Monday, April 8, 2013

Home and kicking

Hello again

So sorry its been such a long time since i've done one of these. Once again i'll remind people that this blog is my own personal thoughts and not the views of Sporting Kansas City or anyone else affiliated with the organization. Though i'll be talking about Sporting KC, this blog will mainly be about my personal experiences within the world of MLS. So, without further or due, here we go again.....

Lots to catch up on so i'll start right from the moment I arrived back in the USA. Early February i'd packed my bags, said my goodbyes and was once again more then ready to get back to a place i've quickly come to learn as home. Reunited with the girlfriend for a night in KC I then flew straight down to Orlando to meet up with the boys. There was obvious excitement as I hadn't seen people like Jake (@jakeyadrich), Dan (@the_doubledown), Chris (@ctwyche) or Brad (@bmertell22) in a few months. In the glorious sunshine I found myself in a fairly recognizable pre season place. It'd been a year since we'd visited the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to cover pre season for and we were there once again. After re-uniting myself with the lads and the surroundings of television I started going through my notes for the next 2 games. In true spectacular MLS fashion, I was told I was then going to call an extra game (of which I had no notes for). Basically, i'll admit, I winged it. However, it was spectacular fun, as was the whole pre season for us. I love covering Sporting KC, but I really enjoyed being able to call other MLS games during the pre season. It certainly helped Jake and I prepare for the regular season covering games such as Philadelphia Union - Toronto FC and Montreal Impact - Columbus Crew. Once again, Orlando City were fantastic hosts and I honestly hope we end up doing the same next season. I love the pre season atmosphere, talking to coaches, fans, scouts, fellow broadcasters about MLS, players, trades etc. Also enjoyed calling several games with Cory Gibbs who now seems to be a fully fledged broadcaster with; top lad!

So lets skip forward to a few weeks into the season. After a decent broadcast in Philadelphia it was clear as an away broadcast team we still had a few minor things to address. In Toronto, I think we fully addressed the issues of the 1st broadcast. I have to admit, despite the horrific plastic pitch, I really enjoyed broadcasting from Rogers Centre. It did at times feel as though we were on some sort of spaceship due to the decoration but a crowd of 35,000 plus made the atmosphere really good and exciting to be apart of. I remember going out for a few drinks in the evening in downtown Toronto (lovely city by the way) and chatting to a few TFC fans who were much more optimistic about their season under Ryan Nelsen. Now, i'm also been lead to believe that some fans weren't happy about my approach to that broadcast and my apparent delight when Toronto FC scored. Apologies to people who thought I was 'anti SKC' but my style is to approach the storyline. It was the TFC home opener and their 1st win under a new, well known manager. I'm not a biased commentator, nor will I ever be. Maybe that comes from the impartiality of the BBC, but ever since I arrived here i've always been told to approach our games like i'm doing it for ESPN; Jake also. Story lines are so often the ammunition for great moments and I can't dismiss them. I'm always going to lean towards favoring SKC (for obvious reasons), but I can't skip story lines and if the opposition does something spectacular, in my view as a commentator, you have to note that. We of course throughout the season have been broadcasting our weekly show on Sports Radio 810 as well. Andy Edwards (@andyedskc) my radio partner has been flawless in his delivery and approach to it all. Expect big things from him. We've already had a few giggles and so far we hope you've enjoyed it. For me this year, our TV broadcasts have been Ok, but I really enjoyed the call on Friday night. Our production team were brilliant and Jake and I really enjoyed the match. The in-house boys as well with their pump up video's have once again produced some spectacular stuff. Next up its New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy away in a few weeks and once again, I can't wait to get behind the mic.

This weekend we all had a deserved 2 days off (almost alien in our line of work). Had a lovely afternoon on the plaza on Saturday before meeting up with some good friends in the evening. Due to the unbalanced schedule we have another weekend off coming up as well. Looking forward to spending some more time in the city i've come to call home.