Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 04.29.08
Stanstead, Quebec


You don't know Doodly, eh?

STANSTEAD, QC | YAAAAAH! Can you feel it? Can you smell it? That's the smell of victory! And burning rubber!

I am so excited that my team is so close to ultimate triumph. This week's series win puts us that much closer. And now we've got the momentum. The Doodly Cup is within our grasp!

With Monday's stupendous octo-final victory in the Southwestern Division of the National Indoor Full-Contact Team Croquet League, only 72 games to go! At long last our Doodly Cup drought may be over.

It's been a hard road for my team, the Otterburn Park Ocelots. There was that mid-quarter-season trade that saw veteran mallet-wielder Abraham Cheznick go to the Cowansville Croquers for rookies Louis Simard and André Bonsant. And then there was the wicket injury sustained by that Rachmaninoff of the Roquet, Peter Brown. And we've all seen the replay reel with Johnson and the stake. Ouch.

But we pulled through and made the post-season playoffs. And now this week's sweet ultimate-until-the-next-one conquest.

And this can only be attributed to us fans. It's scientifically proven that fan support has a direct effect on the performance of athletes.

I know I've been doing my part.

First of all, as part of the playoff tradition, I'm not shaving. This really helps show support for the players. The sacrifice we make and the scratching we do is an inspiration to the Ocelots. I've tried insisting that my wife not shave her legs for the duration but she has no team spirit. She does, however, have a powerful divorce lawyer.

Next, I've plastered my front lawn with Ocelot signs, banners, effigies of our rivals, and a vast funeral pyre I'm ready to throw myself onto should my team lose any of the upcoming best-of-11 series.

I'm wearing nothing but the team colours: puce and chartreuse. My boss, that party-pooper, won't let me wear face paint to work. "Face paint is not appropriate at the Department of Revenue," he says. As if!

I've also purchased two dozen team flags to decorate my car. Plus, I've painted "Ocelots are Wicket!" across my front windshield. It makes driving difficult but that's the sacrifice I'm willing to make for my team. Hopefully, I'll crash into a Magog Mallets fan!

Speaking of the Mallets, if things go poorly in the next series, I've prepared a plan to kidnap the Mallets' mascot, Mookie the Mullet. Hey, no one said victory would be pretty.

Oh yeah, and my buddies and I already have our post-victory riots planned for the quarter-, semi- and final-finals. We offered a taste of what's to come at the end of Monday's sweet, sweet home victory. When we came out of the Otterburn Park Croquet Coliseum, we made sure we were plenty liquored up so we wouldn't let anything like conscience or, heaven forbid, perspective keep us from our victory-fuelled rampage.

Because it's about showing commitment to the team, right? They've sweated through a full season of full-contact croquet, with all the heartbreak, the missed wickets, the dead balls. The least we can do is set fire to a few police cruisers.

If all goes well and we do win the Doodly Cup, I have my chainsaw all oiled up and ready.

We don't want anyone to get hurt. We just want to destroy property. When we throw our croquet balls through merchants' windows, it's really just a symbolic gesture of our love for the team. I wish they'd understand that. Those are balls of joy.

I know some people grumble about us being out of control, that we're just a bunch of hoodlums looking for an excuse to cause trouble, that we're ruining the game. Yeah, well, those people just don't understand the true meaning of professional sports.