This morning, Toronto feels different. Folks aren’t at work – they’re on the patios and in the streets. They’re watching TVs on their stoops and sharing barbeque and beer with their neighbours. There’s an expectant, optimistic, celebratory atmosphere that I can feel even in solitude in my home. It’s like Christmas for football fans. It’s Pitchmas.
This morning as I made coffee the foamer on my counter-top espresso machine vied for sonic domination but succumbed to the eternal drone of thousands of vuvuzelas. Twenty-two of the world’s finest players danced the ball across the pitch. I cheered and gasped. I was be-goosebumped.
In line with my very personal (or, according to friend and soccer blogger Zach Strauss, shamefully indecisive) approach to the beautiful game, I’ll be reporting on World Cup goings-on in my typically tangential way. I’ll leave the game commentary in Zach’s able hands. Any match that requires auto-defibrillation – twice! – is an hour and a half well-spent. Oh, and also, South Africa’s jerseys are king.
On this first day of Pitchmas I bring you a gift: On June 6, the New York Times ran a story about South Africa’s Vakhegula Vakhegula (Grannies Grannies), a soccer team made up of women between the ages of 49 and 84.
Read the story. It’ll take 10 minutes of your time and will fill you with soccer-y goodness. The next 30 days will be a feast of technically exquisite football – the football of demigods. And – lucky us! – because this game is loved everywhere and by everyone, it will also be a celebration of the football of the people.