Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

The Weekend

Ever had a weekend that just seems to go on and on but then before you know it you realise you have to get up for work the next day? Well, that's what I just had:

Up to my ankles in shit! Literally?

Yes! Literally! I had a soccer tournament in Terrebonne and our first gane was on Friday night at 18h30. We got to Terrebonne, met up with the rest of the team, there was a slight mix-up with our registration and I had to pretend to be someone else, but then we all went to find the field we were playing at.

We follow the road until it stops and turns into a dirt track just in front of the pitch. Fair enough - it's at the back of a new suburban estate and has trees around two sides. Also present is a large pond and a muddy ditch both full of stagnant water. IN the pond is a large septic truck! At least the pitch looked ok. And then you walked on it; it was like a giant sponge, water seeping up around your feet when you put you weight down. Nasty, nasty, nasty. And it smelled. Bad.

And there were mosquitos, lots of the little buggers, which made getting changed a pain, and playing in sorts and short-sleeves a bit of a problem. Still, we won 3-2 against an awful team - but it was our first competitive match of the season so we were very very rusty.

The morning after

After thoroughly disinfecting myself the previous night, and hanging out with some friends until 1:30, I was up at 9 to play the rest of our group games. Thankfully we were playing on their best pitch which was nice and dry. Apparently, in the match after us in the swamp, there were 5 injuries so they decided not to use it again. We won our first match 3-0 against a very, very dirty team - I got kicked in the face whilst I was on the ground by a guy running past me!

Then in the afternoon we played against Corrections Canada: a team composed of prison guards. As you can imagine they were rather large. The laughable thing about this match was that no matter what the outcome fo the match, we would finish top in our group and they would finish second, which meant we would play again tomorrow in the semi-finals.

We won 3-2, and pretty much outplayed them the entire match, they had one good guy up front who was basically their only threat. I managed to get punched in the head this time after I, perfectly legally I might add, headed the ball ouyt of the goalkeepers hand (in the rules he must have two hands on the ball). Of course, the ref decided to call a foul. Idiot.

Day of Reckoning

By now, we were all very sore and very tired - a fact exasperated by us only having 2 subs for our first three games. However, for Sunday we were able to gain another player which would help us a lot. We played Corrections again, and quickly went 2-0 up thanks to 2 penalties. I was 'fouled' for the second but it was a fair challenge. I tried to tell the ref but he refused to listen. *shrug*

Anyway, somehow we managed to throw away our lead but we were still controlling the game when, with about 10 minutes left, their one good player is running at our defence, and our slightly erratic midfielder took him down for behind in a pretty bad tackle. For which he was rightly booked. Next thing I know, our centre back is being sent off for apparently elbowing someone! Which I know for a fact wouldn't happen (he couldn't play dirty if he tried).

We held on with 10 men, could even have won, but we went to penalties. We hit 4 awful, awful penalties: straight down the middle, but somehow, they all went in! They missed their 5th, and we scored ours to get into the final.

This good mood was then tempered by the fact that our centre-back had to go to hospital as he was punched by one of their players and there was a chance he had a ruptured spleen! Then another of our players got called into work. And then we found out another was suspended for the final. Suddenly, everything didn't look so rosy. THEN, we fould out that we were going to play 2 halves of 40 minutes insted of the usual 30 PLUS the other team had played one less game than us cos one team didn't show up.

Coming second is really just 6th last

So we lost the final. No surprise there. They were just in much better condition than us at that point so we couldn't really impose ourselves on the game. They were a decent bunch of guys though, it was no disgrace to lose to them. Still, we finished up empty-handed with a player in hospital, perhaps ot the best effort-to-reward ratio out there.

If you can't be good, be popular

In the evening, I went with Phil and Alice to see Film Blitz 2880 which a friend, patricia was competing in. It was a film-making competition in which teams had 48 hours to script, film, produce and edit a 6 minute film about the theme "Time is Fleeting" and incorporating the colour blue.

It was a very looooong evening, sitting in uncomfortable seats in uncomfortable heat in Cabaret de Papineau. The film that won didn't deserve to. But at the end there was an audience vote for which the prize was a wrap party with the director Denys Arcand (of Les Invasions Barbares fame) and Patricia's team won!

Then to home and to bed, via Rapido for some poutine though of course!