity. Eventually he forgot about all of the fun we had battling for the new household champion of foosball (sorry Mom and Dad, you guys didn’t stand a chance). So we stopped playing.

Since I began writing this column, we hadn’t played foosball in well over a month. Because of my attitude, a sore attitude, and my brother’s fear of more destruction coming from my disappointment of losing, we just had no motivation to play anymore. But as I write, I realized something: it is just a GAME. That’s right, just like baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer. It’s just a little game, where someone has to win and someone has to lose. I just totally lost all aspect of this simple statement. But now, as I head downstairs, like a child anxious to open up all of his gifts from Santa on Christmas, I am happier than ever to play such an amusing and time-wasting GAME again. Because winning was never the only intention, was it?