Jun 08

Finally, at the age of 41, I won an international cap. In fact, two in the space of 14 hours. In two different sports no less.

The Memorial Day weekend was a busy couple of days at Finn McCool’s. On the Friday night we had a game against a team of English footballers from Birmingham called Fairfax United. The guys organised the trip here (and then onto Vegas) to coincide with their club’s 35-year anniversary, and it doubled as a stag trip / bachelor party for two brothers on the team. It’s not every day you get the chance to play against lads from the other side of the world – well, I suppose I do when I go home – but you know what I mean. We got some press on local websites and I was even on the TV talking about it, never missing the chance to plug my book of course. Heaven forbid I should not jump at that…

Anyway, they were a great bunch of boys and the game was a lot of fun in front of possibly the biggest Finn’s crowd ever, certainly the largest in a long time. There was a great buzz and then we all went to the pub afterwards and made friends. Enjoyable night.

After a few hours sleep I was back out on a different sporting pitch, this time playing for the Finn’s cricket team. We took on a team from Florida, nearly all of whom were from the West Indies. That wasn’t as good a contest.

We were missing our three best players, two Aussies and an Indian, and we couldn’t get their opening batsman out. He retired at 100, and in 25 overs we only took two wickets and they made close to 250. At one stage we were 19 for four! But then we dug in, I think they went easy on us, and we managed to bat out the full 150 balls, making something like 130 for eight. I was not out on seven that included one boundary, and also a ball which span so violently it disappeared in front of my eyes. But I haven’t played cricket properly in 25 years or something so it was great to face the Windies guys and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Last Saturday we had another Finn’s football friendly, this one against a club from Alabama. That was another good laugh, and another spell down the pub. Hopefully we can arrange a trip to Mobile before the end of the summer.

In contrast to our glamour friendly wins, the league campaigns for both Finn’s teams just petered out. The Firsts would have clinched the league if they had won their last game but were hammered, Finn’s 2 finished about halfway in our championship, but we did set a record for the most number of different goalkeepers ever in a season. I think we had nine different people in nets. Crazy.

So after that wee hectic spell, I think things will quieten down both for the Rea family, and for New Orleans during the oppressive summer months. Nothing on the horizon right now but the sun, the heat, and the humidity. Louisiana in June. How wonderful.

Til next time…

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