Toronto – Sunday afternoon was the day for the annual media vs rockers charity game at BMO Field. I somehow got in on the media side and let me tell you, I was really excited to play this game. BMO Field had recently added a nice grass field and I was eager to play soccer on a nice flat pitch, instead of the crappy ass dirt patches that XTSC and TCSSC seems to provide. The game featured musicians such as Brendan Canning from Broken Social Scene, members of Bedouin Soundclash, the High Dials and Great Big Sea. The media side included people from Entertainment Tonight, Vice, National Post, Herohill and Bravo.
Let me tell you how NOT to prepare for a soccer game – go out dancing until 3:30 am and then go eat Korean food. Then wake up the next day and arrive at the field 15 minutes before the game starts, not even allowing time for warmup. To be honest, no one at the game had slept til 3 or 4 the previous night either. Rockers are used to this sort of rag tag lifestyle, software developers are not.
Having played a bunch of 5 on 5 half pitch soccer in my days, I wasn’t fully prepared for playing a 10 on 10 full pitch game in the middle of the day. I was pretty much out of gas about 15 minutes into the game. Furthermore, the competitiveness of the game had caught me for surprise. I had expected a nice half ass casual game of soccer, instead, what I discovered was that this game is a deep rooted rivalry that culminates from years of trash talking. Physical play was aplenty and there were more then a few slide tackles and collisions. It took me quite a long time to adjust to the pace of the game and get my second wind. So I guess what I’m saying is I didn’t play to my usual self, which was disappointing, but not really unexpected. Brendan Canning is as good as they say he is, and scored, much to the chagrin of everyone. There’s nothing worse then having the guy who cares about the game the most score, while you are on the other team. Having said that, he did open a beer bottle for me after the game (with a water bottle! again!) so I am most appreciative. I left the game with a new found respect for both media and musicians sporting abilities.
The game was tied and headed to a shootout, where our team prevailed. The real winner were the kids, as over 10,000 dollars were raised for the Right to Play charity. To put that perspective, that is ALMOST 1 chain linked fence at G20. Almost.
It was a great time and I hope to be back and in better shape next year, and also, actually hit that mule kick I tried to score with.
Check out the coverage on CBC here