Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Battles in an Ancient Land

The sun has set on Modi’in, and now, in the Israeli darkness, we head off toward Jerusalem.

But we are not there yet. First, we ride on the 443, a road that connects Modiin to Jerusalem, passing within a short distance of Ramallah. There is no speed limit on the 443 after sunset. Your only limit is the car in front of you and the power beneath your hood.

Music is blasting. Tonight its Bon Jovi, and Living on a Prayer shakes the car, as it flies through the night on the way to a modern day battle.

It is Wednesday night, and our destination tonight is Kraft Stadium, a football/soccer facility built by the Kraft family of New England Patriots fame. In the ancient city, where every path can tell tales of history, where battles were won and lost; Jews, Romans, Christians, Moslems, Turks, Crusaders; they have all fought here; died here; Won battles and lost wars; and tonight a modern battle is about to be waged.

It is Women’s American Flag Football night at Kraft Stadium, and Zion Tours is Playing the Eagles. Veev plays receiver for Zion Tours. Her team is a mix of young and old. Three teenagers on the team mix together with women, primarily in their 30s, but reaching as old as 60.

The team is 1-2, and tonight, they are playing a team comprised of girls in their late teens and early twenties. Girls on the precipice of their lives, meeting women who have already waded through early adulthood and womanhood.

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At its very core, football is a man’s game. 350-pound behemoths battling over a line of scrimmage, trying to squeeze out an extra yard from each play. It is violence mixed with grace, punctuated by, in the words of William Safire, committee meetings.

But this game, flag football is different. Players try to move the ball, earn first downs and score touchdowns. They pass and run, and occasionally, do something remarkable. The ball is smaller, to fit smaller hands, and the field is shorter, only 60 yards instead of the traditional hundred.

The potential for violence is there, but it is deep beneath the surface. There were two injuries. Nothing serious. A smashed nose and skinned knee. A few collisions at high speed sent some of the players sprawling, but they got back up and continued to play.

It is, of course, not the same game we watch on television, but similar. Referees make calls and players catch balls, drop balls and make plays.

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On this night, it is youth that rolls through the experience. The Modi’in Mommas, as they are affectionately known by their husbands and fans, have trouble making plays and completing passes. The quarterback dislocated her finger, although who really knows if it would have made a difference. Certainly she wasn’t blaming the loss on the injury.

At halftime, the Eagles lead the Modi’in Mommas 13-0. Later, trailing 19-0, the Modi’in Mommas have a chance to score a touchdown, when the ref mistakenly blew the whistle ending the play. A few minutes later an interception is run back for a touchdown, and women of Modi’in head home after a 25-0 loss.

8 Comments:

Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Very well told. Sorry Mammas. Better luck next game.
-OC

November 30, 2006 8:52 AM  
Blogger Just Passing Through said...

What a visual. Veev, I didn't know you played football.

Any higher injury incidents as a result of skirt tripping?

November 30, 2006 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch out Mitch Air is right on your tale - very well written!

November 30, 2006 10:02 AM  
Blogger The Zwicker said...

Excellent reporting Air, but why no comments from the locker room?

November 30, 2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Unfortunately for me, when i went into the locker room for some postgame comments, the women surrounded me waving body parts and asking me "Is this what you want."

I shouldn't have been surprised; it was after all Kraft stadium.

Now all I have to do is watch out for the death threats.

As for Mitch, I don't think he needs to worry too much, after all I was not writing fiction.

November 30, 2006 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Modiin Mommas, I like that. What about Gila's monsters?

November 30, 2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Veev said...

This has been very entertaining. JPT, yes, I play football, although it's not the tackle you guys used to play on Fridays in the mud.

November 30, 2006 4:07 PM  
Blogger Jack's Shack said...

How about those fabulous detroit teams. ;)

December 04, 2006 1:04 AM  

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