danny doran

when I was a freshman in college there was this guy in my dorm named danny doran
we did not know each other well
we were both on the varsity soccer team
yet I did not know him well

to be quite honest... danny was a much better soccer player than myself
most of the other starting players on the team were better soccer players than myself
I had my skills, not so much touch on the ball... I was a good defensemen
a head hunter
a physical player
fit and physical earned me a starting position that I fought for each week
hungry to play each and every of the ninty minute games

in the fifty fifty situation I usually won
well, not so great in the air
while on the ground I was pretty strong
it was always in my opponents best interest to pass the ball rather than to try and beat me
I took it personally that they were so confident to try and dribble the ball past me
so... I did my best to stop them
this usually involved getting the man as well as the ball
they may have gotten the call
but they did not get past me
it was all part of the game
there were some cards
none of them red
always just yellow
things got heated
but that is the game

and yes
I got beaten
the sweetness for them was pain for me
if it ended in a goal things were even more painful for me and super sweet for them

in practice it was tough
as you do not want to stick your own men
but... I needed to practice my game
and well
I did not want to get juked in practice either
so... I would tackle my team mates during our drills and our scrimages
it was how I played the game
contact was easily avoided
just pass the ball

this guy Danny Doran was always a good sport
never did he take my tackles personal
never did he complain about being hit
always after the connection I would help him up and check that he was okay
he was always smiling
smiling on and off the field

I never knew Danny that well
sure we were on the soccer team together
and there may have been a few games of ping pong in the dorm
yet I never knew him very well

over winter break that year there was an incident
at a family gathering in the middle of the night there was a fire in the Doran house
apparently Danny rushed in and out of the fire to help his relatives escape the blaze
at one point Danny went in and did not make it out
Danny died on that night

no... I never knew Danny well
but I was happy that I knew him at all
I would like to think that I would do the same for my family in their time of need

it has been twenties years since Danny's death
I am certain that he is remembered
not just by me
but also by those that knew him well

maybe I will scan a picture of the St Mary's College soccer team from 1985
it is a funny shot if I recall
everyone clean cut
me with some curly peroxide blonde locks hanging over my eyes

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