Lats night, I was the PA announcer at BMO Field in Toronto for the final game of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. The game was between Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

As the winning team, Toronto FC gets to go on an compete in the Champions League Series of CONCACAF. I know we are supposed to be on top of the “whole soccer thing” with the impending FIFA World Cup taking centre stage in South Africa starting next week. The truth of the matter is, distracted as usual, I don’t really have all of my soccer tools lined up in my head and will wait for CBC’s Brenda Irving to get to South Africa and stat de-mystifying it for me (and lots of you!)

Here’s the deal – I am thrilled to be able to announce soccer in Toronto from time to time, having cut my “announcing” teeth at the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup, but there are aspects that I still find mysterious.

For instance: Why do the goal keepers have to wear different outfits from the rest of the guys? It wouldn’t be so bad if they had at least one colour that at least matched their team mates uniforms. I find it confusing.

I also want to know if they have to get the giant-sized gloves, necessary for catching the ball, at an “Athletic, Long and Lean but with HUGE Hands” men’s store?

I have to admit, coming from a solo sport like figure skating is a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to observing team sports. In Soccer, everybody is “picking up the ball” (er…kicking the ball) for the common good. They are relying on each other to do something in tandem that furthers their objective of scoring a goal.

Even in figure skating’s team discipline, Synchro Skating, you would never hear them yelling at each other: “Helen, you go and do the twizzles.” After which Helen says: “Melody and Francine, break out in Ina Bauers while we re-group for the Open Block.” Even in Synchronised Skating, the skaters are keeping their sights on their own work, and on doing the same things together and at the same time.

Regardless of the team sport – the goal is the same – to win.

What I will say is the soccer fans in Toronto rock! I am not sure we would get any figure skating fans in today’s day and age, coming to the rink in the pouring rain to watch a competition. First of all, for some (like my Mom’s friends) their knitting would get wet .The fans at BMO Field, to my complete astonishment, showed up in droves -all 15,176 of them! Now that I think of it. The fact that beer is for sale during Soccer games might have played a small part in the tenacity of the fans. Hmmm. I wonder.

The other thing that I find a little intimidating is that the fans all seem to know the “songs” and accompanying choreography. There are so many times during a game where these random groups erupt in music and dance. (Ok – not dance exactly – more like rhythmic shuffling – but still – A+ for effort.) Where do they learn that stuff? How did I miss it? Is it too late for me? It does look like a lot of fun.

Maybe I will start my own skating songs? “If you’re happy and you’re jumping clap you hands” as a start. Or…how about …”Twinkle, twinkle, little sit spin”? I know. it needs work.

My book got finished TODAY! Just in time. Starting next week, I will be watching soccer on TV and, privately, start to try and learn some “songs”

My son says Spain is going to win.

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