Human Foosball Charity Tourney – Whitby, ON

At the heart of a town called Whitby lays an English pub called The Crown and Firkin. Inside this bar is a trophy case which contains only one troph – a human foosball trophy with only one name on it: The Prospects of Whitby.

Two years ago we entered the Prospects into the first annual Human Foosball Tourney, and riding the striking hot foot of a man named Kyle, and the hulk-like goaltending of trapshooting commentator Alex, we rose to the occasion and hoisted the champion’s trophy – despite the best efforts of some wily Irish vets and the cheering/looting of a angry, toothless English hooligan.

This year it would be a hearty group of young gentlemen that would be our undoing, and with kyle out doing married- guy-stuff, we looked like a trio of underwhelming chicken shish kebob that had been left out in the sun too long.

Perhaps our only saving grace was Alex’s innovative goaltending. The game of Human Foosball pits the players in an inflatable arena, attached to horizontal metal bars which the players strap their hands into (thus connecting them to a teammate). With their hands locked in, a ball is kicked and launched around the arena, leaving under-protected groins and faces exposed for impact. Alex  throws caution to the wind when it comes to protecting his groin and face, but his personal take on goaltending goes beyond that.

If a normal goalie is caught out of position – say, on the right side of the net while a ball is kicked towards the left side – that inevitably ends up as a goal. Alex refused to accept the status quo. While Alex knew his body may sometimes be on the wrong side of the net, he realized that the metal bar he was holding stretched across the entire width of the goal. Alex discovered that he could either put his weight on the metal bar to lower it and stop the ball, or using his immense strength, he could lift the metal bar – and the entire half of the inflatable arena – and stop a ball kicked into the top half of the net. Sheer brilliance.

This year would see more teams attend the tourney than ever before, and with that came more talent and more friendly people than we were able to contest with. It also meant more time to sit down at the Crown and take in a beautiful afternoon. Hope to see you next year.