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The smoothness found in a bottle of Jack Daniels is legendary. It comes from charcoal filtering known as the Lincoln County Process. Locals refer to it as The Extra Blessing. Over a week’s time, the whiskey drips through sugar maple charcoals. The resulting spirit is then officially labeled as Tennessee Whiskey, distinct from bourbon.

So what might you ask does modern day moonshine have to do with futsal? Futsal, too, is the finest of filters. Poor first touch? Soft man marking? Slow to interpret a 3v2? Well, spend a few years in the futsal casket and the impurities drain away. Going back almost a decade, I’ve witnessed numerous local soccer players with big reputations step onto futsal courts. As they enter the gym, the murmurs grow, “Oh that’s so-and-so, plays the 9 at X, Y & Z Academy.” However, without days, weeks and months spent dripping through the futsal charcoals, these players don’t stand a chance. The first touch is heavy, the marking is loose, and the ability to solve a numerical advantage on the counter is raw, unfiltered. Success isn’t so easily bottled, but a toast to futsal and all its mellowing ways.