Monday, July 18, 2011

Lord don't slow me down

Hello there

Sorry, i'd noticed a few days ago i'd not updated the blog for over a month! Apologies, the last month or so has been ridiculously busy.

So, lets rewind a little and go back to our first TV broadcast at Livestrong Sporting Park. After a production meeting with Chris Wyche and the two new guys i'd be working with for the home broadcasts (Rudy and Brad) we finally got under way. I sat alongside Sasha Victorine at our brand new outside studio with several camera's at the ready, it was clear we were going big for the first broadcast, which is exactly how I wanted to approach it. I really enjoyed hosting the show from the booth as well as our new outside area that day, with Sasha down on the field, but I also really enjoyed calling the game on my own; something I hadn't done for a long time. I think it went well and we all left the the stadium reasonably happy with what we'd produced.

A few days before this, i'd one again been given a new partner in the booth and little did I know, this one was here to stay. Jake Yadrich, our cameraman and the guy who is key to making everything work together in the show was given the opportunity, to which he impressed. He was therefore given another shot in Portland. We traveled to another destination i'd never have thought I would visit, I certainly didn't ever vision myself calling a soccer game there. I have to say, Portland was fantastic! One of my favorite city's without a shadow of a doubt. The amount of Portland Timbers merchandise, logo's and jersey's was fantastic and its probably the closest soccer city to a place with an EPL team; I see no reason why we can't do this in Kansas City. The atmosphere was once again, fantastic. It seems Seattle and Portland love their soccer. The recently renovated Jeld-Wen Field was brilliant, they really have done a great job making that place a soccer venue. Anyway, despite the fabulous atmosphere from the fans who I have no doubt bleed green blood, Sporting KC got a 2-1 win on the road; arguably their best yet.

After a few more interviews with local media plus a Skype interview from London, the week had arrived when 2 friends of mine were in town. Hannah, a very good friend of mine who i'd grown up through high school with and her boyfriend TJ are currently traveling through the USA from the western coast across to Florida via Kansas City and New York City before taking a cruise down to the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. It was great to see them both as it was the first physical contact i'd had with someone from back home in over 4 months. The first night Spencer and I took them down to the plaza for a few drinks and a catch up. We were soon to be joined by Dan as well. The guys in the stadium managed to sort out some credentials for both Han and TJ for the games against Colorado Rapids and Chivas USA. I must admit, as we were broadcasting the Colorado Rapids pre game show, I spotted Hannah and TJ out of the corner of my eye taking a picture as I lead into asking Sasha a question. It was quite surreal seeing them both there at Livestrong Sporting Park, but never the less it was an experience they both enjoyed. Several more evenings passed with Han and TJ. They saw the likes of Westport, Brookside, Power and Light and much more during their time in KC. As we broadcast the Chivas USA game on the Saturday, Han and TJ continued to follow me and enjoy the sights of LSP. We walked past the KC Cauldron to several shouts of 'go get em cal' and 'callum we love you', which I have to say made me smile. Just a quick shout out to those guys in the Cauldron, as long as you guys, my producer and the owners are happy with my work, then thats all that matters. I had a great week with Han and TJ and it was topped off by getting TJ on my 610 radio show to talk about the EPL for a little while. He was nervous, but said to me after he really enjoyed it and I have to say, for his first time on the radio, I thought he did very well. They're in New York now and due to fly to Florida within the next few days.

Last week was interesting, we obviously crashed out of the Open Cup to the Richmond Kickers, which for me had to be the most disappointing result of the season. I genuinely believe there was a huge opportunity to win that trophy this year, especially now with New York going out as well. Either way, we had a game in Houston to worry about next...

So, eventually we got going in Houston. I'd been told of the vast humidity and heat down south and once again with my naive british way of thinking thought, 'surely not'. Goodness me it was absolutely boiling! I don't think i've ever experienced a heat like it. It was very uncomfortable actually. We also laughed when we realized that our broadcasting 'booth' hadn't got air conditioning anywhere near as good as the Houston press had. With the heat from Houston and the lighting, the broadcast became quite uncomfortable at certain times. I also think playing against 9 men, you have to capitalize. With the signing of Jefferson confirmed, I have no doubt he'll add a certain spark to our midfield and provide much more creativity, however, I still think Sporting KC could do with a dirty, nasty, horrible goal scorer. Whether we have that already remains to be seen, but I think its something Sporting needs.

We host Newcastle Utd at Livestrong Sporting Park on Wednesday evening. No TV broadcast unfortunately. We were due to be live on Fox Soccer Channel with me doing the call, but for several reasons that was dropped a week or so ago. We can't do it on KSMO because they don't have the rights to show games that aren't MLS and a livestream is to expensive. So, we'll wait and see what happens, i'm currently working on another option, but I think its safe to say the best thing to do would be to actually go to the game. There are still tickets left, not many, so hurry up if you are going - 888 4KC GOAL the number to call.

We host Toronto FC next saturday, I shall try and update the blog a few days after. Let the madness continue......



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