Well, well, well, what a crazy few days this has been and it'll only continue in recent light of the new stadium opening.
So lets jump straight into it shall we. Thursday June 9th 2011 will be a date that'll live long in the memory of soccer fans in Kansas City. The opening of Sporing KC's brand new state of the art stadium 'Livestrong Sporting Park' was finally upon us. For me, it was months of waiting, for many fans, it was an absolute lifetime. The opening ceremony was spectacular, with fire works, promotional video's, build up songs, the national anthem and much more. Anything you could have wished for in the opening of a new stadium was there and i'd just like to take this opportunity in saying well done to everyone single person involved in game day operations, you were spectacular. I spent most of the week at the stadium with these guys until 2/3am, never had I been more prepared for a broadcast!
It was an absolute honour to be there and to be apart of such a historic event. ESPN were there covering the game, so no TV appearance for me that evening, instead, I did the game on 810 Sports Radio (which I thoroughly enjoyed). The game was full of thrills and spills and in my opinion, Sporting were denied the perfect opening night in the new stadium when Omar Bravo was mauled to the ground by Ristic of Chicago Fire inside the penalty area. Ristic went through the back of Bravo, taking down the mexican, only for the ref to wave play on. I really do hope Major League Soccer take a look at this. I accept the fact that we are all human being and we are going to make mistakes, but I still have absolutely no idea how or why the ref did not call a penalty kick. I remember going absolutely barmy on the radio alongside Jake Gutierez, we were both absolutely astonished as to how there was nothing given. I also came very close to dropping the 'f word' as well, I was absolutely disgusted.
Either way, it was a momentous and historic day for soccer in Kansas City, a day which I was very proud to be apart of and a day that'll live long in the memory. The one memory I have of the whole evening was watching the teams come out and watching Davy Arnaud fight back the tears as Ida Mcbeth sang the national anthem. I remember having a huge lump in my throat and thinking 'wow, i've only been here 11 weeks' but already I feel so attached to this club. I felt so happy for Davy because I knew this was the moment he'd waited his whole career for and just looking around at the fans singing the national anthem with such passion and pride. I get it guys, I really do get it and i'm absolutely honored and privileged to have been apart of it. Thank you.
So after the game (which tied 0 - 0 for those in the UK) I made my way down to the press conference and then gave an interview myself to KCTV 5. After that I met up with a few people from the front office and had a couple of beers whilst signing autographs and sharing thoughts of the evening with several Sporting KC fans.
Friday, after 5 hours sleep, Dan and I headed into the office once again to concentrate on putting together the TV show for the upcoming road game in Dallas. However as the clock came to 4pm, we were all so tired, we left early and I finally spent a friday night in KC doing absolutely nothing; but it was so nice!
The next day we flew to Dallas (still quite tired) but settled into the hotel quite nicely before finishing the script and research, then going out for a quick beer. I woke up on the Sunday morning with a strange feeling. This was the first broadcast we'd done on the Sunday, it felt very odd, but either way, we got on with it. So came the game, I must admit I did enjoy doing the game with David Dir, the guy seemed knowledgeable about MLS and comfortable on screen (which is always helpful).
What a performace! Sporting played with so much confidence in the 2nd half, we desperately needed that result! Great performance from Zusi and a wonderful goal. Speaking of wonderful goal, how about that from Eric Hassli against Seattle! Josh Whisenhunt, Dan and I all screamed when we saw it live in a bar in Dallas. Unbelievable strike, i'll say it now, that is the MLS goal of the season.
So my alarm went off at 3.30am this morning in Dallas, we eventually got to the airport and on our flight after some minor difficulties and caught our 6am flight to Kansas City. So here I am, 4.20pm in the afternoon, eating and drinking as many sugar products as possible in the office having spent all day working on voice overs for TV and prepping the radio show. On that note, i'm on 610 Sports Radio tonight from 7-8pm with Kansas City Star writer Charles Gooch. We'll be talking about the opening of LSP and the result at FC Dallas, speaking with Graham Zusi about THE goal and taking your phone calls as well. The number to get on air ........ 913-576-7610.
See you there!