Brian Mashburn

April 19, 2020

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It was a classic David and Goliath story.

When I was growing up, I was always smaller than my peers. It was not until my junior year of High School that I "shot up" to somewhat average height.

My freshman year was the first year that Texas adopted soccer as a sport in public schools. I played all sports recreationally, but soccer was the one that I had really invested in my whole life. It was perfect timing.

However, because it was the first year, they were not launching the sport with JV, let alone freshman, teams. If I was going to make the squad, I would have to beat out a large number of older - and larger - classmates.

Imagine walking out on a field with giants. Keep in mind, my freshman year, I looked like a middle school student. I remember a guy (his name was Brian, too) saying to his buddy, as I ran out on the field during 4th period soccer, intentionally loud enough for me to hear him, "Why are they letting 6th graders try out for High School soccer?"


He did not stop there. The semester continued with him glad to taunt and harass me. As the roster cutoff approached, whenever we would walk in after soccer class, Coach would call a name to walk in with him. You did NOT want your name called, we soon learned, because those names were never at practice the next day.

I happened to be walking in right next to my nemesis one Thursday. He was in the middle of another creative insult, as we headed to the locker room, saying that even if I could play soccer, the team wouldn't stock a uniform in extra-extra small for me. As if right on cue, coach called my name to stay back. Giant-boy smiled a satisfying, I-Told-You-So grin at me as I turned and started jogging towards Coach.

Then Coach interrupted my run-of-shame by blaring loudly, where everyone could hear it, "Wrong Brian! The other one!" Our heads snapped to look at each other, and his face suddenly changed as he looked at me in horror. That Brian was not at practice the next day.

I love "David and Goliath" stories. Most of us do (at least when we fancy ourselves in the David-role). But honestly, stories like that do not do justice to the real thing.

Today, let's take a more careful walk through the real thing. I think you will like what we find there even better.

Brian Mashburn

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