The 2015 Women's World Cup has begun, Edmonton is a host city, and I forgot to put on my seatbelt...
The "Crimson Tide" is a name of my own choosing, but having witnessed such a spectacle, so memorable and vivid; the state of Alabama will have to forgive me for applying the name to Canadian soccer fans at the Women's World Cup. The splash of crimson at the fan parade was exhilarating, the cheers stirring, and the representation unforgettable.
Those who know me will agree that I am a huge soccer fan, so this entry will certainly be biased. There are generally three sports I fuss about, and that's hockey, football, and the "other" football - soccer; and not necessarily in that order.
Soccer is the sport the world plays, not to downplay the role of other sports, but in my experience it is the universal translator. It is the "Beautiful Game" not because of it's ugly moments (and there are many), nor because of governing body of football sport that rules it (plenty of ugly moments there too), but because it's the sport that everyone in the world has the opportunity to relate to. I can hold a dialogue about the magnificent Lionel Messi with just about anyone in the world, but not so much Sidney Crosby, although the attempt may be worth a journal entry or two.
Now we have the FIFA Women's World Cup in our "backyard", and why should we care?
The Canadian Women's National Team has won 3 Cyprus Cups, champions at the 2011 Pan-American Games, CONCACAF champions twice, third at the Olympics in 2012, and we are hosts to this year's Women's World Cup. We have Christina Sinclair the top Canadian goalscorer of all time by a country mile, and she's third on the all-time scoring charts. Also, by the time I have written this article you may already know that we have set the record for home attendance at a national team match, men or women, at 53,058. We are hardly slouches in the footy appreciation category, nor in the footy ability department (men's team, you need to work on that).
Certainly as I looked out at the sea of red at Borden Park, fellow Canadians decked out in the best national fervour could offer, and then witness to the march up to the gates of Commonwealth Stadium - I received that affirmation of pride in being an Edmontonian, and that pride in being Canadian. Yes, the #CrimsonTide is an apt name to describe Canadian fans. Certainly, a country must trump the requirements of a solitary school in the use of names in sport.
Here is a schedule of games and ticket pricing at Commonwealth Stadium. Next Canadian home game is Thursday, be sure to take some of it in, because it definitely doesn't happen all the time.