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Offline Trini _2026

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« on: July 14, 2005, 06:00:06 AM »

...and then they all knew

Gary and Cheyenne Hector

Canada's Adam Braz, left and Gabriel Gervais argue with a referee on a yellow card call against them during the first half of the game against the United States in Seattle on Saturday. USA won 2-0.

Well the Faithfulista made it safely to Miami for the CONCACAF Gold Cup last Tuesday on an American Airlines flight. The flight was a smooth one, with just a ten-minute spell of slight turbulence. The breakfast shocked both my son, "Small Magician", and me, "Big Magician", as it could well have been some cheese paste sandwiches we slapped together at home. The in-flight movie was Hitch, starring Will Smith. Comedy-romance, with Smith as a consultant to men trying to pick up the women of their dreams. I could see "Small Magician" soaking up all the lines and moves for some future use.

The rest of the time on the flight was spent speculating on T&T's Warriors chances in the Gold Cup. Former national player and coach, Alvin Corneal, was also on the flight, and looked a little disappointed when telling me he was en route to Seattle to do FIFA technical reports on Group B teams, USA and Costa Rica. Sadly when I took the chance to chat with him, he was having a little snooze, because he is always very classy football conversation.

We were met at Miami International Airport by our gracious Trini-born host, Ian. "Small Magician" is busy snapping away at Porches, Escalades, Hummers and 18 Wheelers and asking, "Is it going to be this hot?" Because it's hot. Ian, and his America-born Cuban/Mexican bride-to-be Marilou's home is 20 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes to the Orange Bowl. Perfect. We got our own AC bedroom (thank God) with toilet and bath, so we set.

Both "Magicians" then take a four-hour nap due to jet-lag, which makes me wonder about the foreign-based national players flying in from various destinations and going straight to a training session.

Next to the house, is a small man-made lake, or is it a pond? "Small Magician" asks about snakes. After being told of the deadly Water Moccasin which makes the odd appearance, I thought to myself, "I in Miami or Moruga"?

So it's Wednesday, July 6, and we head downtown Miami to browse around, four full hours before we go to the Orange Bowl for the Warriors' first match against Honduras.

We check out the Intercontinental Hotel where we met Brent Rahim taking a stroll in the impressive hotel's lobby. Then it's a yellow cab ten-minute ride to some shopping area. The cabdriver is from Pakistan, and on hearing we are from Trinidad and Tobago, he breaks into song, "Aruba, Bahama oooohhh I love you Mama"-you know that Beachboys song, Pocamon or Cocamon or something like that?

I was trying to find a sure-fire way to give him something to connect T&T with "Brian Lara". "Ooohh oh Brian Lara, right, right he is welly, welly good", the driver says. I am quite sure no prime minister or opposition leader's names would have gotten the same response. Yes, the same Brian Lara who should be in Sri Lanka now beating Murali "till he hand get straight", beating him like a windball pelter in the Aranguez Savannah, but instead, our world figure is home 3-putting at Moka.

Shopping around for some digital camera/video accessories, we encounter the famous Miami hustler type salesman, and it was absolutely amazing.

The first question, with a Spanish accent, goes like this: "How much you saw it for next door?" We ask about a software CD for the camera and were shown an infra red lens for US$650, which in three minutes went down to $350 a cell phone for $350 went to $250...the CD software went from $250 to free, if we went with the package for all the items. We worked our way out of it and just settled for a picture card for $50, only to see the same item in other shops for way less. Yes, ripped off! "Small Magician" could not believe it. I mean we even shook the man's hand and thanked him for all his help. So lessons learnt, we got a bus to the Orange Bowl for the real reason for our trip-T&T's Warriors.

On the bus, we discuss T&T's chances against the tricky Hondurans, asking ourselves which Honduras will show up. The one that explodes and beats teams 4-2, 5-0 or the one that implodes and loses by the same scoreline. We think back to the last World Cup campaign, when they blew past T&T 4-2 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. That day remains a sad one for me. That was the last time the "Little Magician" (Russell Latapy) played for T&T on home soil, and as a second half substitute as well. What a sin. At least he scored. We think back to the away leg of that campaign, with Honduras hitting the woodwork at least six times and T&T getting one chance and scoring through Stern John-T&T 1 Honduras 0. I always say that the ghost of the late Mickey Trotman was perched atop the goalpost. I joked that if I were a rich man, I would have flown to Honduras and bought the posts and installed them in the National Stadium.

You feel the atmosphere as you exit the bus at the colossal monument which is the Orange Bowl. We see the yellow of the Colombian fans, some Panamanians with flags, hundreds of blue and white clad Hondurans and "Look-three Trinis!" We quickly follow them to get to the Trini section. The first game, Colombia versus Panama has just kicked off and the crowd starts to chant oles and Spanish football chants.

We see the Warriors observing the game from another stand and T&T coach "Don Leo" about ten rows above them, by himself, taking notes on the next opponents. I am not sure what the "Don" in "Don Leo" means. Is it like Don Juan? Or is it a title given to Dutch grandmaster coaches as in Brazil where they are called professor, like Professor Zagallo, Simoes? Well, then it's a good thing T&T did not hire Dick Addvocat.

We join a small group of T&T fans near the half line about 20 rows up from the touchline. Great view. The crowd providing more entertainment than the match, as both teams try to settle, we start to chat with some of our country men and they were a bit surprised to find out we travelled to Miami just for the Gold Cup. They start seeking information about the T&T players and "Don Leo"-"He good?" "Who he coach?".

At half time we give out some promotional items from TSTT, bottle openers, T-shirts and the blow-up noise makers which instantly become musical instruments in Trini hands. Met a man who said he is David Rudder's brother and he seems the life of the party. Exchanged greetings with former national striker Graham Rodriguez, saw my old friend John, the nephew of ex-national player Steve Khan, and was then recognised by some Trini rock music fans. I quickly changed the subject to football.

Trini bring in alcohol in all types of sport bottles, and even in some Carnival-type goat skin pouches. Colombia missing sitter after sitter, so we guess what will happen next. Panama scores. And goes on to win 1-0.

Time for the real thing!

About 50 Trinis now gather in the section, with the odd handful in different sections. Rudder's brother starts teasing the Hondurans-all 7,000 of them and they respond with some loud Honduran chants and footstomping which vibrates throughout the stand. Wow! "Small Magician's" pores are up now as the teams make their way out. Our section sings the national anthem a full ten seconds behind the soundtrack and we take our seats. One problem. Trini remains standing as the rhythm section kicks in, "T&T...Boom Boom we want ah goal... Ram ah goal in dey a#% hole .ole ole ole ole T&T, T&T". Rudder's brother steals a line from "de man" himself, "O..O..O sweet, sweet T&T" For our refusal to sit, we take a few plastic bottles and some match programmes from the Hondurans we are blocking-but side by side we stand.

The Warriors start solid enough, knocking it around. I have to name some of the players to some T&T faithful. They don't know Cyd Gray, Kelvin Jack (wey Shaka?), Aurtis Whitley (dey should pick Otis Seaton), Theobald and the common question, "Who is de white boy?" But by the 28th minute the name Chris Birchall was being mentioned among the Trinis after "me mum" put T&T ahead with a beautiful right- footed strike from 25 yards.

Wild celebrations among the T&T faithful and instant reaction from the Honduran fans. Water, beer and plastic bottles rained into our section with "Small Magician" taking one on his back and laughing nervously about it.

T&T continue to keep possession and defend well until the 44th minute, when Honduras score a well-taken free kick past a disorganised Warriors wall. One-all at half time.

The Trini riddum section continues to play through the half time break, but quickly slows down during the second half as the Hondurans look more purposeful and likely to score. "Don Leo" puts on Colin Samuel and Kenwyn Jones to inject some life into the attack, and Samuel responds with a powerful shot which the Honduran 'keeper does well to tip onto the crossbar, injuring himself in the process.

The final whistle comes with both teams deadlocked at one goal each. A fair result in the end. We shake a few Hondurans hands on the way out and some of them blame their "stupid coach"-universal language...this beautiful game.

The sheer buzz of the match kept us up at night in bed talking of near misses, team selection and Panama, our next opponents And all the little Latinas who "Small Magician" was secretly eyeing down.

We wake up the following morning to the news of the potentially dangerous Hurricane Dennis, heading for Miami. We get together and say a prayer and I quietly think to myself "God is ah Miami".

Next week: Panama, Colombia, South Beach and weather updates.

So later from the Faithfulista.

The Faithfulista are trying to build a defensive wall.

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Offline duscam

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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2005, 08:41:33 AM »
real funny triniman