22 October 2007

The Brother's Series

My brother lives in Boston, and is considerably more of a sports fan than I am. IIRC, he even got Red Sox shirts for my kids. I am, of course, a Denverite, and hence, ex officio, a Rockies fan. So, this World Series will also be a family rivalry. It will be a Brother's Series for us.

In less delightful sports news, the Colorado Rapids, our local major league soccer affiliate lost this Saturday at a season closer game my son and I attended, leaving us out of the playoffs. The truth is, given how two other games in the league went over the weekend, we wouldn't have made it to the playoffs anyway. But, it still isn't delightful to lose to the second worst team in the MLS, particuarly given that we made many more shots than they did and mostly kept the ball on their side during the game. I usually watch kid's games and it is phenomenal to watch just how fast they move (it puts baseball and football players to shame), the multiple header plays, and the swift switches from one side of the field to the other with incredible long distance kicks and teamwork.

We watched from front row seats, just in front of the goal, at Dick's Sporting Goods Field in Commerce City, which brought the action up close and personal. The stadium is an immense improvement over both old Mile High and new Mile High where we've also seen Rapids games, which were both overwhelmingly large for the event. It has great sight lines, not only from every seat, but also from the concession stands and almost all points in each direction. This is key, because soccer stops only once a game for a 15 minute half-time and intermittently for injuries. Also, the bathrooms are not overcrowded and parking is free and close to the stadium. And, the field makes a valuable public contribution with twenty other soccer fields for the community to use. Still, it was disappointing to see the stadium only 2/3rds to 3/4th full. Three mascots, a full cheering squad and a decent video screen and sound system are great, but they still can't substitute for a crowd full of hyped fans, and even among those in attendance, it was clear that the art of cheering at a soccer game, with its far greater fluidity than other American sports, is still one we haven't mastered.

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