February 08, 2010

Sunday Night Football



Greetings from the Indian subcontinent. Candolim beach in northern Goa, to be exact. The weather and surroundings are beautiful here. I'm making a point to enjoy both for each and every one of you.

I trust you spent your Sunday night watching football. I certainly did. On two giant projection screens. But not the game you're thinking of; Chelsea vs. Arsenal. The J29 Sports Bar here in Candolim was filled with English and Russian tourists, taking in the Premiership clash. Upon entering the outdoor restaurant, a gentlemen stopped me dead in my tracks: "You want to bet on the game, mate?" Don't mind if I do. I dropped 100 rupees on a 2-1 Chelsea final, with 6-1 odds. The restaurant's bookie had three pages of odds, from everything to the first shot, first goal, and even first team to hit the woodwork. Clearly, J29 was my type of place.

Thanks to Petr Cech, my bet was a losing one. But I can't be mad. Not at a superb goaltender. Cech is so good I almost want to become a Chelsea supporter. It was 100 rupees, or $2.44, well spent.

Speaking of 100 rupees, that's how much a 551 ml bottle of Kingfisher Indian beer goes for. Again, $2.44 very well spent. As a child, the beauty of visiting India was that it meant as much Coke, Sprite and Limca the heart could desire. Anything but water. As an adult, it's even better. Beer, beer, and more beer. Safety first, right?

And, you guessed it, "Kingfisher" is the first Indian word you need to learn. Practice makes perfect. I'm sure you'll be fine.

Back to the footy match, for a second. The Arsenal/Chelsea rivalry, and the fact that it transcends borders, only drives home the point that Toronto needs another ice hockey team. If the greater London area sports five teams in the Premiership, it's absolutely absurd that only one hockey team calls Toronto home. Yes, this is where you throw in your "And they're barely a hockey team!!!1" joke. Thanks.

And Didier Drogba. Jeez. Twelve games vs. Arsenal, and 12 goals to his name, after two Sunday night. Quite the performance, especially the second marker, coming off his left foot. Drogba's Arsenal's daddy.

Some final thoughts before I leave you:

  • In 76 starts over the past two seasons with Toronto, Vesa Toskala posted two shutouts. In two starts in one week as a Maple Leaf, J.S. Giguere has done the same. The Leafs have already won this trade.
  • My man Ian from The Blue Jay Hunter will be picking up the slack for me while I'm gone, and running the Vernon Wells Hatred Advisory System once baseball gets going. I imagine the hatred levels will be elevated as soon as spring training begins. The pressure will be on Wells from the get go. Remember: please don't boo him at the Dome. Give him a chance. Believe, dammit.
Until we meet again ...

8 comments:

Loser Domi said...

I love the PLAYOFFS!!1 in the sand.

kidkawartha said...

If you're on the beach in Goa and some compact American guy who can't remember his name is jogging along, don't piss him off.

Brandon said...

Treble!!!1

looshV said...

Have a great trip bro! Just thought you should know that Toskalol! got rebuffed when asked if he could take Giggy's old #35. He then proceeded to declare he doesn't plan to be a back-up. Some things never change. lol!

William said...

Ah! The wonders of the Internet--playoff dreams from the sands of India. Enjoy.

Mike said...

Glad to hear you're enjoying the trip - and that was one hell of a match.

You're probably slightly out of contact with much of the little news blips from this hemisphere, but just thought you'd like a couple of gems from Vesa Toskala.

In an interview with the Orange County Register, when asked when he'd be getting his goalie mask re-painted:

“Hopefully soon ... So I can wash that blue and white out of my gear.”

And then later:

"I don’t think I’m a back-up. I’m not going to complain or anything. If it’s my call, I would play every game because I love to play. When I play a lot, I play my best."

Brilliant!

Ian H. said...

I promise to take good care of the VWHAS!

bkblades said...

Whoa, much too late (this is what happens when "mark as read" becomes a tool of choice when you don't check for a week), but happy and safe trails in the motherland. Well, not my mother land, but your motherland. My hope is that you'll have a boatload of material to convey here or at another site...

Having said that, Chelski can go eff themselves. And I say that in the most respectful manner because they're a much better team than my Gunners. Right now though. I love disclaimers.

Regards, Nav.