And then, out of nowhere, an utterly unknown soccer player hauls off and sets a world record.
The Daily Mail reports this morning that Chippenham Town striker David Pratt, 21, was thrown out of yesterday’s British Gas Premier Division match against Bashley for a lunging tackle just three seconds past the opening kickoff.
Seems the old world record was 10 seconds (set in Italy), while the British mark of 13 had been held by goaltender Kevin Pressman, a souvenir of his time with Sheffield Wednesday.
Pratt was clearly on edge, and no wonder! Playing against a team called Bashley? The very name puts you on your guard. Go across Canada and you won’t find a team with a name as blunt and physically intrusive as Bashley.
(Hamilton Lady Avalanche? I digress.)
Pratt must have thought Bashley was going to take a bash at him, so he took an unabashed bash at Bashley.
He’s famous now, and it’s not like it took that long to pull it off. When dawn dawned yesterday, the chance that one particular player from the seventh division of English football would be having jokes made about in him a Canadian soccer blog were about as close to absolute zero as I’d ever care to journey. And yet, here we are! Immortality is a truly strange animal.
And it’s not going to be an easy record to break. You’ve got to line up your opponent, make contact AND have the whistle go – all in under three seconds. Even a physical attack on the referee is unlikely to seal the deal. It will likely take the startled official several seconds to recover and regroup enough to actually make the call.
That leaves only one option: an intense, high-volume run of verbal obscenities, aimed directly at the ref, which can be heard, processed and punished inside of David Pratt’s world-record time.
It’s going to take real commitment, but the option is open to any player in any FIFA-sanctioned match, anywhere on the planet. Maybe it won’t be a high-water mark of human achievement – like the biggest bee beard or most Jell-o consumed on a solstice – but you’ve got to have a dream, right?
Oh, and Steven Gerrard got arrested. Facts – and police reaction time – not yet available.