Women’s World Cup

June 27, 2015

Canada lost its FIFA Womens World Cup match this afternoon, to England. I quite enjoyed the game and I think it was a fair result.  Canada finishes in the top eight which is what was to be expected (they were rated #8 in the world before the tournament) and I suspect they have advanced the women’s game here in Canada.

But there are issues with women’s football, and it could be improved to the benefit of both players and spectators.

For someone like me who has been raised for decades on the highest quality British and European football, watching many thousands of games, the three main differences between top level male football and the teams at the top of FIFA’s Women’s World Cup are in individual skills, strength, and conditioning.

The basic skill level, the level of precision in passing and moving, is much lower in the Women’s game; but I don’t think that is so important. The skill level will continue to improve as the teams play more and more top-level opponents. I have no doubt that soon enough the average top-level female players will have the equivalent skills of the average top-level male player.

The gap in strength and conditioning can certainly be reduced by better training, but much of the difference here is physiological: men are generally faster and stronger than women.  The lack of speed and resilient strength in the womens’ game slows (comparatively) attacking buildup in general and slashing attacks in particular.

I believe the womens’ game could be much improved if the field was shortened and narrowed by, say 15-20%. I think this would allow faster and more exciting play by countering the speed and strength deficits.

Anyway, that’s my two cents.  I’ve enjoyed the games I have watched, and I will certainly watch and enjoy the Final.  I’m cheering for England now.

The Tower and The Tour

June 27, 2015

This morning, Maurice Guibord, one of our clutch of locally resident historians, headed a tour of Commercial Drive for the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. He had a full house of about 30 tour-ists.  If you have never taken a tour with Maurice, then you should sign up for his next. He is a charming, funny and thoroughly knowledgable tour guide presenting a really pleasurable learning experience.

His tour this morning gathered at the corner of Commercial & Venables right opposite Astorino’s, which was the perfect location for Penny and I to make a case against the huge highrise that Boffo wants to impose on that corner.  We gave a little speech, handed out pamphlets on the tower proposal, and received another two dozen signatures on the anti-tower petition.

I believe it was a positive experience for everyone, and we thank Maurice for allowing us to interupt him about this issue of vital importance to our neighbourhood.

Image: DenCity

June 27, 2015


Happy birthday Emma Goldman!

June 27, 2015


Today we celebrate the birthday in 1869 of the glorious and inspirational Emma Goldman.  Long may she live in our memory.