Friday, December 05, 2008

Hey, it beats voting for Prime Minister, again

The Guardian's Sportblog is having is having its Big Blogger 8 contest and wouldn't you know, there's a Canadian entry in the final five.

(Oh, and there's another blog contest which all of you have been informed about, the Canadian Blog Awards Best Sports Blog. Paraphrasing William F. Buckley when he ran for mayor of New York City in the '60s, there's a very real fear of winning, so please, make us face that fear.

The Guardian's contest is based on a single entry, and the one from villasupportgroup on Canadian football contains a lot of people's history of sport-type stuff, particularly about the early days of Canadian footy.
"Canada was once on the verge of becoming a footballing power.

"In the 1880s, a Canadian-born teacher, player, and coach by the name of David Forsyth helped put Canada at the forefront in the development of association football. Among his accomplishments: defeating the US 1-0 in 1885 in what is considered one of the earliest international football matches played outside the Home Nations, and winning the Olympic Gold medal in the 1904 Games in St Louis.

"Most remarkable however was Forsyth's tour of Great Britain in 1888, when his team of players largely from southwestern Ontario drew Glasgow Rangers, beat Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Newton Heath, the future Manchester United, and finished with a record of nine wins, nine losses, and five draws. As the London Sporting Life wrote at the time, '... considering the formidable opponents (the Canadians) have met over here, they have made themselves a deservedly high name as all-round exponents of football.'

"It took a long and bloody war to halt these early advances. Soccer was among the most popular sports in Canada until the Great War wiped out a generation of young Canadian footballers. In their stead came an influx of British immigrants in the early 1920s, picking up where Forsyth's young men left off. Soccer was eventually considered the game of outsiders, hockey the more 'indigenous' sport, an evaluation that persists to this day."
There's a who-knew factor there ... there's pretty a good book and a movie about the 1950 U.S. World Cup team who upset England 1-0, but is there anything out there about the generation of Canadian footballers who could take on the world? Note to any sports historians: There's some grant money in your future if you do

Anyway, go in haste to Sportblog and give villasupportgroup some support, and uh, yeah, about that other one ... thank you for your support.

No comments: