Saturday, June 10, 2006


Football fevah!

I'm watching Sweden v. Trinidad and Tobago (or Trinidad and Tobacco, as my father insists on calling it), and I'm loving this match! It's the first time Trinidad and Tobago made it to the World Cup, and everyone expected Sweden to crush them, but it's 52 minutes in and it's still nil-nil. The Trinidadians in the crowd are deliriously happy just to have made it to the World Cup, but that they're giving the Swedes a run for their kronas. It's great.

I watched England v. Paraguay this morning, and I was surprised to find myself cheering for the Paraguayans to win. The English are just so smug and entitled. There's one tall drink of water on the English team, Peter Crouch (I call him Barty), who can call me for a Canadian green card anytime. Anyway, England won, but it wasn't even their goal! Beckham tried to score and it deflected off a Paraguayan player. Bah.

I still have no idea what off-sides means, and it's been explained to me more than once. When I lived in England, my common, know-it-all landlord, Eddie Ivory, would watch football in the front room, smoking his roll-your-owns, downing cheap beer, and yell at the TV. "Off-sides!" was his most common bellicose howl. I would get very irritated by this. Once, another housemate, Jim, tried to explain to me what he was getting so agitated about, with a chart and everything. I would have glimmers of understanding, and then it would escape me. Bless Jim, wherever he is now, but it really didn't sink in.

God, Eddie was annoying. He would yell at me about how football was so much better then American football. What did I care about American football? Nary an iota. He also said that North America was so effing conceited because baseball's championships is called the World Series and it was only two countries involved. It was after I came home to Canada that I found out that "The World" was a newspaper that sponsored the first baseball playoffs. Man, I wish I knew that then to rub in his face.

Eddie also used to drop names of any celebrity that came from the county we lived in, Kent. "Mick Jagger went to my grade school," "I have Eric Idle's phone number" (Eddie was hired, amongst others, to lay bricks at Idle's new house in Sevenoaks). Blah blah blah. He acted as if he was the seventh Python. Pfft.

Jim was much nicer. He saw I liked watching football, so he took me to a Premier League match! We saw Tottenham v. Middlesborough in London. Jim was a huge (Tottenham) Hotspurs supporter, and was talking about getting a cockerel tattoo to represent his devotion. I wonder if he ever got it.

Jim was an urban engineer or something. He came home very late one very rainy night to tell us that his crew was preparing a bank for a new overpass when they discovered an unexploded German shell from the Blitz. He was quiet and smoked a lot that night.

Trinidad and Tobago is still fighting off Sweden. I'm going to go finish watching this match.

And btw, this is my 300th post. It's not that big a deal, but being able to divide anything by 100 is usually important.

Update: Trinidad and Tobago might as well have won 5-nil. The time ran out with no score, but the Trinidadians in the crowd exploded, and the Swedes were humiliated. It was great. Hurray for the underdogs! It was a great match, and the T&T goalkeeper, Hislop, was a scrapper. Oh, to be in Port of Spain tonight!


Der Ozzman said...

Well thanks for the praise!

Lynda said...

I also immediately thought of Barty when I heard the name Crouch.

Lynda said...

Go Australia.

Laura said...

AHH LYNDA! You said it! I just posted a rather long comment on Mel's blog about my soccer watching here in Oz (Aussies' call it soccer too, since they have their own game of 'Australian Rules' Football). Gald you're into this too, Catherine, we can compare scores when I'm back in Canada! As for the off-sides rule, let's just say I'm lucky to have soccer-playing siblings- but I love this too, "Don't tell me. The offside rule is when the French mustard has to be between the teriyaki sauce and the sea salt". Oh, Bend it Like Beckham.
Tell me, in your time in England, did you ever get on to cricket?

Catherine said...

Yeah, I watched a little cricket, and I have some understanding of the basic rules, but I wouldn't be able to play on what I know - just sorta follow a match. It's cool, though. There was a big group of what I assume were Indian or Pakistani students (bigot alert - sorry) that used to play in a park near McMaster. It was cool.