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.