Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 46: Next time... I'll be deadly serious. Next time!

I didn't make it to class today, we weren't even back in town until 6, so at that point, it was really "how quickly can I get home? How long can I sleep?"

I mean, what an amazing, whirlwind weekend!

Honestly, I hardly feel like we were in NYC at all. I mean, it's New York City! Big, epic, distinctive! But I didn't see any of that. I didn't see any of the things I remember from my last trip; the churches, Lady Liberty, The Empire State Building, Times Square, Broadway.... I saw Randall's Island and the small strip of the city we cut through to get to it. So I don't feel like I was in New York City, but because I know I was, I'm starting to actually comprehend it as a place people live that isn't really that different from Toronto or Montreal, except in scale.

Maybe that's weird, or maybe I didn't phrase it well, but I hope you understand. New York City is finally becoming reality to me instead of myth.

But that's besides the point. The real story is the Cup! And honestly, the Quidditch World Cup could only have been better if a Canadian team had wound up winning it! It was fantastic!

At the North edge of the Athlete's Village, we created Canada Corner: U of Ottawa, Carleton, UVic and McGill all snuggled together. Though Ryerson didn't come join us, we had the bulk of the Canadian teams chillin' together. We even had a Canada v Canada scrimmage, followed by a massive Canada v USA dodgeball game. Canada lost. Mostly because people kept wandering onto the American side and joining in, whereas we started with pretty much all the possible Canadian players on the field from the start (and Vermont... the honorary Canadians?).

I reffed SO MANY games... it was really fun! I even reffed one that the Finnish team were playing, so while I didn't see them at all through the rest of the weekend, I did get to see them once.

Everyone loved my little suit, sweater vest and all! I was really surprised at how many comments I got about it. My clothes never get commented on, so it was rather shocking to me... Is that what normally happens to people when they put more thought into their clothes than "clean jeans, nifty t-shirt"? My monopod/walking stick even added an extra layer of awesome class to my getup. I managed to resist the urge to buy a wand, Ravenclaw tie and broom to complete the nerditude; but maybe I should have just caved... I did get myself Deathly Hallows earrings though. They're gorgeous!

As for game play, McGill lost the first game against South Florida (SFU), but won all the other games in their pool (SLU, America's Finest and The Silver Phoenixes [Texas A&M B-squad]). Oh America's Finest Quidditch Club... In their stars&stripes soccer socks and Uncle Sam jerseys, with all their smack talk about Canadian teams being maple-syrup guzzling mudbloods, and with their apparent attempt to accrue the largest possible number of yellow cards over the course of the weekend... well, watching McGill thrash them was particularly satisfying to see. SLU and The Silver Phoenixes were both solid competitors, and we had invigorating matches which we ultimately won. SFU was a really good competition, and a very disappointing loss for us. I hate overtime decisions in every sport, and particularly for it to be our first game of the tournament...

Coming out second in our pool (with AFQC being last), we went on to single elimination. We thought we were supposed to play Arizona State, but after a bracketing issue, our "match" became nothing but a big ol' hug fest in the centre of the field! Instead, we wound up playing Penn State, and winning. So we moved on to playing Florida. It was an intense, well matched game, but ultimately, they won by a snitch catch and moved onto the quarter finals.

After a "beach-weather in Canada" run sans-shirts by a few of the Canadian team members (mostly from McGill), all the Canadian teams went to the Stadium for the final games in a rousing procession with a snare drum in front and everyone holding their brooms like rifles. We were cheered by other teams the whole way, and finished our procession with O Canada as we got to the stadium where there was a crowd watching us arrive. We all sat together to watch the final games; first Alumni Allstars, then Minnesota v Florida (Florida won), then Middlebury v Texas A&M (Middlebury won), and finally Florida v reigning champions Middlebury. An impromptu painting of "MIDDLEBURY" across a few McGill chests and stomachs, many cheers of "Status Quo" and a few too many stretchers on the field for my tastes later, Middlebury emerged champions for the fifth year running.

Hopefully next year, McGill be the ones to end their streak.

Fingers crossed!

[Note: videos of all the games I have mentioned, except Alumni Allstars, will be available to watch on my youtube channel in the next week or so. Starting with McGill v AFQC. For now, you can watch the footage from the Canadian Cup which is now available to the public.]

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