December 2006 — Coolest Moment of the Year

Coolest Moment of 2006
28 December 2006 – Toronto Star

Mother’s Day in Miami and I’m at Tropical Park Stadium, following Romario, the legendary Brazilian striker. He’s here playing with a minor league soccer club in a quest to finish his career with 1,000 goals.

I notice the home team has laid out a buffet for the media. Then I notice there’s only one other reporter covering the game. I grab a plate and top it with a mound of food. One less meal to expense.

I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this.

As the game approaches, fans with drums and trumpets fill the east-side bleachers.

Who knew Miami FC had a fight song?

The home team’s cheerleaders strut along the sidelines. They cheer a little, pose a lot, and look good doing it. Doesn’t matter where you’ve been; if you haven’t been to a soccer game in Miami, you’ve never seen women this pretty.

I can’t believe they’re paying me for this.

Romario doesn’t score, and after the game he allows me to interview him for 75 seconds, but none of it bothers me. I know my story will sing.

It’s past 10 p.m., I head toward the parking lot, past a small, butter-coloured building that houses a boxing gym. Inside, a young boy thumps a heavy bag.

On the wall, I see what I think is lump of concrete, about five inches long and two fingers wide, painted the same colour as the rest of the building.

But then it moves.

And it moves some more.

Then it scurries down the wall, onto the sidewalk and into some bushes.

It was a chameleon.

The first one I’d ever seen.

And they pay me for this?

That’s cool.

Copyright ©2006 Toronto Star

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