Thirty-two

My favorite number is thirty-two. I like thirty-two because it’s unique, few people likely have thirty-two as their favorite number and there have been a lot of times when the number has been in my life.

When I was in grade ten, I went on an exchange to Bremen, Germany. Bremen have a profesional soccer team, some of you may know, Werder Bremen. Back in 2003, there was a player named Aílton Gonçalves da Silva, better known as just “Ailton”, who played for Werder. To me, he was a lumbering striker, who looked more likely to be in a buffet line-up than a professional soccer team’s starting line-up. Nevertheless, Ailton was my favorite, and a phenomenal striker too, very prolific, as most Brazilians are.

Ailton’s number was thirty-two.

Thirty-two has appeared in other aspects of my life too.

I attended BCIT Aerospace and graduated from the Aircraft Gas Turbine Technician program; we were class thirty-two. Upon graduation I got a job with Pratt & Whitney Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta, working in their facility that is known as Plant thirty-two. Highway 99 is the nearest highway to my house, and to get home I have to take exit thirty-two. Zombieland Rule thirty-two: Enjoy the Little Things. Oh, and this week is my brother’s birthday, he turns thirty-two, happy birthday, Duncan!

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Major League Soccer

The Vancouver Whitecaps are joining Major League Soccer next season, and I am going to be there. Not only do I have my deposit down for season’s tickets, but I have also joined the Southsiders, who are the Whitecaps’ only supporter’s group.

Although the season doesn’t begin until March, I am very excited for this to get going. I think back to the games I went to see in Bremen, standing in the “Ostkurve” with all the fanatical supporters and how much fun that was. The sort of rush you get, when your team scores and you’re in the stadium with all the hardcore fans around you, is unrivaled.

I’ve found it difficult to follow soccer in Vancouver, especially since the current Whitecaps play in Burnaby. With the lack of media attention for, what is, close to a semi-pro league, travel out to Burnaby and not many friends who want to go out to games, it’s been tough trying to support the Caps’. That’s why I’m so happy that they’re moving into BC Place eventually and Empire Stadium to start with. It’s going to make things a heck of a lot simpler to get to, and having the Caps’ in the top level of soccer in North America is bound to garner them more media attention.

I’m also very excited for road trips to Seattle, for games against the Sounders, and to Portland, for games against the other 2011 MLS entry, the Timbers. Those are going to be a lot of fun.

2010 FIFA World Cup

The 2010 FIFA World Cup starts June 11th, in South Africa, and I couldn’t be more excited. I had so much fun in 2006 during the World Cup and can’t wait to feel that same excitement again. The passion that soccer fans have for a simple game is unrivalled and is hard to explain, I am looking forward to returning to the Alpen Club to watch Germany, hopefully win the whole thing, as I’m getting tired of seeing both Club and Country finishing 2nd or 3rd in tournaments. “Steht auf, wenn Ihr Deutsche seid!!”

UEFA Pokal

Those of you who know me well, will know that my first love is soccer, and my mistress is a team called Werder Bremen, from the German city of Bremen, of course! I lived in Bremen for three months when I was 16 years old while on an exchange program, and fell in love with the team, mainly because it was the popular thing to do, but also because they were a decent team. They weren’t, and aren’t the best team in Germany by any means, but at least they’ve finished in a respectable position for the last couple of seasons, however this season is not the same story. Werder have been sub-par in the league, but oddly enough they have performed above average in the German Cup (Deutsche Pokal, a commercial that I star in available here) and in the UEFA Cup (the second tier European Club Championship).

Werder have, beyond all likelihood, made the final of both tournaments, and I couldn’t be happier. Not only have we made the final of both tournaments, but we did so at the expense of our biggest rivals, Hamburger SV. I wasn’t able to watch all of the game today, but nevertheless I got the result and that’s all that matters! The final of the UEFA Cup is on May 20th in Istanbul. Obviously I will not be traveling to watch the game, but I will be watching it here, so for anyone that wants to watch an overly enthusiastic fan either celebrate beyond belief or cry, inconsolably, into his beer, let me know.

Here are a few pictures from today’s win to show you the sort of passion I feel.

Diego1

Diego2

Baumann

mannschaft1

mannschaft2

Good outweighs the bad

I’ve been pretty tired over the last while and have been taking advantage of being out of school to sleep in more than I usually do.  It has been nice, but today I was going to meet an old friend for lunch and woke up much too late.  Once I woke up, I received a letter in the mail with an unexpected, and rather large bill; not a good way to start my day.

I was finally on the road and met up with my friend for lunch, 90 minutes after we had originally planned.  Once we met up we grabbed some sushi.  I don’t get to see my friend all that often due to our conflicting schedules and her working so much, so it’s nice when we both have some time to be able to spend together.

After lunch, I trekked over to my brother’s to study for a while for my third final exam tomorrow.  I got some work done, but got distracted by an email I received.  The email was from BC Soccer, and it informed me that I got an appointment to do a provincial cup game this weekend.  I have been a soccer referee for ten years and I have always wanted to climb the ranks among referees in the province and have only recently made a strong push to advance.  I am really looking forward to the game with excitement and nerves as I am a little worried of making a mistake on such an occasion.

A little later I got a call from a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while and we ended up hanging out with some other friends which saw a late afternoon turn into a really nice night full of bubble tea and Frisbees.  All around it was a pretty great day, but it’s slowly turning sour again with the thought of that bill.

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