New Thing #344: Watch The Superbowl

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I always thought football was just about the most boring sport around; and then I went to a basketball game. So with that in mind I sat down to watch The Superbowl for the first time tonight. Something tells me I picked the right one to watch.

That might have been the tensest, most amazing game I’ve seen since Canada won gold in men’s Olympic hockey in Vancouver. Of course, as is usually the case when I watch a live sporting event, the team I’m rooting for lost. But to be fair, I was only really cheering for them because I think their logo is superior to the Giants.

And I fully admit that the fact that Madonna was performing just sweetened the whole deal. I mean, I wouldn’t want to come off as some kind of jock or anything.

 

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New Thing #325: Glow In The Dark Ping Pong

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I attended a client party tonight at Spin, a ping pong social club in Toronto. Yes, there actually is such a thing.

Aside from having some fun playing table tennis throughout the night, it turns out that everything goes under the black light at 10:00pm. 

We didn’t get to play for long since out time on the tables had techincally run out an hour earlier, but the bit we did play was pretty damned fun. If you’ve ever bowled under black light you know the feeling. Everything becomes disembodied, and all you can focus on are the relevant pieces. 

It makes it both easier (being able to focus on the ball) and harder (not being able to judge the table) at the same time. 

If it weren’t so expensive, I’d love to get a bunch of people together and run a tournament some time.

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New Thing #319: See an NBA Game Live

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I’ve had seeing a Raptor’s game on my list of new things to do since day one. Everyone tells me that if I just see a basketball game live that I’ll understand why everyone loves this stupid game so much.

Well, that didn’t happen.

I’m sure that Toronto vs. Sacramento isn’t exactly the most stellar matchup to introduce me to the sport, but my assertion that basketball is just watching a ball go one way down the court and then back still holds true. It’s just boring to me. 

In hockey there’s tension. Goals have real weight to them. But with basketball you’re always a point or two head or behind, and it seems to just come down to the last five minutes of the game that really matter. 

Sorry mom. Here’s another sport I don’t understand.

(Oh, and thanks to my friend Tom for the tickets…I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for ’em.)

New Thing #312: Watch an MMA Fight

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I’ve never seen the point to boxing. Two men punching each other seems pointless to me and downright boring when you get down to it. But I’ll admit I was an avid pro-wrestling fan when I was a kid, based solely on the showmanship of it. 

When it comes to the UFC’s mixed martial arts fights I’ve just never understood the allure. It just seems like boxing’s dorky little brother to me. None the less, I fired up the 2010 St-Pierre vs Koscheck fight from Montreal on Netflix this afternoon. I figured at least I’d have a pony in this race based solely on St-Pierre’s Canadian citizenship. 

I also figured that since MMA is a rather new sport on the world stage that it would be filled with any, and every, dude who likes to start a bar fight. But no, these guys really know what they’re doing. They’re in top athletic form, switch between fighting styles on a dime and have to constantly defend against an ever changing opponent. St-Pierre alone is a black belt in just about anything that has one, as well as a top wrestler and boxer.

Sure, the whole thing is wrapped up in the same pomp-and-circumstance that the WWF uses to hype its fights. At the end of each fight though the ruse is pretty much up when you see the respect that the fighters show each other. It’s downright homoerotic the way that they embrace each other afterwards, and they really seem to have nothing but nice things to say about each other, even as blood drips off them.

I’ll fully admit that my preconceptions of this sport were completely wrong. In fact, after watching the title belt I went back and watched all of the matches that came before. I even found myself yelling at the screen a few times and audibly gasping at a quick turnaround in the fight.

I can just imagine how much more intense it would be seeing something like this in a live venue.

 

New Thing #88: See a Professional Soccer Game

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Well that was a wash, literally. 

For a solid six minutes I sat at BMO field watching professional soccer players run up and down the pitch. A few kicks were even made on net. Then the heavens opened up and my friend Tom and I found ourselves standing in line for a poncho for half an hour.

Once we got into our quality $5 rain gear and all sense of our dignity was lost for the evening we ventured back out to our seats. Forty five seconds later we were back inside. 

Let’s face it, I’m bound to have one or two catastrophic failures this year that are completely out of my control. So sorry Toronto FC, but I have to give you a big thumbs down, through it’s no fault of your own.

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New Thing #82: Rock Climbing

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Well, that was awesome.

My friends Karen and Jeff are avid rock climbers and have been pestering me to climb with them almost since the first time we met. Lucky for them I needed no pestering. I’ve always wanted to do this.

So tonight Jeff brought me with him to Rock Oasis to climb with a bunch of his climbing posse.

They were great teachers out of the gate, friendly and best of all, encouraging.

I felt a sense of accomplishment that I haven’t had in years as I finally made it to the top of my fifth and final wall of the night. Half way to the top, when I was ready to give up, Jeff’s friend Kasha made me keep going. I really thank her for that.

Once I was over that hurdle I knew I could get to the top, (arms trembling, brow soaked and fingers quivering) no matter what.

Now if someone can come over around lunch time tomorrow and feed me through a straw I think I’ll be in good shape.

New Thing #43: Indoor Driving Range

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I used to golf a lot in college, but once I moved to Toronto getting out to the driving range wasn’t the same carefree excursion it was back home. Subways and streetcars weren’t designed for a bag full of clubs after all.

But one of the things that have always intrigued me are the huge, inflated bubbles that you could hit a bucket of balls in. I always wondered how it would compare to the outdoor establishments and the kid in me just wanted to know if it was as science-ficitony inside as they looked from the outside.

Turns out it’s pretty much the same, but with air conditioning and artificial lighting. The best part about the Metro Golf Dome in Scarborough is that it has two levels of mats. There’s something really fun about about hitting a ball from twenty feet up in the air.

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New Thing #34: See A Lacrosse Game

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Believe it or not, I love sports. But only when I see them live.

I’ve always been curious about lacrosse, especially since it’s technically our national sport. I got to the ACC tonight to see the Toronto Rock around start time and was blown away by the number of people in line.

Lucky for me two super fans were behind me who got singled out for free tickets. And I got to tag along.

I quickly parlayed what I would have spent on tickets into one big ass beer and sat down for three hours of gripping entertainment.

It was like watching video game hockey. Every pass landed, one timers were fast and furious and the fans were out of control.

Aside from the drunk douche sitting behind me (his best witticism of the night was “Washington needs to wash their face!”) it was a fantastic night.

13-12 for Toronto in overtime. It’s nice to see a home team win in the ACC for a change.

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