My weekend at the ball field was a complete success!!
Well…except for the part where the hometown team lost in the Finals. I guess that wasn’t much of a success.
Alas, all of my Quyon Flyers player profile posts must’ve jinxed them or something. Because after defeating the Ottawa Blitz on Friday night in the Greater Ottawa Fastball League’s Final Weekend Showdown opener, the Flyers lost their first game of the season at 11 AM Saturday morning to the Kars Aces. They went on to beat Barrhaven immediately following that, but then faced Kars again in the Finals. The tournament was a double-knockout format, so in order to take the Championship, they had to beat the undefeated Kars team twice. But it never came to the second game, as they lost to them for the second time that day in the 5 PM game, and Kars was crowned the GOFL victors. (For complete tournament details, please visit here.)
So another great season has come to a close, with the Flyers just coming up short in the end. This is the third year in a row that they’ve missed out in the finals.
BUT…true to form, the Flyers rallied from the heartbreaking loss to host a pretty great party following the tournament. I got to play my first games of Spoof, and thankfully, I never had to buy the rounds – AND I got two free beer out of it, not too shabby. Thank you VERY MUCH, ladies and gentlemen, it has been a pleasure!
Oh, and for those of you keeping me accountable on the diet front – YES, I drank Molson 67 all weekend, so yay for me and my diet beer. Except I’m not sure it matters when you end up drinking 12 of them…
A great weekend. And I think my brother had a good time celebrating his birthday as well, as he showed up late for his birthday dinner at my parents’ place last night, causing our nephew to declare, “What kind of birthday party is this? The birthday guy isn’t even here. This is RIDICALUS!”
On a more somber note, I did take in quite a bit of the TV coverage on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 yesterday. Wow. Ten years. Unbelievable. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. We did the “where were you?” thing around the kitchen table last night, and it came back to me in a flash…
I was a student at Heritage College in Hull, and I was studying at my locker with some classmates, when our student body president (who was also in my Liberal Arts program) came flying around the corner to tell us “something big” was happening He was a pretty excitable guy, so I didn’t really know how serious he was. He had a small TV in his office, and had just heard about the first plane hitting the World Trade Centre tower. I remember asking him, “So…what does this mean?” And he replied, “I don’t know. But it’s not good.” We had our first class at 9 AM, during which we learned that a second plane had crashed into the other Tower and that America was being attacked by terrorists. That’s all anyone could talk about, but I don’t honestly think I understood yet the magnitude of how “big” this situation really was.
Following that class, I made plans to go with some of my Art History classmates over to the National Art Gallery in Ottawa to work on a project that we had to do, involving pieces of art on display at the Gallery. As we were crossing the bridge into downtown Ottawa, the radio DJ on the station we were listening to actually broke into a song to announce that Parliament Hill and many other downtown offices had been evacuated, and that everyone was to keep clear of the downtown core if at all possible until further notice. We decided since we were already there, we’d go ahead and get in and out of the Gallery as quickly as possible. I’ll never forget how eerily quiet the streets of downtown Ottawa were that day…
When we returned to school around noon, we discovered signs in the doors of the college saying classes had been cancelled for the rest of the day so that we could go home and follow the situation in the US on TV. I was supposed to stay at my friends’ apartment that night instead of catching my usual ride home to Quyon, so after I checked the empty halls of the college to make sure they weren’t still there, I made the twenty minute trek to their apartment – only to discover that no one was there. Figuring they must’ve still been at the school somewhere and would arrive any minute, I sat on a tree stump in the yard waiting for them. I sat there for almost four hours, waiting, worrying, and wondering what the hell was going on. I didn’t have a cell phone, I didn’t have any money on me, and I had no idea what I was going to do.
Finally, I tracked down my friend Priscilla, who lived not far from them. We watched horrifying footage on her TV and wondered what all of this meant. She let me use her phone to call my mom, who told me sit tight and to call my friends’ parents and see if they knew where they were. I got my friend Chris’ mom on the phone, and she explained that one of the other mothers had picked them all up after she was dismissed from work earlier that day, but they were all going back down to the city and they would be there soon.
We went to the movies that evening to distract ourselves, but I’ll never forget watching the wall-to-wall news coverage later that night at their apartment, and that sick pit of worry that sat in my chest. We watched clips of those hijacked planes crashing into the Twin Towers over and over, we watched people jumping from the buildings and flailing desperately as they fell to their deaths. We saw fear in the eyes of the newscasters, we saw terror on the faces of the people on the streets in NYC, we felt confused and horrified and never so unsafe in our lives.
We stayed up late watching TV because I don’t think any of us wanted to go to bed. We didn’t know what world we would be waking up to in the morning. There was this tremendous sense of lost innocence. I remember thinking, “Nothing will ever be the same again…”
When I finished telling my 9/11 memories, Luke. said, “Wow. That was a really long story.”
All I could think to say was, “Yeah, well…it was a really long day.”
A day that none of us will ever forget.