What it Means to be a Champion — My Experience at the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Under 13 Fútbol Tournament

When most Torontonians think of Mexico, they dream up sandy beaches. Swim-up bars. Just about every stereotype possible! It’s a Mexico that’s Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Mayan Riviera, coastline paradises supplying your every want and need. But what they don’t see is the rest of the country, where 99% of its people live lives more concerned with putting food on the table than they are that your cocktail’s lacking in tequila. That, my friends, is the real Mexico—and it’s in this Mexico that nearly 300 fútbol players competed to see who’d come out on top not only in their countries but all of Central and North America, as well as the Caribbean, too!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you—the third annual Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Under-13 fútbol tournament (SCCLU13). Please fasten your seatbelts!

Toluca, Mexico — Because There IS Life Outside of Mexico City!

What it Means to be a Champion — My Experience at the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Under 13 Fútbol Tournament — The FEMEXFUT Fields

An hour west of the very populous Mexico City (with an estimated 30 million people living in the area) lies the industrial city Toluca, which I don’t imagine many of you would visit unless you had a reason to be there. A town of 800,000 found 2600 metres above sea level, Toluca’s prone to altitudinal challenges, fluctuating temperatures, and a strong curiosity about tourists (locals asked to take photos with me five times in the four days I was there!)

While I didn’t have the time to catch the city’s sights, I soaked the city in as we drove through it, immediately noting the differences between the “normal” there from the one I knew back home in Toronto! Like the food and drink offered to you instead of squeegees at red lights. Or starting dinner at a time where many Canadians are heading to bed. With a vibe and identity all of its own, Toluca made for an interesting proving ground for young men from ten different countries. One providing a unique opportunity—to become part of the youngest age group ever to compete in an official CONCACAF event!

Let me tell you more about it ?

Let’s Taco ‘Bout It, Chapter One — Solving Dinnertime Dilemmas with Old El Paso!

Who doesn’t love a good taco?

Let's Taco 'Bout It, Chapter One — Solving Dinnertime Dilemmas with Old El Paso! — Old El Paso Product Shot

The near-globally recognised dish of Mexican origins—due in no small part to a fast food chain that I shan’t mention here—is renowned not only for how delicious it is but also for how easy it is to prepare! I enjoy stuffing them to my face, but now and then, a brand challenges me to do more than just consume, and that’s precisely why Old El Paso’s invited me on as a Brand Ambassador for the next year!

It’s time for me to mow down on something that’s part tortilla, part flavourful filling, and 100% something that belongs in your belly immediately.

The 2016 100 — or — How to Build a Better Casey

I can’t even lie, guys — coming up with a list of 100 goals for the fourth year in a row was hard — ridiculously so. I’m a very different me than I was when The 2013 100 came out, back when free time was still an abundant commodity I didn’t even know I was taking for granted, trying to fill it with countless things that’d keep life interesting.

A problem I most definitely don’t have in 2016!

As I work at surviving the upcoming year — especially with our second child’s imminent arrival — I needed to make the list a lot more realistic; I’m all too skilled at chasing ambitions that exceed my lifestyle’s capacity, and I’ll need to keep wary of that in 2016 if I want to see myself make it out the other side!

So without further ado, The 2016 100. It took a couple of days to polish off after recovering from the gauntlet that was 2015, but I feel like it’s a list that will really make waves in this life o’ mine should I see it finished!

But hey — that’s what I say every year ????

Thanks for reading!


1) Write an amazing series for Black History Month
2) Win a vacation for my dry cleaner
3) Watch Creed; Mad Max: Fury Road; The Martian; Ant-Man
4) Take Eric to a sporting event so he can stop complaining about getting left from sporting events
5) Phase my old 3.5″ hard drive out
6) Get rid of my old electronics
7) Stop biting my nails
8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent
9) Clean out the basement crawl space
10) Build shelves into the crawl space
11) Give my FWD Powershot 2 to my old manager the hockey coach
12) Do the CN Tower Edgewalk
13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP
14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad

Though a chiropractor I started seeing late into 2015 told me I’d developed some mild sciatica in my back, I didn’t need him to tell me I carry too much STUFF. In a digital age where we can pack mountains of information into a single device, there’s really NO NEED for me to carry all the draft posts and note that I do — save the fact that working from hard copy’s the way my brain’s WIRED.

In 2016, I need a little more focus to keep all my ideas stored in one place so I’m not constantly carrying EVERYTHING in my house made of paper, knowing that I probably scribbled SOMETHING on ALL of ’em.

15) Sort out the Internet situation at home so I can stop relying on tethering to LTE data
16) Learn enough Spanish to understand my sister-in-law’s Mexican wedding in May
17) Find time for date nights, which will involve finding someone who wants to babysit two kids… how about we just find more awesome things to do at home, just in case?
18) Try Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake
19) Get to 0 drafts on CaseyPalmer.com by converting everything into live posts
20) Install the growth chart for my kids that we got at my office baby shower
21) Update all the old content on CaseyPalmer.com
22) Upgrade the site infrastructure to better support contest traffic
23) Redesign the heck out of the blog (Twenty Sixteen, what up)
24) Find the time to pack more lunches for work
25) Clean up and optimize my Pinterest account (I still have that copy of Pinterest Savvy lying around somewhere)
26) Shave more regularly
27) Hand out my remaining business “cep” cards so I can put in a new order (wait — do we still do business cards?)
28) Clear out the bookshelves to prepare for Baby #2
29) Replace the lost key to our 2011 Ford Edge
30) Figure out what I ACTUALLY need to run my site and invest in THAT.
31) Replace our bathroom sink
32) Meet with the people who I never seemed to schedule in through 2015 (Aaron, Emma, Ria, Adrienne, Dianna)
33) Get a Brookhaven Computer Cabinet

The 1% of the Casa de Palmer workspace I use to do all the things isn’t the best — in fact, it’s falling apart. As I get older and start formalizing my #BloggerLife, Sarah and I agree that my workspace should evolve to show that. It’ll take some saving to make it happen, but it’d be a nice addition to the home.