As most of you are no doubt enjoying the beautiful sunshine that has graced us the last few days, it seems fitting to send out an email to close out a great indoor season; I’m told the temperature in the dome is now approximately equivalent to the surface of Venus. If nothing else, it was undisputedly the best season in at least the last 3 years! We also had our AGM which I will recap below but do encourage you to peruse the attached minutes.
Indoor Cup Winners
A hearty congratulations to Maroun 7 (red) for a gritty performance holding off a late comeback from Pepto Abysmal (pink) in an exciting 5-4 victory. It was a fun watch and certainly worthy of the final. Special shoutout to Dany Paraschivoiu for netting the first goal of the game and going out in a blaze of glory, as a champion. If you didn’t catch the post-game press conference, Dany has announced his retirement – though the paperwork has not yet been filed with the league office, so a comeback cannot be ruled out just yet.
As Ray noted in a previous email, Black and Brewed narrowly squeaked out the league championship by a single point, which was very fitting considering all their nail-biting finishes during the course of the season. Rumours that Treasurer Brian Garson found the extra point for his team by rounding all decimals up to the nearest whole number are unsubstantiated. It is advised that you refrain from confronting him about it, at least until a thorough investigation into the matter has wrapped up.
A warm thank-you to everyone who made this season a truly excellent one – first of all, accommodating an early start (in October) which in the end was crucial to getting as many games in as possible given our unscheduled break in January on the advice of Public Health. Everyone did an outstanding job playing it safe with potential Covid exposures, sometimes even when not required to by the rules. Keeping everyone as healthy and safe as possible was clearly the priority and it was very much appreciated, as was the navigating of absences, limited spare numbers, and all the other stuff that made this such a challenge. Once again, it demonstrates how exceptional this league is and you should all be proud of how we got through it all.
A quick note on hoodies (League winners) and windbreakers (Cup winners) – there was an error with our printing vendor – believe it or not the mistake wasn’t on our end! Your commemorative swag is on the way, we’ll distribute as many as possible at the start of the outdoor season and figure out alternative arrangements for those who are not playing outdoor.
Spirit of the League – a day after Mother’s Day, let us celebrate an outstanding group of gents who certainly would make any mother proud – this award embodies everything the BA League stands for, an unmatched balance between competitive play, good nature, fairness and an emphasis on the fact that we’re all amateurs that are here for a good time, but not a long time in the grand scheme of things. The nominees were: (Chris Bradley, Darren Lemire, Bruno Paltrinieri, Ron Garson, Josh Georg, Ed Duncan, Stevan Dostanic, Colin Raines). We had an excellent voter turn-out (the Canadian electoral system could learn a thing or two) and the 2021-22 winner is none other than Colin Raines! Congrats – you should be proud to win an award like this in a league full of such fine fellas.
Smells like… Team Spirit – Colin’s attitude was clearly infectious (ahem… no pun intended for those who drank from his Gatorade bottle during a recent Sunday game). Urine Trouble was the only team in the league to play an entire season without a single card. That is an outstanding achievement and you should all be proud.
Best Team Name – at the risk of this becoming an unwatchable Oscars broadcast, we tip our hats yet again to Urine Trouble, which was voted in (again, by you the league) as the best team name of 2021-22. Well done and may all your nouveau-Starbucks-riche boys sip your wealth gently and carefully with not a burnt tongue in sight.
Annual General Meeting Recap
As mentioned off the top – I encourage you to review the full notes recorded by our recording secretary extraordinaire Doug Spencer who if nothing else does an impressive job keeping the huge mugs of German beer from spilling on his computer in the chaos of our AGM. The turnout was excellent, a huge thank you to all those who attended. For the TL;DR version, see recap below:
Changes to exec structure and members: main changes to the structure include eliminating the need for committees on Treasury and Discipline, instead assigning those functions to individuals, allowing them flexibility to recruit assistance on an as needed basis. See below for the 2022 positions, and please join us in thanking the following crazy people for stepping up for duty, as well as the people who served this year and in the past.
Your 2022 Executive members/directorship:
- President: Frank Lamontagne (replacing Ray Martel)
- Vice-President: Denis Levesque (replacing Romeo Pantalone)
- Treasurer: Matt DeSouza (replacing Brian Garson)
- Spares co-ordinator: Dave Willey (replacing Frank Lamontagne)
- Assistant Spares co-ordinator: Chris Bradley (replacing Dave Willey)
- IT & Media: Brian Garson (new position)
- Awards & Events: Tom Borbely (new position)
- Admin/Secretariat: Doug Spencer
- Defibrillator Duty: Bernie Pilon (replacing Shawn Sabourin)
Spares during playoffs: a motion was accepted to make playoff spare protocol the same as during the regular season – allowed throughout the playoffs but only on a like-for-like skill level basis.
Potential future season venue changes: you should be aware that we are actively expressing interest and reviewing proposals for the 2022-23 indoor season at the soon-to-be constructed Garneau dome (off Orleans boul near St Joseph) and the 2023 outdoor season at Julien de Guzman park (Anderson/Leitrim Rd). No commitments have been made but we should get clarity in the next few months on our options.
Bad Alibi Sponsorship: Hopefully everyone has had a chance to enjoy a beverage and something off the menu at The Bad Alibi (Youville/St Joseph). We have officially made the switch after decades at the Blackburn Arms, with which we made the difficult decision to finally sever ties. Officially, we are the BA Soccer League – no longer the Blackburn Arms Soccer League, and we are not the Bad Alibi Soccer League (how awesome is it though that it does still work with BA?). Some of the perks at the Bad Alibi, for those unaware – free nachos, $10 wing deal, 10% of sales go towards year-end party, patio can be reserved. We have also confirmed they are the place to be after Saturday morning outdoor games in 2022 – please show some love for the owners Matty and Jay if you get the chance, they have been great to us so far.
Final tip of the hat to Ray
Perhaps in perfect irony – if you’ve made it this far down the page and are still with us, you’re probably the kinda guy that truly appreciated the greatness of our outgoing president Ray Martel. He served as our president for 6 years, which was probably 6 years more than he had intended. In that time, he did an outstanding job taking a wonderful league and somehow elevating it to even greater levels, from within the executive, to these email blasts (which we can only try our best to emulate), to the time he took to have meaningful individual conversations with so many of you, giving us the best example to model this league after. I think I can speak for the (mostly and relatively) younger generation that is now stepping into the task of carrying on leadership of this league – one of the main reasons we would even consider taking this on is to attempt keeping the standard of this league WAY up there where Ray has taken it. We know you aren’t going to be far away anyway, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t all give you a thank you from the bottom of all our hearts. When any of us end up playing in this league with our kids/grandkids (which some already do), it will be in large part because Ray showed us it is possible to keep a humble soccer league so good for so long, and also that’s worthwhile doing it. Enjoy your retirement, Ray – if this first attempt at a league email is any indication of the effort it requires, you have some time savings in your future.
Thanks all for reading, thanks for a superb 2021-22 Indoor season; we look forward to an excellent 2022 Outdoor season. Expect a communication regarding teams in about a week, followed by more start of season stuff in the days following that.
May your gamedays be warm and your beer cold!
Your BA Executive Team