Interview with Allyson Latta

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Answer My Friend...

...better not be blowing in the wind. What the hell's with Drew Breeze. There's good and then there's an unnerving good. The kind of good quarterback, team, coach that is so goddamn unassuming, egoless, modest that it rattles one's nerves inexplicably -because it is inexplicable - The New Orleans Saints. The New Orleans Saints. I ask you.

At the beginning of the 2009/10 NFL season, I hoped it was going to be a Giants vs Colts Superbowl - Manning vs Manning. Then I entertained, and still hope for, a Vikings vs Colts Superbowl, but after watching New Orleans trounce New England, I have to wonder. A Saints vs Colts Superbowl? Hmm? The unpredictability of a new NFL season - one never knows. The cream of the crop curdles, an underdog reigns supreme, coaches come and go, the young take over, the vets never cease to amaze, and cease to amaze, rookies rise and fall, stars are born and others diffused - all in a day's work. Laughter, tears, crumpled brows, bones and egos, and the glue of comaraderie - ah, the beauty of meritocracy.

Oh, and in answer to some dude's question that for some reason won't post on my comments:

Unicorns can't be bought - they're earned!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Wizard and the General

There are many great moments in the NFL that stick in my mind. Mind blowing plays, unfathomable feats performed by the wonders of the sport like Favre, Brady, Manning, Breeze, the other Manning, Moss, Hester, Polamalu, Harris, Sproles, Wayne, Ward, Clark, and on and on and on. Last Sunday's Patriots/Colts game was a beauty unto itself - ah, thanks for the memories.

I was nervous days in advance. The Colts were undefeated and the Patriots are the Patriots. They live for games like this - the two Super Powers of the NFL - but one of them has to lose. What a match up - there was something very Roman about it all. The two best quarterbacks in the league head to head - I was dying.

To me, Brady is like an army general leading his troops to war - an all out soldier, competitive, driven, merciless. He marches into the face of the enemy - unflinching and his troops respond to his lead. In that zone, he can and will annihilate the opponent. The tougher the competition the better Tom Brady is. And he proved it up until the last few plays of that brilliant Sunday night game against the Colts. But I never, for one second, doubted that the Colts were going to win that game. All the braun in the world cannot match a wizard's magic.

Peyton Manning is a wizard, a sorcerer, a magician - other worldly - a sage. It may sound over-the-top - so be it, call a spade a spade and all the other cliches. But there is noone else who can watch his team unravel before him, even allow it, want it to happen to expose the weakness, to learn the weakness, then fix it there and then, completely sew the team back up again, make it stronger and better while playing one of the best and toughest teams in the NFL. Then predetermine the exact time he is going take the game back and win it. With 13 seconds left on the play clock, Manning throws an unbelievable pass through the solid coverage into the waiting hands of Reggie Wayne.



How Reggie Wayne made that catch was mind blowing but that's Reggie Wayne and that's Peyton Manning - After the game, with the Wizard proudly towering over him, Wayne matter-of-factly said,"when Peyton called my number, I knew I had to make that catch." I don't know if I would ever want to be in that position, if I would ever want Peyton Manning calling my number on the last play of a supremely important game with a mere 13 seconds left on the clock.

On the sidelines, The General's face said it all. And the experts and the fans can blame the Patriot's loss on a great and risky call by Belichick, but no matter what the Patriots did in those last few moments of that monumental game - the Colts weren't going to lose. They were never going to lose. They knew it. Peyton knew it and I think Belichick new it too. How can a mortal, even great ones at that, ever beat a Wizard?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Upcoming Readings

Wednesday November 18th - I'm reading at the Pivot Reading Series, Toronto, 8pm with Amy Jones and Priscila Uppal more info:

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Casualties

The first games of the NFL season are both exhilarating and frightening. Last year, Tom Brady went down in the first play of the first game, gone for one year - devasting. With 52 players on a team why is it the big playmakers are the ones most likey to be injured immediately, completely changing the fate of a team's season. Thursday night, Pittsburgh burst through the gate impressively, but noone was as impressive as their own personal predator, the panther that leaps out of nowhere at anytime, well always the right time, and trounces his prey in one foul swoop - Troy Palamalu. He was flying aroung that field, taking down big men in a swoop. Then he goes down, knee injury - out for 6 weeks. First game of the regular season, Chicago lost their toughest bear - Brian Urlacher - just like that -out fos a year. Heartbreaking. It is, it is but I'm not a Bears or Steelers fan. AS long as the Colts stay healthy,I'll sleep at night, eat and pray. Yes, yes, I take up praying come the start of the NFL season - pray that everyone stays healthy one game at a time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The poet in me has four words and one exclamation mark for you:





The other day I'm at work and there's a phone call for me. It's not unusual that the phone's for me but when the voice on the other end is a friend - that's unusual.

"Did you hear the news?" my friend Jan says, in a whisper. I look around, look around to see if anyone else has noticed that I'm acting strange because a friend has called me at work. No one's around. But I'm nervous for more reasons than one. Jan sounds serious. Serious with an echo of hysteria brewing in that whispering voice. I sit down and say, "No," and pause because Jan would only call me at work if it was big news - something serious. My palms sweat. I gulp. Look around again.

Jan's voice deepens and she says, "Favre signed a three year deal with Minnesota."

She guffaws.

"NO!" I shriek.


I slap my thighs - crack up. Crack up and it is the most satisfying crack up I've experienced in months. "No. No." I squeal. Laugh, I laugh hysterically and she laughs with me and it's not that we are laughing at Brett Favre - we are not. But we have been through this on again off again thing with him for so long now - this is an event. The resurrection, the retirement resurrection - again!

At first it was heartbreaking - the initial retirement - the newest unretirement is gut-wrenching, a belly ache - another unpredictable play in Favre's career. Shocking? Shocking enough to call your friend, at work, when you haven't had the time to speak to each other in weeks!!

Never a dull moment in the NFL - ah, and here it is, back again - everything worthwhile makes a comeback!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I dreamt I was...

Last night, I dreamt that I was Cristiano Ronaldo. I regularly have strange dreams. This one took the prize. Many a famous person, athletes, writers, philosophers, politicians, you name it, have appeared in my dreams but I've yet to dream of being one of them. How did I know I was Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese national who the Gods have been showering in good fortune for the past year and a bit; the highest paid right-winger ever to grace a football pitch; the new Real Madrid winger who was bought from the mighty Manchester United for 80 million pounds. The most any team has ever, ever paid for a player. How did I know I was him and not merely dreaming of him. I'll tell you how I knew - the feeling. I have never felt like I did the night I dreamt I was Cristiano Ronaldo - never. It was a fleeting dream. I, as Cristiano Ronaldo, walked into a diamond studded room. I as Cristiano Ronaldo, felt a little anxious at first, that feeling one has when you're still young enough to feel momentarily unsure of your surroundings. Then everyone in the room who was sitting down stood up. The crowd of people standing parted. Then, I, as Cristiano Ronaldo, remembered that I am no ordinary boy anymore. No. I am the highest paid footballer ever. I am an empire. Then later in the dream, though fleeting it had a few scenes, one of which I as Cristiano Ronaldo fell asleep and had a dream - the dream within a dream scene in which I couldn't kick the football. I had two left feet. I could not live up to the hype, the paycheque and that's when I as Cristiano Ronaldo woke up, sweating and ill. Then I, as myself, woke up, relieved that it was all a dream.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Launching my new book - Animal - Friday, June 19th

Hey Ya'll:

This coming Friday I'd love it if you attended the launch of my new book!

This is the invite my superb publisher supplied:

Anvil Press & McNally Robinson Booksellers are
pleased to invite you to join us in celebrating the
release of Alexandra Leggat’s new collection of
short fiction ...


Friday, June 19th • 8:00 pm

McNally Robinson Booksellers
at the Shops of Don Mills
1090 Don Mills Road
(corner of Lawrence Ave. East & Don Mills Rd.
Events Space, 2nd Floor)
Free Event • Reading • Signing info:

I really hope you can come, not only because I'd love you to attend the book launch but to check out the greatest new bookstore in town, McNally Robinson Booksellers - where it's all about the book, in all its brilliance, and reading, reading, reading; the good it does.

Come to the restaurant, Prairie Ink, have dinner or a drink before the launch, bring your kids,(superb children's book section!) Have a drink in the restaurant after the launch, listen to some music, sit on the patio, talk about books or whatever the hell you want to talk about on a breezy summer evening. It's not just about my new book, come out and experience all the cool happenings here.

Hope to see you!!!


Thursday, May 21, 2009


Well, it's been a while since I've had a moment to write. and so many great football games have come and gone - in the original sense of the word. Man U is about to wrap up another spectacular year - goddamn them - Chelsea have been robbed once again and yet I'm thinking you reap what you sow - and John Madden sadly retired from the other football, a big loss in every sense of the word and Tony Kornheiser rightly retired from Monday Night Football - he is what he is in his own realm and we love him for that and John Grudin steps into a role I think he'll excel at. The World Cup is breaths away and the air is warming up - all is good.

As bad as I am at self-promotion, she says with a blog in her name - my new book Animal will be launched in Vancouver May 30th, the name of the bar escapes me at this moment but I'll post it later. This Sunday May 24th, I'm reading at the Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto from 3-4 as part of the brewery's Open Door event, where they allow the public to venture into where the magic is made to check out the architecture, eat fries, drink beer and listen to literature in all its forms - who can ask for more - beer, food, literature and architecture - nice. And on June 30th, I'm launching Animal at the new McNally Robinson bookstore at the Shops at Don Mills.

I hope you can all attend.

How about those Jays!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Oscars

The Pro Bowl is to this football fan what the Oscars is to the sycophant. It's my chance to see many of my favorite players in one place at one time. It doesn't matter so much what they are wearing, what they look like at all. In fact unlike the Oscars, there's just a lot of talent in one place at one time and that's what thrills me. I know that there are many diehard NFL fans that cannot stand the Pro Bowl, will not watch it and think it's an insult to the game. Sure there's never much of a game. However, it's one last game, one last time to see the likes of say Peyton Manning until August. Weekends are harsh already. I don't know what to do on Sundays, I make plans with friends every Monday night I can. So as much as the Pro Bowl is not about who wins or loses or how they play the game - it's a few hours of football before the long withdrawal.

Friday, January 23, 2009

There's no place like home

Like getting swooped up in the eye of a storm and planted in some strange fictional reality with yellow brick roads, talking lions, scarecrows, tin men and flying monkeys, my time spent as the coach of a fantasy football team was not all its cracked up to be. Ironically, the last time I wrote an entry here was while I was immersed in the excitement of joining a fantasy football league. Like being lost in Oz, I disappeared, got caught up in illusion and no there is no wizard behind the mask - just some little guy pushing buttons and getting nowhere. That's how I felt as a fantasy football coach. Fantasy, a misnomer, because, truly, how many participants of fantasy football are really, really having a great time. Living my fantasy should not cause me so much strife.

For example, early on when I learned how to, I got rid of players I thought would be a hindrance to my progress in the league and I scooped up a little dude named Darren Sproles who was supposed to take the NFL by storm. Well, he did take the league by storm, but not until the last regular game of the season when the Chargers Tomlinson pulls his groin and they throw in Sproles. By this time I'm knocked out of my fantasy league, didn't make the playoffs and the unceremonious end to the season occurs. That's it. It's over. No awards ceremony, no drinks with the other coaches to chat about the season - nothing - silence and Darren Sproles rides off in the sunset as one of the greatest little running backs. Where were you when I needed you Sproles? That's no fantasy.

I was grateful to be asked to join a fantasy football league, I appreciate the thought. But I can tell you it's something I will not do again. Give me Sunday and Monday from September to January relaxing on the couch in my ruby slippers with not a worry in the world outside of the success of my favourite team and players. Because when it comes to football there's nothing like the real thing - there's no place like home.