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The Games

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  • Uncle Terry
    Time to catch everyone up on the games here. Since last Saturday each of the divisions has been playing its round robin games. A few things became apparent.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 27, 2002
      Time to catch everyone up on the games here. Since last Saturday each of
      the divisions has been playing its round robin games. A few things became
      apparent. The South Africans remain dominant in both (Men's & Women's)
      Masters divisions, which they have won since the divisions were created,
      except for a brief interruption by Australia in 2000. Neither team lost a
      game in the round robin, so they are clearly the gold medal favorites.

      Similarly, defending champion Australia dominated the Men's division,
      followed by France, which lost only to the Aussies. In the Women's
      division, hometown Canada, passed through the prelims undefeated.

      There was some excitement in the Men's Masters round robin, as Great
      Britain, Australia, and Canada finished in a tie for 3rd seed. The
      resolution of this was critical, as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd seeds get a day off
      while 4th and 5th play off for a shot at the semifinals. And you know how
      important a day off is to the elder generation. Canada won the tie on the
      basis of having the fewest goals scored against them. The Brits immediately
      started whinging about not being credited for goals they scored after the
      game was over and claiming that the score hadn't been kept correctly in
      previous games which they had lost. Perhaps they should instead have scored
      enough goals so they didn't have to rely on tie-breakers.

      But the most exciting game before the playoffs was the Colombia-Great
      Britain game. For the last 4 worlds tournaments, Colombia has labored in
      the second division, improving steadily each year. As top seed in the B
      division this year, they had the opportunity to play the eighth seed from
      the A division to try to advance to the quarterfinals. As anyone who has
      witnessed a Colombian game will attest, they are spirited affairs, largely
      due to their fans. The fans initially consist of the Colombian women's
      team, but quickly grow as the infectious enthusiasm spreads. And the
      cheering is wonderful. It's surprising how they make so much out of 2
      words-- "Ai" (pronounced eye) and "Colombia". Before you know it half of
      the bleacher section is yelling:

      Ai, ai, ai
      Ai,ai,ai,ai,ai,ai,ai,ai,ai,ai,ai Colombia!

      The game remained scoreless for the first 27 minutes. Then Colombia was
      awarded a penalty shot. Unfortunately they committed an infraction and the
      penalty shot was successfully defended. Now, most of the time, a successful
      defense of a penalty shot fires up the defending team and deflates the team
      which failed at the penalty shot. But in this case, Colombia took the next
      strike and within 20 seconds scored the only goal of the game. Once time
      ran out, Colombia had made it to the upper division (and theoretically a
      shot at the gold), and the country which invented underwater hockey had been
      relegated to the B division.

      But the pool is not the only place where games are played. For instance,
      the US Men's team had been playing in traffic quite a bit. Last weekend,
      Timmy Burke was involved in a round of bumper tag with a local last week.
      The local stormed back to the team van screaming and hollering, ostensibly
      looking for a fight. He quieted down as the 12 team members and their coach
      poured out of the van to see if they could help resolve the situation. No
      one was injured, but the local was suspected of suffering low blood

      Then, just yesterday, the boys accidentally encountered a FedEx truck.
      Again no one was injured, and no one tried to get into a fight. But this
      time the team van took the brunt of the punishment.

      Heading back indoors, the US Men's team and the Canadian Women's coach got
      into a heated, shall we say, debate. Apparently the brouhaha began when
      Lyndon Rives allegedly "borrowed" Blair Armstrong's team jacket. Seeing the
      US team in the stands shortly afterward, the Maple Leaf coach went mad and
      started climbing his way toward the alleged offenders, appearing to be ready
      to take all on. On his way up, he stepped on a Britchick, injuring her knee
      (there are some that suppose this may have been the entire reason for the
      attack-- to maximize collateral damage). Some bystanders temporarily calmed
      Blair down, someone gave him his jacket back, and Daniel the Wonderboy ended
      the altercation by threatening to write the coach a ticket.

      But others besides the US Men's team were involved in altercations. James
      Luce of the US Men's Masters team was quietly picking flowers the other day
      when he noticed a lovely feather which he thought would be a good addition
      to the bouquet he was making. When he picked up the feather he discovered
      that a nearby prairie chicken thought it had rights to the feather and began
      chasing James, chirping and crying like crazy. Knowing how protective birds
      are of their nests, and thus in a panic, James dashed across the street to
      safety, as the pedestrian light had changed, and being a law-abiding
      Canadian, the prairie chicken refused to cross against the light.

      Just a couple days later the US Mens Masters team went to the pool for a
      warmup, a little bit earlier than they were supposed to begin warming up. A
      frantic Canadian female volunteer began chirping "you know you aren't
      supposed to be in the pool this early! Get out! Get out!" In a panic, the
      team dashed into the Men's locker room, knowing the law-abiding woman would
      not follow them there.

      I have gotten a few inquiries as to why I haven't yet discussed the
      differences in currency and measurements used by the US and its Canadian
      suburbs. While this subject is near and dear to my heart, I have hesitated
      up to this point because of the complexity involved. Just think about it.
      If I get 30 miles to the gallon and it costs 70 Canadian cents per litre for
      gas, how much will it cost to go from Lethbridge, Alberta to Butte, Montana,
      accounting for the border crossing? See what I mean? But I'll try to touch
      on the subject in upcoming reports.

      So now it's on to quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship games. Good
      luck to all.

      --Uncle Terry
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