Revenge is a dish best served… Well, that’s it, really. Revenge is a dish best served, regardless of what I can only assume would be its metaphorical temperature (hot, cold, etc. — never really understood the idiom and its apparent ties to Quiznos sandwich chefs, if I’m being honest).
I mean, think about it: Revenge is awesome. Why else would they make a million movies where the plot specifically revolves around the whole concept for like 90 or so odd minutes?
“Revenge of the Nerds,” “The Revenant,” pretty much any Quentin Tarantino movie ever made, and Batman’s whole feeling-compelled-to-live-in-a-cave-and-wear-mostly-spandex thing are all examples of Hollywood cashing in on just how sweet revenge is.
You see it a lot in sports, too, and sports movies for that matter (“D2: The Mighty Ducks” and one of the “Air Bud” movies probably somehow, etc. etc.).
Last week, the Indian River High School girls’ soccer team had their chance for a pretty sweet dish served at a, for some reason, relevant temperature, when they took on Caravel in a rematch of last year’s state title game.
If I can speak frankly and offer a personal opinion for a moment (I totally can — this is my column — LOL), they were pretty much robbed of that opportunity on a blatantly accidental fluke of a goal 30 seconds or so in, followed by some of the most blatantly atrocious officiating I have ever seen in any sport at any level (right on par with the replacement-refs Packers/Seahawks Monday Night Football thing back in 2012 that more or less only recently stopped airing daily on ESPN’s “Sportscenter”).
If it had been one of those classic Hollywood revenge movies, however, the Indians would have come out of the locker room sometime toward the end of the game, after all had appeared lost, but then someone had called time-out and gave a pretty inspirational speech, and then they'd be wearing completely different — yet still Disney-franchise-approved — jerseys, while the announcers debated between themselves whether or not that was against the rules or no, without really ever coming to any sort of cathartic conclusion on the matter, and the refs just kind of shrug and scratch their pinstriped heads, and no one really questions how it is exactly that a team can go into a locker room for enough time to accommodate all this jersey-swapping and inspirational-speech-giving when it’s clearly way past the regulation’s halfway point, which would have been the actual appropriate time for that kind of thing — this all happening just before the game-winner gets scored on some sort of theatrical trick play that would never really work in real life, by way of some sort of underdog that you would never really expect to be the hero and who needed to redeem their character’s tragic flaw that was most likely laid on pretty painfully thick throughout Act I; and so, but then, anyway, he or she then pulls it off (the flaw-redeeming thing), and then everyone skates/runs/gets let off their leash (“Air Bud”) off into the sunset while Queen’s “We Are the Champions” plays out the final climactic chorus and the credits roll.
But, unfortunately for Indians fans, it wasn’t.
Instead, the clock just went to stoppage time, and then the final whistle blew and then there were a lot of like, tears and hugs, etc. (the tears mostly from Point photographer R. Chris Clark).
An obvious letdown, for an obviously talented squad whose goal had, obviously, been to win states for quite a while now, it was hard to watch that disappointment take the form of visible grief, even from a completely unbiased journalistic perspective.
So when Chris Clark asked if maybe he should stop shooting pictures now or…? I said Well, probably, yes, because with how tough all the post-game head-hanging was to watch unfold on the field live, it was even tougher to imagine that anyone would want to relive any of those moments from a digital past-tense perspective when mostly they had been expecting to relive the complete opposite in the form of the school’s first-ever state championship for girls’ soccer.
While I can’t for the life of me understand why the other team on the field that day (which shall remain nameless) decided to take to obvious disgruntled physical post-game shoving, as well as all their other red-card-worthy behavior — despite the fact that they had just won their third state title and gotten some serious help from their zebra-clad friends in the process — it might suffice to say that the true champions that day were the ones who kept their cool despite it all, without some kind of N.C. State-baseball-coach-type freak-out.
It might also suffice to say that the game and the Indians’ season should be a lesson for everyone that revenge isn’t everything. And that, a lot of the time, real life just isn’t like the movies.
There will eventually be a day where the girls’ soccer program at IR does finish the season with a state championship and that scripted Hollywood ending. And when it finally does, you can bet that there’ll be plenty of sequels sure to follow.
“We Are the Champions.”