Light Reading 10 (11?) Net.com 8 (9?)
Whatever, we won. The match took place on the strange, wiry, green surface of a retrofitted hockey rink inside a hangar located at the old Alameda airbase. They call it the Bladium Sports Club -- but "Club" is pushing it.
"That carpet surface was so bloody strange," said Cosmos striker Scyld Bowring. "I'm still pulling some of it out of my hair."
In a performance markedly different from their play on Friday versus Cisco (see Cisco 5, Light Reading 4), the Cosmos fell behind early in the game but rallied with a flurry of goals in the second period (in an unusual format, the game was played in three periods, à la hockey), then held off a valiant comeback by the net.com crew.
After going down 1-0, the Cosmos’ first goal was fittingly scored by Light Reading Cosmos owner Stephen Saunders, who launched a creeping bullet along the turf that was deceivingly dummied by forward Bowring before rolling just past a mesmerized keeper.
Bowring, mumbling repeatedly about the odd state of football in an America where players were forced to play on strange surfaces in hockey rinks at abandoned airbases in California, would tack on some more goals of his own. Left significantly more room to maneuver than he was against Cisco, Bowring buried 5 or 6 into the onion bag. But his scoring prowess was countered by net.com’s leviathan ex-professional striker, Gary Mills, who pretty much scored at will every time he touched the ball in the box.
At the end of the first period, the score was something like 3-2 or maybe 4-2 in somebody's favor. We have no idea, to tell you the truth.
The trouble for the Cosmos started during the break between the second and third periods, when they led by 5. Or 6. Several giddily overconfident Cosmos fell into debate about how to handle the finish. No blows were exchanged.
The mistake they made was in thinking they had mastered the match. Net.com emerged from the break with renewed vigor and quickly turned the match into a 9-8 nailbiter.
The gigantic and crafty "Braveheart" Mills appeared to gain both speed and size over time, and even a tumble on his head did little to slow him down. Mills ended up scoring nearly all of net.com’s goals -- 7 or so, let's say. We would quote him here, but we were unable to decode his hooligan accent. (Just kiddin', big guy!)
In a remarkable development, net.com's CEO Bert Whyte was wholly civil and fair in his official role as the referee -- though he did demand that Light Reading editors retract a story during halftime, otherwise they would receive the yellow card.
"What a great game, end to end, lots of goals and full of incidents," said Whyte. "What else would you expect from a Light Reading versus Network Equipment! The only shame is that Light Reading came out as winners -- but frankly they deserve this win, given they had the better, more balanced team."
Chalk up another victory for editorial balance.
— Anonymous football writer, Light Reading