by Stephen Johnson
Live sports have always been important to me. Some of the fondest memories I have are of attending Saskatchewan Roughrider football games with my parents. It is now fun to see my wife, Sandy, and son, David, having the same joy attending football and soccer games together.
We recently had an action-packed sports weekend, attending an Ottawa REDBLACKS game on Friday night and an Ottawa Fury match on Saturday. The highlight of the REDBLACKS game was getting a photo with David and Henry Burris. Since the Grey Cup, it has been one of David’s goals was to meet Henry. And the star athlete was extremely gracious even though he only had one minute before doing a media appearance.
The Ottawa Fury game the following day proved to be equally as interesting. It was the same day as an electronic dance festival and craft show at Lansdowne Park. I loved the mash-up of crafters, young music fans and soccer families all intermingling.
Besides the soccer, one of the big attractions for our family to attend a Fury game is the availability of lots of family-friendly activities. The Fury have set up a family zone with a bouncy castle, slide and penalty shot area. This organization seems to understand that not all kids will last for a ninety minute soccer game, so plenty of entertainment has been provided.
The game we attended against the New York City Cosmos provided no shortage of excitement. The Fury scored an early goal with New York storming back in the second half scoring two goals quickly. With only about one minute left, local product, Jamar Dixon, placed a perfect header past the the New York goaltender tieing the score at 2-2. Soon after, the final whistle sounded.
About ten minutes after the game, the Fury allow fans on to the pitch to get an autograph from their favorite player. Dixon was the favorite as he was the hero of the match. All the players were very approachable and it was fun to watch the impromptu soccer games taking place.
Once David had met and got autographs from three or four players, it was time to head home planning for our next trip to see the Fury again. For more information about the schedule and tickets, visit, www.ottawafuryfc.com.