Tag Archives: Football

Photo gallery: Whitecaps FC 2 Crystal Palace FC 2

In mid-July, the Whitecaps hosted some jokers from a place called London, England — seriously, what kind of name for a football squad is Crystal Palace? Anyway, they tied the friendly 2-2,  in a game that wasn’t particularly exciting sport but gave locals a chance to see some Premier League footballers up close and personal.

Here’s a gallery of my best pics from the match. Enjoy.

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Ode to the 2015 Whitecaps, by Russell Arbuthnot

Tim Parker, the ginger muse of soccer poet Russell Arbuthnot. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.
Tim Parker, the ginger muse of soccer poet Russell Arbuthnot. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

As we count down the minutes to the Vancouver Whitecaps first-ever home playoff date — the back end of a home-and-home tie versus the dirty, rotten, stinkin’, bearded Portland Timbers that starts tomorrow — poet in residence Russell Arbuthnot offers up his quill to the soccer gods with the six stanzas below. We at Pucked in the Head wholly endorse the product of Russell’s sleepless enthusiasm, but claim no responsibility for questionable grammar, rhyme scheme or metre therein.

End of Season
by Russell Arbuthnot

With the regular season laid down to rest
And with the playoffs drawing ever near
The Whitecaps found themselves among the league’s best
Reflecting on one helluva year

We waved goodbye to the Cascadia Cup
And welcomed in that of the Voyageurs
Coach Robbo patch-worked his CONCACAF lineups
Delicately navigating fixtures

Displaced in June by a Worldly tournament
Meant the men wearing Whitecaps blue and white
Lived in hotels for what seemed like permanent
But they fared quite well in the six-week fight

A rookie named Parker came out of the blue
And from Waston an MVP season
Ousted and Techera were essential too
Expectations mounting, with good reason

Injuries mounted, the infirmary filled
With bumbles and stumbles down the homestretch
Hope and belief grew increasingly chilled
The faithful grew restless, began to kvetch

The franchise regrouped, dispatched the Dynamo
Earned a bye straight to the semifinals
One more week to patch up Captain Pedro
And a chance to knock off their fiercest rivals

Why aren’t we 12?

This past Thursday, a friend of mine took me to Century Link Field for the Seattle Seahawks fourth preseason game. This is the preseason game that ‘the 12‘ are excited about. The starters all have their places on the roster locked down (they hope), and on the field are the bench players vying for position. Deep bench. Waaaay deep bench.

Even with empty seats, the atmosphere at Century Link beats anything we see at sold out stadiums in Vancouver. Photo by Erin Jeffery.
Even with empty seats, the atmosphere at Century Link beats anything we see at sold out stadiums in Vancouver. Photo by Erin Jeffery.

Russell Wilson came on the field for one play. He threw a touchdown. Then had a nap.

The Legion of Boom were looking for their swag. Marshawn Lynch was eating Skittles(TM). The guys sitting behind us (who ESPN needs to hire STAT) kept exclaiming things like:

“Is that another one of them Smith boys?”

“Who the…what the…who the hell is THAT guy?”

“Son, you’ve gotta throw the ball sometime.” (See below.)

“Remember, it’s preseason for the refs too. No way they be making that dumbass call during regular season.”

For the last half of the game, the quarterback was this guy.

daniels_b.j_0
BJ Daniels. Wide Receiver.

They don’t even list him as a backup quarterback. Also explains why he rushed most of the time.. really well, I must admit. So well that the Raiders sent six guys on him at one point and made a giant Daniels sandwich.

Boom indeed.

Continue reading Why aren’t we 12?

10 Sports Films You Should Watch If You Have Actual Taste

Yesterday, my good friend Jason Kurylo demonstrated just how wrong he can be at times: he published a list of the ten sports movies that you really ought to re-watch. The post’s purpose was the same as all posts of that nature: to make people argue with the author. So argue with him I shall. Cool Runnings, Jason? COOL RUNNINGS?? Continue reading 10 Sports Films You Should Watch If You Have Actual Taste

Ten films you should watch again

I wanted to be up in North Vancouver this morning, checking out the view from Hollyburn Country Club and shooting media day pictures for the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open Tennis Tournament. Alas, I’m at home nursing a later summer cold and flicking my way through a variety of on demand movie listings.

So here’s my list of Ten sports films you should watch again. I invite your commentary, your judgement and your suggestions. I obviously haven’t given a definitive list here, but let’s be clear: I’ll be damned if anyone makes me sit through Slap Shot ever again. Why so many people like that load of unadulterated shite is just beyond me.

Continue reading Ten films you should watch again

Seasons of Loss (Or, How to Reference Broadway Theatre in a Football Piece)

Andrew Harris rushed for 118 yards and caught a few passes for 57 yards more, while Manny Arseneaux led the team with 75 yards reception. They combined for three TDs in a 26-23 comeback win over the Edmonton Eskimos. CP photo lifted from the Province Sports website.
Andrew Harris rushed for 118 yards and caught a few passes for 57 yards more, while Manny Arceneaux led the team with 75 yards reception. They combined for three TDs in a 26-23 comeback win over the Edmonton Eskimos, and did so seven minutes after Erin Jeffery & Kid left the building. CP photo lifted from the Province Sports website.

This past Friday I was at the Lions game with the kid. As games go, it wasn’t our best. The defence was kind of sleepy and the offence seemed to be hurling themselves at the Eskimos like lemmings over a cliff.  There were moments of brilliance, but sadly more moments of ‘arrrrrgh’. Sure, Arceneaux scored a spectacular TD, but Jennings got hammered with his short yardage attempt. Harris was dependable, but Lulay just wasn’t finding his receivers. So with seven minutes left, Lions down by five, I looked at my 5 11/12-year-old, our 35-minute ride home, and his 7am wake up the next day and thought, “Well… This game is over… Crazy P has sung… It’s time to head”. The kid was sad, because he wanted to see the Lions win.  His Lions win.  But I made a choice.

Don’t say it. Just. Don’t. Say. It.

Continue reading Seasons of Loss (Or, How to Reference Broadway Theatre in a Football Piece)

Real Girl Power

We are not going to talk about the Lions game on Friday.  Ideally, I’d like to pretend it didn’t happen.  We’re not going to mention losing a three-touchdown lead, or the moderately INSANE decision to go for it on 3rd and 4, or the grabbing of facemasks by defencemen who have NO BUSINESS GRABBING FACEMASKS!

We’re also not going to talk about this most recent loss last night. It’s just salt in the wound.

What we WERE going to talk about was the Felions. Specifically…WTF (or What the Felion?)

However, while I was hammering away on my keyboard about the ludicrousness of the Felions and how they are indicative of the outdated assumption that the only people who attend or appreciate football games are horny straight males who couldn’t recognize good dancing if it hit them on the head with an arabesque, I heard the news that the Arizona Cardinals had hired the first ever woman to coach on an NFL team.

Well now….

Dr Jen Welter has been named the pre-season linebacker coach for the Arizona Falcons, and becomes the first woman to join an NFL coaching staff. Image borrowed from notable.ca
Dr Jen Welter has been named the pre-season linebacker coach for the Arizona Falcons, and becomes the first woman to join an NFL coaching staff. Image borrowed from notable.ca

This proves one of my points way better than anything I was going to say. (Although, I’m sure I’ll be spouting off on the Felions at a later date… because SERIOUSLY?)

The trend that was started by Becky Hammon as assistant coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs is continuing with Dr. Jen Welter, and I say it’s about bloody time.

This post on Time.com has a lot to say about why getting women into the coaching pool is going to make for better games.

Giving women access to leadership positions expands the talent pool available to organizations. And a wider talent pool improves the quality of candidates a firm can hire.

The history of sports clearly illustrates this point. For example, prior to racial integration in baseball, which began with Jackie Robinson in 1947, the sport had a competitive balance problem. It was not uncommon for a team to win (or lose) more than 65% of their games. This disparity was made possible because the league, which only employed white males from the U.S., could not find enough talent. When it expanded its talent base, the number of talented pitchers and hitters expanded, too. A team has not won more than 65% of its games since 2001.

This rule applies to any organization: The wider your search for talent, the better the talent you are ultimately likely to employ.

Is the male dominated sports world ready for this shift? Yes, I think it is.  I see it when I coach my son’s team.  Admittedly, I’m coaching six- and seven-year-olds, but misogyny starts early, my friends.  Most of these kids have dads. Most of these kids are boys. One of my fellow coaches (another woman), used to play tackle on the very same team we are coaching (GO HYACKS).

I was asked to be a head coach of one of the teams because I know the game. I’m asked for advice by men on the field. I’m given respect by the kids, their fathers and the other coaches.  The fact that I’m a woman doesn’t enter into any discussions. What matters is that I know and love football and I want the kids to love it too.

This picture of Dr Jen Welter as the first woman to play a non-kicker position in a pro football league was given the respectful name "female-player.jpg" by the New York Daily News.
This picture of Dr Jen Welter as the first woman to play a non-kicker position in a pro football league was given the respectful name “female-player.jpg” by the New York Daily News.

So hooray for the Arizona Cardinals in continuing what I hope will become a trend in professional and high level competitive sports. While it may be a while before we see women on these teams, or an interest in legitimate professional women’s teams that aren’t wearing underwear as uniforms,  there is no reason why we shouldn’t be coaching.

Coaching is teaching.  It’s instructing.  Does the coach need to have a thorough understanding of the game they are coaching? Oh hells yes. Should they have played it at a high level at some point in their lives? Absolutely.  Do they need to have corresponding genitals to be able to guide the team to victory? Nope. Balls do not make the calls.

I think I’m going to get that put on a t shirt…

For the love of the game

Monday was a good day.

It started like any other. Running around the house like a crazed maniac, saying ‘It’s time to go, it’s time to go, it’s time to go’ about 800 times to get my six-year-old and his friend out the door to soccer camp. Doing volunteer work at the Arts Council of New Westminster, picking up my kid and his friend after soccer camp, watching them go all Lord of the Flies in the forest, running home, eating dinner, running out of the house, once again yelling ‘It’s time to go it’s time to go it’s time to go!’

It’s time to go to football practice.

Nick Hebeler, eat your heart out. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.
Nick Hebeler, eat your heart out. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Today I stood in front of 30+ six- and seven-year-old boys and two girls (YES) and talked to them about football and about bleeding orange (GO HYACKS! GO LIONS!). Today I got to start them on the road of a lifetime of passion for the greatest sport in the world.

Today I got to share this with my son.

Continue reading For the love of the game

Meet your Team Canada — 2015 Women’s World Cup

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup is set to get underway in a few days’ time. For those new to the game, as they say, you can’t tell the players without a program — so here’s the Team Canada roster, including social media info for your tweeting pleasure.

Team Canada, the host team of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada, the host team of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
#PosNameAgeTwitterRecent photo
9FJosée Bélanger29@joseebelanger9
Team Canada forward Josée Bélanger moves the ball upfield during an international friendly. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada forward Josée Bélanger moves the ball upfield during an international friendly. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
3DKadeisha Buchanan19@keishaballa
Kadeisha Buchanan communicates with her teammates during international friendly action. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Kadeisha Buchanan communicates with her teammates during international friendly action. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
15DAllysha Chapman26@allyshachapman
Team Canada forward Cllysha Chapman during international friendly action. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada defender Allysha Chapman during international friendly action. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
16FJonelle Filigno24@JFiligno
Forward Jonelle Filigno in her official Team Canada portrait. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Forward Jonelle Filigno in her official Team Canada portrait. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
17MJessie Fleming17@_jessiefleming
Team Canada midfielder Jessie Fleming during international friendly action against England earlier in 2015. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada midfielder Jessie Fleming during international friendly action against England earlier in 2015. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
5DRobyn Gayle29@RobynGayle5
Team Canada defender Robyn Gayle moves the ball upfield during international friendly action against Sweden. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada defender Robyn Gayle moves the ball upfield during international friendly action against Sweden. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
18MSelenia Iacchelli28@syacc
Team Canada midfielder Selenia Iacchelli takes stock of the situation during training for the 2015 Women's World Cup. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada midfielder Selenia Iacchelli takes stock of the situation during training for the 2015 Women's World Cup. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
6MKaylyn Kyle26@KaylynKyle
Team Canada midfielder Kaylyn Kyle in international friendly action against England in May 2015. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada midfielder Kaylyn Kyle in international friendly action against England in May 2015. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
21GKStephanie Labbé28@stephlabbe1
Keeper Stephanie Labbé leaps for a ball during Team Canada training in Germany. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Keeper Stephanie Labbé leaps for a ball during Team Canada training in Germany. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
22MAshley Lawrence19@A_Lawrence99
Team Canada midfielder Ashley Lawrence lays her right foot into the ball during an international friendly against England. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada midfielder Ashley Lawrence lays her right foot into the ball during an international friendly against England. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
23GKKarina LeBlanc35@karinaleblanc
Keeper Karina Leblanc blocks a shot during Team Canada training. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Keeper Karina Leblanc blocks a shot during Team Canada training. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
19FAdriana Leon22@LeonAdriana9
Team Canada forward Adriana Leon pushes upfield during international friendly action. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada forward Adriana Leon pushes upfield during international friendly action. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
8MDiana Matheson31@dmatheson8
Team Canada midfielder Diana Matheson scoots along the flank during international friendly action against Germany. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada midfielder Diana Matheson scoots along the flank during international friendly action against Germany. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
1GKErin McLeod32@erinmcleod18
Keeper Erin McLeod in her official Team Canada portrait. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Keeper Erin McLeod in her official Team Canada portrait. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
4DCarmelina Moscato31@cmoscato4
Team Canada defender Carmelina Moscato looks to clear a ball during an international friendly against the USA. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada defender Carmelina Moscato looks to clear a ball during an international friendly against the USA. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
20DMarie-Eve Nault33@menault20
Team Canada defender Marie-Eve Nault pushes the ball upfield during international friendly action against Italy. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada defender Marie-Eve Nault pushes the ball upfield during international friendly action against Italy. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
13MSophie Schmidt26@sophieschmidt13
Team Canada midfielder Sophie Schmidt crosses the ball during international friendly action against the Republic of Ireland. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada midfielder Sophie Schmidt crosses the ball during international friendly action against the Republic of Ireland. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
11MDesiree Scott27@MsDScott11
Team Canada midfielder Desiree Scott steals the ball during international friendly action against the USA. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada midfielder Desiree Scott steals the ball during international friendly action against the USA. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
10DLauren Sesselmann31@lsesselmann
Team Canada defender Lauren Sesselmann keeps position during an international friendly against France. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada defender Lauren Sesselmann keeps position during an international friendly against France. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
12FChristine Sinclair31@sincy12
Team Canada striker Christine Sinclair closes in on yet another scoring opportunity during an international friendly against South Korea. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada striker Christine Sinclair closes in on yet another scoring opportunity during an international friendly against South Korea. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
14FMelissa Tancredi33@MelTancredi14
Canadian forward Melissa Tancredi chests down a forward ball during an international friendly against Japan. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Canadian forward Melissa Tancredi chests down a forward ball during an international friendly against Japan. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
7DRhian Wilkinson33@rhirhi8
Team Canada defender Rhian Wilkinson directs traffic prior to a throw-in during an international friendly. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada defender Rhian Wilkinson directs traffic prior to a throw-in during an international friendly. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
2DEmily Zurrer27@emme_z
Team Canada defender Emily Zurrer tracks down a ball during an international friendly against Germany. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.
Team Canada defender Emily Zurrer tracks down a ball during an international friendly against Germany. Photo courtesy of Soccer Canada.

The March to March – Part 3

Whitecaps Wednesday

Welcome once again to Whitecaps Wednesday – and the 3rd installment of Pucked in the Head’s “March to March” series. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that the Whitecaps have managed to pull five victories from their first nine games.

Now mired in their busiest stretch of games (but not the most frenzied – we’ll see that in Part 4), we take a look into the third month of the season and forecast the results of their five May matches.

Buckle up quick, as their month kicks off with an away fixture in Portland, the first of two Cascadia matches in a three-week stretch.

Continue reading The March to March – Part 3