Micky's & Goldtips Era Gitoni Top 5
Okay, so Gitoni was a big part of my youth and I therefore feel the need to share what I thought were the top 5 breeding grounds for Gitoni athletics in Mississauga during the Micky’s and Goldtips era.
5. St. Martins
I know I'm going to feel the wrath for this one, but making the top 5 out of a huge number of schools insauga is damn impressive. For the most part their training grounds was known as "Bakers," in reference to the plaza on the SW corner of Glengarry and Dundas. It was actually in a pizza shop within the plaza which ceases to exist anymore. Other stomping grounds for Martin's were the batting cage along Burnhamthorpe and ESC (Executive's Pool Hall).
Martins was 80% fastball. If you beat them by changing up the game you didn't expect them to stick around for a redo. They just moved onto the next table thus ranking them a generous 5th place of the top 5 Gitoni high schools of all time, in Mississauga.
The students of this small school may have produced pound for pound some of the greatest unknown gitz players ever. Being a 2-minute walk away from South Common Mall totally helped as the old school theatres (aka the ghetto theatres) had ample amount of Gitoni tables, all FABI approved. Ghettoly situated in the posh neighborhood of the Sawmill Valley, gitoni was a way of meshing the rich with the poor to turn out some spectacular trash talkers who love to feed the table. Lots of heart out of Loyola.
Because of the mixture of rich and poor, both styles were equally played. Unfortunately a cross between the two styles was eventually adopted and middle shots were eventually accepted. This cheesy style has them sitting at 4th place inSauga, all time.
Yes, going way back, Britannia high school should have been named Blackcreek High since they were the pioneers of the game. Almost every move in the book as we know it today probably derived out of this polytechnic institute (ok really, it was more like a half-way house for naughty students). Looking around, where'd they play? How about in their gym. That's right, instead of going outside to play soccer it was more convenient to have gym class indoors on a gitoni table so the rockers didn't have to change out of their tightly painted on acid-washed jeans. Oh and please note that their school tables looked as though they were forged in shop class since all of them were made of steel.
Due to the lack of quality tables to play on these veterans were forced to learn the game the hard way, on full metal tables. This wasn't good for slow ball players with all the squeaks and what not, however, just like a fine dj they all learned a deft touch to the game, fast or slow. Patience for each shot was at a premium having a warped table on their hands, thus slowball was super slow. But they were also the engineers of the trick shot. What is the trick shot you ask? Well if you've ever been distracted by someone doing a quick foot shuffle and then scoring, you've just been tricked.
2. Father Michael Goetz
Of course I have to put my alma matter out there, wtf. Gators not only produced some great Gitoni players back in the day, but generations of them. Mickey's, where I spent most of my days, was arguably the greatest Gitoni training grounds inSauga EVER! Formally known as Formac V, located along Dundas and Confederation Pkwy was where you went to play gitz after you had gained some experience elsewhere and wanted to hit the main stage. With approximately 5 tables (all being used at once) and oodles of quarters waiting to be fed, Goetz became a hot bed breeding ground for Gitoni players, all thanks to Mickey's.
Slow ball/passing whatever you want to call it. If you were playing fastball and a Gator beat you and changed up the game, your best bet was just to head over to "Execs" since the game there wouldn't be changing any time soon. Goaltending was a premium at the school and the word "tight" comes to mind.
1. T.L. Kennedy
And without further ado.....
Mickey's, Gold Tips or Silver Tips, you name it, this OG high school centrally located in Gitoniville produced nothing but the best all-round athletes, and that's not just in gitz. Then you add in all the "Ma and Pa" shops in and around the area (Nappy's, 2-4-1 Pizza or Chicken Land) and you might have the greatest number of Gitoni tables located within a 5-minute bike ride from one another in the GTA. T.L.K was a school of race. In other words, if you were white you were a minority. All these cultures melted together into what used to be considered the downtown core of Mississauga to produce a superior breeding ground for Gitoni all-stars. In a nutshell when money is tight, you ain't getting off that table...nuff said.
I'd say 50/50, fast and slow, but the catch was everyone who played was great in both. They never held a grudge to the style of play chosen, they just played. Having to ration their quarters more so than all other schools in the surrounding area, they learned to play both styles at a high pace and with great skill thus having others continually feeding the tables.
In conclusion, unfortunately for T.L. and the other 4 mentioned schools arcades are a thing of the past. I haven't seen an arcade anywhere in the city other than in a movie theatre, and good luck if they have a FABI. Funny thing is I see a FABI every week at Frank McKechnie Community Centre where I bring my girl for swimming lessons, and it's free. Something just doesn't feel right when you play Gitz for free with nothing on the line, but I guess it's just one of those mandates set forth by our city and schools to drain all the competitive spirit out of our youth.