I have been meaning to write about the fantastic night in September when America showed they would not let a World Cup birth slip away. It was and may always be the 2nd greatest sporting event I have ever attended (Number 1 was the OSU v UM game of 2006).
The clock was ticking slowly at work, and I was ready to get to the game. My buddies had already started tailgating and were taunting me with texts. The clock struck 4:45 and I was gone. I left my bag and work at home for the night… my full devotion on US soccer.
I hadn’t been to a US National game, and I WAS PUMPED. The team beat Mexico in Mexico city a month before and things seemed good. Until we lost to Jamaica a couple days prior to this game and our chances would be slim if we lost. I knew I wasn’t going to shut up or sit down at any point in the game. The only thing I wish I did differently was learn a couple of the Jamaican players names.
When I finally arrived at Crew Stadium I was impressed. The place was rocking. Red, white and blue flags, clothes and body paint were everywhere the eye could see. I loved it. High fiving people on my way to my friends and chanting when I heard them pass, this was AMAZING.
I put down a couple beers while waiting for the game to start then called John to see when he would be at the game. He was in the parking lot and would be arriving shortly. The excitment was growing and people were pouring into the stadium. When I met John the first thing I wanted to do was buy a jersey.
The line was too long. I waited for 5-10 minutes… enough time for John to get us 2 beers.Then I decided it was too long of a wait and we headed to our seats. On our way we were handed small American flags, which I waved over and over and over again. We barely missed the opening kick by the time we got to our seat. I was immediately told I wasn’t sitting down, which was a given.
Looking itno the crowd was one of the most fantastic views I have every seen at a sporting event. It looked like the whole crowd was jumping up and down. Flags were flying in every direction. It was loud, people were chanting, cheering and screaming to a level that almost rivaled the shoe with a fourth the people. I had only one thing to do join them. And cheer I did. Oh yea, and we had front row seats.
I went through 3 small US flags because I was waving them soo much. I tried to show off my great seats by taking a picture when there was a play developing in front of us. I pulled out my camera, focused the picture, and then threw it in the air. At that moment we had made a great pass and ripped a shot that hit off the woodwork. Bad timing. My phone flew to the ground in between us and the field. When the ball boy handed me on my phone it was spiderwebbed… worth it.
I don’t know who 13 was for Jamaica, but I yelled at him the whole game. Yelling at him to go home, and he would end up a loser. Nothing too bad, just had to make sure he knew he was going to leave. THen it happened. Mr. Gomez put one in the back of the net and I about fainted. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLl. There are few things in life that will make me cheer that hard.
As the game came to an end and we made our way to our cars, everyone had a smile on their face. Sam’s Army came out strong, and helped defend our homeland. Ah, life is good when soccer is good.
John and I spent the next hour or so chilling and talking about the amazingness that happened. I didn’t get home until late that night, but I heard you could see us on ESPN as the game was telecasted. I searched for a rerun but couldn’t find it. Oh well, it’s not like I’ll ever forget that night.