A new challenger approaches!
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
It’s that time of the year. Playoffs are approaching for Major League Soccer teams, and this year, the Vancouver Whitecaps are in a position to make a championship title run. However, the team has lost their edge of late.
The team dropped their last few games and have been blown out of the water by their rivals, the Seattle Sounders. In both games against Seattle in the last month, the Sounders ran circles around the Whitecaps.
Vancouver’s head coach Carl Robinson commented on the situation: “They were fitter than us and better than us on the field. They were faster on chances and we lost because of it. It doesn’t help that some our players have already added the freshman 15 due to their diets and schedules.”
As of late, many of the Whitecaps players have been seen out drinking at bars and pubs with college students in an attempt to raise awareness of the unhealthy habits of first year college students.
An anonymous source also confirms massive orders of pizzas to dormitories and homes where the Whitecaps players reside.
Although initially supportive of the initiative, Coach Robinson has since changed his stance on the awareness campaign. After the recent series of letdowns, the coach blew a fuse and lashed out at his players. He called them, “fat, unfit, slobs… not worthy of wearing the Whitecaps blue.” He then introduced his new fitness routine to prepare for the playoffs.
The Douglas Grind will be the home of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ fitness day. The daunting hill that leads to the Douglas College New Westminster campus stands at a massive 70 degree incline and has haunted its students for years.
Amazingly enough, first year Douglas College students have almost always avoided the freshman 15 Scientists have studied the anomaly for years, and have finally come to the conclusion that it is the hill that keeps Douglas College students in tip-top shape. They have also found the best way, at the request of coach Robinson, to make the climb as difficult as possible.
Mental training begins the night before physical training. Players will be forced to stay up well past midnight, reading textbooks and answering pointless questions about topics they have no passion for. This is said to stimulate the mental stress of a playoff run. The players will then wake at 6 a.m. to simulate the rigorous travel schedule of a deep playoff run.
The players will then be handed a 20-pound backpack and made to run to their local city bus stop. If the players miss their bus, the coach will heavily penalize them. Although the buses have a scheduled time, some have been told to arrive early and some to arrive late, and some have even been instructed to not arrive at all. The backpacks are meant to simulate the additional weight of all the sponsors on the jerseys, and the buses are meant to test how the players will respond to situations where set plays have gone wrong.
After arriving at the base of the New Westminster Campus via SkyTrain, the players must then begin the daunting trek of climbing the massive slope to the campus, and then scaling the double set of stairs to get into the main campus building.
The ultimate goal is to reach the sixth floor in 15 minutes from the beginning of the Grind. Along the way, they must deal with waves of students blocking their path and slow moving lines, all while continuing to carry their 20-pound bags.
Once they reach the top, they are given five minutes to rest and are then instructed to go back down to the base of the hill and go at it again. They are expected to complete the Grind five times in total, with a time better than 75 minutes.
Each time the players go up the hill after the first will be a different scenario. From simulated rain, snow, and ice, to grueling heat with no wind. This is meant to simulate the type of weather conditions the players may be playing in during a deep playoff run.
Coach Robinson hopes that this day of training will help sharpen and refocus his team. He has told the Other Press that any players who fail to finish the Grind within the allotted time limits, or who fall during the climb, will have their contract shredded and be released from the team. He did not specify what this necessarily simulated, but we can only speculate the sort of pressure it puts on his players.