Friday, December 7th 2018 – The half-moon crescent hung in the midnight sky like the broken rib of Zeus himself. Lightning flashed over the entire lower mainland, but if you were to ask anyone about that night, no one would have seen a thing.
A lonely hooded figure dances around a softly lit room. Fourteen candles placed in a circle illuminate his every movement as he stomps around, in the centre of which lay two curious objects. He mutters indistinguishable sounds but it does not seem of nonsense – these are not the ramblings of a crazy man, but one of extreme focus, as if he were in love with the very process that was consuming him.
Round and round, his movements become more jagged, more violent. He is not dancing anymore, but striking at the air with his limbs. His revolutions become tighter and as he narrows in on the centre of items he picks up a large translucent bottle without breaking stride. It is heavy but he has absolute purpose. Still moving about the room, he lifts the bottle over his head and turns it upside down. A flood of white liquid pours over his face, it devours him and he inhales every drop of milk that lets itself upon his mouth.
“Mama, can you hear me?” He tosses the bottle aside. “Mama, can you see me?” He falls to his knees and yells. “Mama, can you find me in the middle of the night?”
The candles flicker. An ambulance is heard in the distance. Fourteen lightning bolts rip across the sky. The door flies open. Standing in the entrance is a very handsome man with hair of fire. “You do not know the powers you summon!”
Under his hood the man’s eyes open wide and feral. He dives for an object from the center and retreats to the corner. “My precious!” He cradles the long purple (commonly thought of as a vegetable) fruit in his arms. “Get away from my precious!” It is an eggplant.
The handsome man takes a step toward the hooded figure, he knows the ritual is almost complete. He surveys they room. Something feels all too familiar but off, like a different device by the same name.
And that’s when he sees it – the red balloon floating in the corner of the room. The handsome man rushes the hooded figure and lunges at him, the eggplant rolls precariously away from them both. “My precious!” The hooded man crawls toward it but is tackled once again.
The two beings of extraordinary strength wrestle. They wrestle for a very long time in fact, much longer than you would expect in this or any other situation. In a surprise twist, the hooded man breaks free and picks up the holy fruit. “I shall complete the ritual!”
The handsome man pleads, “No! You do not know the power you posses!”
“Power?” The hooded man smirks. “I’ll show you power.” He takes off his cloak, revealing a very small bruise on his chest, and hurls the purple fruit at the birthday decoration.
Both the eggplant and balloon explode on impact, their ethereal materials meshing with one another for the first time in the history of the universe. The room fills with blinding light creating a temporary wormhole swallowing both figures and collapsing the entire timeline.
Saturday, December 8th 2018 – The boys showed up to the adored Jericho turf looking to make it fourteen unbeaten. Paul’s sentiment of getting to the field early having not practiced as a team in a few weeks was echoed in the hearts of many a Striker as numbers were good early and warmup itself was decent enough.
The 1st half came and went and we were down 1-0 and Snipers were fair play for their lead. We had some chances but didn’t take them. I thought we came out uninspired, unmotivated, waiting for a reason to get into the game. Waiting for Kyle to make a big tackle, waiting for Willy to make a great effort. Good teams won’t wait for us to get into a game. A better team would’ve put us away 3 up with how we came out.
The 2nd half was better, for us and for the faithful handful who lean on the Jericho fence. We moved the ball a lot better and the game opened up. Our constant pressure won us plenty of dead balls which was very fortunate because as the Sniper’s head coach put it, “They’re a set piece team that’s all they have.”
Well jokes on him because my buddy Joel knows how to put in a nice lob, and my pal Arv knows how to make defenders look like minions from the 2010 animated comedy “Despicable Me”. 1-1. Sniper’s coach with the Pep-like intuition.
Things continued to get interesting as it seemed a bunch of the Snipers got new cleats and wanted to show us their studs. One guy in particular wanted to impress McCon so badly that a full second after he cleared a ball the guy came sliding through him to offer a real good look. McCon later told me he didn’t really like the guy’s cleats but didn’t have the heart to tell him. He really has been on his best behavior recently.
Some stuff happened and I think it was the same guy who hit a nice finish. 2-1. Props to him, but talk about taking things a little too personally hey?
Then there was this interesting sequence where Nate broke through three full body tackles in the space of like 5 yards. He really was a man on fire. Having seen his teammates fail before him, a fourth Sniper showed up to the party a little late and came out with a solid round house kick to the chest. Nate who also enjoys Chuck Norris films respected the audacity of this irrelevant background character and chose to let him live.
Anywho, so we’re down 2-1 and I’m thinking to myself, “Fuck this Match Report is really gonna suck to write.” And in my mind out of nowhere appears the face of the legend himself, Andrew Dunn! He says pretty much the only thing he’s ever said to me, “Gav, stay high.” So, I do that and lo and behold Andy’s still helping the Strikers from the other side of the planet. The ball ends up on their sweeper with me on his back. The guy has played a great game so far, and maybe that got to his head, because he did the unthinkable – he went for the Arved. In one fell swoop he kicked out his own legs and flopped to the ground. I don’t know if he knew, but for this grandiose gesture to work out there are some vital requirements:
- Be Arved,
Ah shoot mate, looks like that one didn’t quite work out. 2-2.
At this point there’s maybe 7 minutes left in the game. I don’t know who got the ball to Arch but I think the consensus is that it doesn’t matter because boy did he let that one rip. He’d had a couple of audacious looks from 25 but this one he hit true. This was the marriage vows of strikes. It was pure, it was honest. It made you tear up and think about your childhood and falling in love. It went right underneath the crossbar, as if the net had been waiting for him for 13 weeks. The net rippled as if to say, “Bryan, you’re right on time.” It was magic. 3-2 good guys.
As he usually does Whit put it perfectly – we need to get back to those full game efforts we had earlier in the season. We’ve been relying way too much on moments of individual brilliance, strings of nice play, and on our ability to make a comeback. We need to be engaged for all 90 minutes. Every team in the league wants to be the one to scalp us, that should be all the motivation we need.