In December of 1995, Zack Phillips was skating down a San Francisco street when a ball rolled into his path. He nonchalantly kicked it back to the soccer players and was struck with an idea that would change the world. Or at least Zack Phillips' world. Well, somewhere between the two.
Phillips -- a former General Electric capital business analyst (who must have been damn good because his bosses let him keep coming into work looking like this) -- took the idea and ran with it. Well, actually he skated with it. Within weeks, he'd organized games of "ZackBall" (later RollerSoccer) among his San Francisco friends. By 1996, he'd spread the sport around the nation and even to Hong Kong and Taiwan (his old job had him traveling a lot). He even inaugurated a worldwide RollerSoccer governing body and inaugurated a World Cup (hey, the U.S. won last year!).
If the notion of fast soccer on skates -- and the possibility of slide tackles at 35 mph -- piques your interest, you're in luck. Phillips and the U.S. National team will be demonstrating their esoteric sport on Sunday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Capp and 24th Street parking lot in the Mission.
There will be autographs. There will be pictures. There will be giveaways of skates and protective equipment to needy youths. There may even be a horrific joint or muscle injury.
Come fall, Phillips hopes to roll out San Francisco youth leagues for those who'd like to follow in his skate-steps. And, if you're really good, maybe you'll be skating for the national team as they take part in this year's World Cup in Brussels, Belgium in August.
Everyone's got to have a dream...