Sunday, December 18, 2011

Off My Duff: Broomball Playoffs

It turned out to be a pretty quiet weekend at our house. Our Girl woke up on Saturday morning vomiting. So any plans for adventures out on the town were postponed. We made good use of the quiet time, as described here.

Image via Municipal Ice Complex

We had our broomball playoffs on Friday evening. Unfortunately, our postseason only lasted one game. Even more unfortunately for me, I spent most of the game watching from the bench. Still nursing my wounds from the previous week, I didn't appreciate how limited my movements would be until I got out on the ice. Quickly realizing that I wasn't doing anyone any favors out there, I benched myself. Mock, good, loyal friend that he is, let me take a quick turn in goal just so I'd have a chance to play. It was fun for a bit, but I let a goal in, ending that experiment.

The team played great, achieving a 2-2 draw in regulation, doubling our goal total for the year. We lost on penalty shots, though Mock bravely made 5 saves in the shootout before a lucky one got through. I'm hoping the strong effort was despite my absence, not helped by it.

Regardless, I'm definitely in for the spring season, evidently beginning in January. There's talk of team jerseys. Hopefully, I'll be fully healed by then. I think a modest investment in protective gear is in order. I shall continue to advocate for practices and chalk talks when/if we can find the time. I have some ideas about how we might streamline our positional play.

Image via Merchant Circle

The highlight of the evening for me was our post-game gathering at The O.N.E. Pepper Grill in Burlington. One of the most common questions people ask me when my Japan experience comes up is if there's anything I miss about the culture. Even 13 years later, there are a few things. I miss the astonishing politeness, particularly in customer service. I miss the public transit system a lot. But perhaps what I miss most of all is the bars. Japanese bars are built for conversation: round or square tables, unobtrusive music and drinking rituals which encourage interaction. Few American establishments compare favorably in my experience. But The O.N.E. Pepper Grill was really nice. I could actually hear everyone in our group, even those furthest from me. I was impressed - one to remember.

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