Sunday, August 03, 2008

And so it begins - Worlds 2008

I've never experienced a start to a tournament like worlds. My biggest starts have been national level tournaments, but the opening ceremonies for Worlds makes you feel like your at a miniature Olympics. In other words, it feels special. This is roughly what happened.

Pictured Above: Junior Team Canada before the opening ceremonies.

Junior team Canada met outside our dorms and posed for a team picture. Next, we were off to the stadium for the team parade and opening ceremonies. Outside the stadium all the teams assembled under their respective country flags, and after a wait the teams were corralled and led into Thunderbird Stadium. Canada was the last team to enter, so I didn't see much of the earlier teams, but it sounded exciting.

Pictured Above: A brief meeting with Team Mexico on my wander around the meeting area, before heading into the stadium.

On our walk in, we proceeded through the gates and high fived some kids who came down from Seattle. They were a middle school team, but unfortunately, I've forgotten their team name. We headed into the stands and watched a number of speeches and demonstrations from various groups. The crowd didn't give the various presentations the full attention they should have had, but overall, the proceedings went well.

Pictured Above: Some of the colours of the world sitting in the stands.

Once the tournament was opened we had the opportunity of watching mixed Team Canada vs. Great Britain. I left with Canada up 15-13 for dinner in the cafeteria, and I heard that they pulled off the win.

Pictured Above: Some aggressive D in the first game between Team Canada and GB.

The game had its ups and downs, and it looked pretty clear that the tournament jitters compounded with being the showcase game resulted in some rough patches of play. Overall, the game had defensive breaks back and forth, and was interesting to watch. If I thought GB was going to tighten things up I would have stayed, but their D-line could generate Ds, but couldn't string solid offense.

I, also, enjoyed booing for the various bad calls. The worst was a hail mary scoober into the endzone that came back. Karma prevailed on that call.

Pictured Above: A classic jump ball on a jump ball throw. This one resulted in a turn for GB.

Other than the beating down of the sun, the day was great, and I can't tell you how exciting it is to see players from throughout the world come together to compete in a game we all love. I haven't gotten into a meeting people mood yet, but I'll break out tomorrow, if possible.