EVERYONE! Stop what you’re doing. Look at your schedules. Find the little line that indicates “11:30 am.” If you have something there, scratch it off. If there’s nothing happening, you’re in luck. You now have something to do. At 11:30 Edmonton time, the Golden Bears soccer team is playing its opening game of CIS Nationals. You can watch every second of it here.
This is a must-win, single-elimination game. Win and the Bears move on to the semi-finals (to play Carleton or the CAPE BRETON CAPERS, arch rivals of the 2011 CIS Nationals bronze medal match); lose and the team transfers to the consolation bracket, to play who-gives-a-fuck, where wine is permitted both after and before the game.
The Bears play some team from Quebec, called UQTR. This represents a significant challenge for the Bears – UQRT players all speak French, some foreign language that Alberta red-necks view with contempt and cannot understand. Yes, UQTR is a good team, but they’re no Lyon. They’re no Nice. No Marseille. No Monaco FC. Heck, they’re not even a Montreal Impact, and we all know how the Impact do in the MLS. They mop the bathroom floor, and much like Toronto FC, they’re staying put in the standings for years to come.
On November 8, Marcus Johnstone and Jay Vetsch were named FIRST-TEAM ALL-CIS. Rookie defender Niko Saler became the CIS Rookie of the Year. And that doesn’t even include players like Osmo Bimba, who would be on that list if it wasn’t for a mid-season injury. Or All-Canada West players like Cam Schmidt, Zenon Markevych and Scott Gilroy. This Bears line-up is loaded, and with three solid games, the CIS trophy might just be returning to Edmonton.
Look no further than Justin Bieber for the lyrics that highlight the Bears’ feelings:
And I was like baby, baby, baby, oh
Like baby, baby, baby, no
Like baby, baby, baby, oh
I thought you’d always be mine, mine
Will the CIS grace the Golden Bears in 2012? One game at a time, and it just might happen. Never say never.