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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Conversations #1: yellow-card for tripping: 5 yard penalty, still first down

So my colleague and I are getting to know each other over lunch one day and the topic of sports comes up. Here is what ensues…

Him: What is the national sport of Canada?
Me: Hockey.
Him: Really? So is India’s!
Me: That seems odd given the weather here. Oh wait, you mean field hockey. Not the same sport. In Canada it is ice hockey that is played.
Him: Oh.
[Strike one for common ground. He's never seen ice hockey, I've never seen field hockey played, although I know the girls play it in school]

Him: So what sports did you play as a kid or in school?
Me: Um, baseball, running, soccer–
Him: Soccer?
Me: Oh yeah…it is actually football.
Him: OK…?
Me: [shrugs sheepishly] Don’t ask me…
Him: I saw a movie recently about baseball, ‘A League of Their Own’
Me: I liked that one.
Him: Me too. It had Madonna in it.
Me: Yeah, the Americans make a lot of movies about baseball. The sport seem to make for good dramas. That and football.
Him: Soccer?
Me: [shit, walked into that one….]
Me: No, not soccer, American Football. It isn’t ‘foot’ football, but more like Rugby, you know: throw and catch.
[He is looking at me rather puzzled. This isn’t going well.]
Him: So soccer is like Rugby?
Me: No football is like Rugby. Soccer is like your football.
Him: I don’t understand. Explain to me the difference between soccer, football and rugby.
Me: [Oh, dear! Fair question, but how to explain this so that it makes sense, which in all honesty, it doesn’t really…]
Me: OK, soccer is the game where you dribble the ball with you feet, your football
[he’s still looking not quite sure, which is fair given my less than picture-is-a-thousand-words description]
…It is the sport of the FIFA World Cup
[he wags. Thank God for global televised sports].
Me: So let’s keep that one. Soccer is what the rest of the world calls football. Got it?
[wags side-to-side, I take that as close enough to a yes]
Me: Now Rugby, you know: they play with an oblong ball, pointy at the ends, throw it underhand to each other…?
[He wags, knowing the game and thankfully ending my terrible butchering of the game. Given the usual size and temperament of Rugby players, my sincere apologies. It was not my finest hour.]
Me: OK, so what North Americans call “football” is more similar to Rugby, but is a totally different game. It is played with a smaller ball, with more throwing (overhand), set plays, touchdowns…The Superbowl?
[Score one again for thinking of major sporting events. I think he has heard of the Superbowl].

[I start to go down the road of explaining the difference between American football and Canadian football, but realise that is an even worse idea and quickly leave that topic alone...]

Him: So which did you play as a kid?
Me: So I played soccer as a kid, not American Football.
Him: With the feet.
Me: Yeah, with the feet.
Him: [brightly] Me too!

[And we’ve finally come full circle to conclude that he too played football in University, but hasn’t played since as there is a lack of pitches (fields) around town. He still plays cricket. “I know nothing about cricket,” I say. He says it is sort of like baseball…”Uh oh”, I think, here we go again…]

1 comment:

Ali in Vancouver said...

That is hilarious, I'm really enjoying your descriptions of everything McKay- keep it up and i may want to visit India myself. Oh, and if your co-worker tries to explain cricket you can counteract with a description of ultimate :-)