“Usually when you cross the ball you aim for the heads, right?” Joan Watson inquired. “I don't really know what that was.”
“I'm pretty sure only the 50-Foot Man could head that ball into the net...but even then, I'm not quite sure.”
“Hey guys,” said Marcus Bell joining his friends after a trip to the stands. “Did I miss anything?”
“Only two goals,” said Holmes.
“Two goals?” Bell exclaimed, disappointed he missed them.
“Chesterfield got them,” said Watson
“Oh,” said Bell, relieved he didn't miss any Blade goals but disappointed to know that the Blades continued to fall behind. “So that makes it...what, 5-0?”
“Six, actually,” said Holmes, curtly.
“One of these days the Blades will install a scoreboard,” said Bell.
“...and maybe some stands that aren't covered with cheap cardboard cutouts,” said Watson, having to get up a little bit to relieve the tension on her behind, as the steel benches that passed for stands were lined with thin cardboard.
The game mirrored the conditions the Blades played in. The field was wet after being weighed down by slush (with crews forced to use shovels to clear), meaning the ball just didn't have the traction it needed. Surrounding the stadium was just a simple chain link fence with a plastic sign held in place by zip ties (one of which was broken meaning the sign was dangling) that indicated who played there. The stadium had no change rooms, meaning the “portapotties” were the best alternate. Finally, the chalk lines marking the areas of play were faded, with the team forced to cover the goalposts with foam after numerous complaints.
After the game- a 10-2 drubbing by Chesterfield- the trio couldn't help but lament the current state of affairs of Brampton sports.
“For such a fine city, our teams are pretty lousy,” noted Watson
“I agree,” said Bell. “This is already an exotic city with so many different cultures, and there’s a lot of nice neighbourhoods...yet all anyone wants to think about with this city are the hippies that keep on getting in the way of things.”
“I don't know why you keep calling them 'hippies',” replied Holmes, the great grandson of the great detective. “They're not the lazy, drug-infested scourge that dominated the Seventies...they're the Flower People, who are environmentally conscious, socially liberal people...and the vast majority of them are peaceful demonstrators. You keep on confusing them with the Black Roses who do cause a lot of trouble, but they're in no way affiliated with the Flowers at all.”
“Sherlock,” said Bell, curtly. “They dress like Woodstock is about to come to town. They're hippies.”
“At least they wash themselves,” interjected Watson. “I don't know why you have such animosity towards them, Marcus...they're usually very nice.”
“You don't know them like I do,” retorted Bell. Holmes and Watson thought the conversation would continue going in circles, so they decided better on continuing, diverting instead to discussing the merits of their boss, Brampton Police Chief Tommy Gregson's, new tie.
Down the road, in the suburb of Snelgrove, Spike Ryan visited with a vision in his head.
This is where the Rice Owls ply their trade, he thought to himself. We have a respectable stadium here, not like the one the Blades call home...but still...something is missing. The Owls, transplanted from Houston in 1993, were one of the few bright spots Brampton's sports tradition had, albeit in very small doses. Their stadium was a respectable 20,000 seater, good for the team's status as a middling power but not befitting of a team that could have more quality, like the Florida Gators and Buffalo Bulls. Ryan stood there, looking at the stadium- dark since football season had ended- envisioning scores of football denizens oozing out of the stadium, all reacting in delight after yet another Owl victory. If Brampton could revive football, that would be quite the story, thought Ryan, thinking back to the bankruptcy of the NFL in 1993 as a result of the Cold War that forced college football teams to start fielding their own professional teams to fill the void. Those teams have proven quite respectable, but football was still quite a way from getting back to where it once was. Ryan wanted to be part of the revival, hoping that maybe one day he could lead it.