Saturday, February 27, 2010

Better Red Than Dead: Intrepid Beat Reporter Edition Pt.1

Today is my 40th birthday. I find myself in Jupiter, Florida, about 150 miles south of Lake Buena Vista, home of the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. My wife has been down here for months, working on a show at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre (formerly known as the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater!), and I'm down for a visit. For once in my life, I've timed a trip south to perfectly escape some brutal weather back home.

I've had a great birthday morning--blueberry pancakes and crispy bacon. I was given two tickets behind home plate to the Redsox/Twins Grapefruit League game later this week. And now my wife has gone to work (two shows--it's a Saturday), leaving me to get dressed and head out on a road trip to catch some Red Bulls soccer--truly a great birthday in the making!

As you all probably know by now, following our 6-5 PK win over Houston, and Toronto's 1-0 victory over Dallas FC, we are set for a matchup with Toronto FC in the final of the Mickey Mouse Invitational.

When we last faced our northern neighbors, it was our final match in Giants Stadium, at the end of our dismal 2009 campaign. Toronto came to town with hopes of making the playoffs. In the 2nd minute, Kandji fought past two defenders and put the ball in the back of the net, in what proved to be a great night for the Red Bulls. Folks, we did not just beat them, we rolled over them in a 5-0 victory that served as one of the very few bright spots of last year.

And yet, in the final minutes of this embarrassment, the visiting fans showed that their performance could be even more gutless than the one their team put on the field. Diplaying what I presume passes for wit in Toronto, they hung a banner that said "Last Douche Out? Turn Off the Shite."

Now, I don't know about you, but no amount of Labatt's Blue would convince me it was a good idea to hang that up after getting our asses arses kicked all the way back several miles kilometers kilometres beyond Toronto. Why would they choose to do something that only pointed a glaring spotlight at how pathetic their team had played and further embarrass themselves? I figure it must be a cultural difference between us and our friends to the north. Before heading out to today's match, I should take a minute to better understand and appreciate Canadian culture:

Armed with all the knowledge I'll need, I'm going to Disney World!

Be sure to check back with The Viper's Nest tomorrow for a report and pictures of the day's events.
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