Better Know A Supporter

Taking Dad to his First MLS Match

This isn’t a story about taking your father to a soccer match per say, it’s a life story. To say that soccer is important to me is an understatement. I’ve been covering or writing on soccer for a decade. Add to that I coach refugees on the West Side of Buffalo New York.

January 7,2012 my life changed for the worst. My adorable mother died of cancer. If you have listened to Episode 100 of Yellow Card Podcast on here, you’d know that the show is on because of her. We watched some European matches while she was going through treatment. Its still some of best and sadder moments of my life.

Let’s fast forward three years, my father decided that after attending many sporting events together, he wanted to see a soccer match with me. For some background reference I live in Buffalo, New York and my father lives in the Finger Lakes. So pretty much most of the Eastern Conference is in driving range for me. However, being a Timbers fan that’s hard for me to see the matches.

I was also born in Columbus, Ohio so attending a match there would be easy for me. No so much for my father. More on that later. I also have a painfully large scarf collection because of the podcast.  My father and I have watched many matches on television to, and he’s become a Timbers fan from afar.

We didn’t know at the time that Portland v Columbus would be an MLS Cup preview. It was just a good time work wise for me to take a break, and a nice September weekend is always good. We got to stay in German Village, where I was born.

Part of the reason I pushed Columbus with my father is because I’ve never been to the place I was born. My father is a fun person to go on trips with, since he’s traveled all over the place. I’ve also attended 100’s of sporting events with him too.

We got to see the house he married my Mom in, the bar they used to hang out in, where they had their wedding reception, and Schmidt’s. All wonderful places in Columbus. At the time, I didn’t know how hard it was for him to see all these, and had I known we would have gone to Philadelphia. My father will bend over backwards for anyone, since he’s truly one of the great guys in this world.

The match was cool, I’d never seen a MLS match before, and Mapfre Stadium is a fun place to go. There were many tailgates, and it was dollar beer night. Ok so it was Budlight, one of the worse beers ever. I did get to share my first love with my father, talking the sport with him. That’s one of my very special moments in my life. The Timbers won 2-1 in that match, so this Timbers fan left a happy man.

My father still talks about going to the match, and maybe that’s the takeaway. No matter if it’s hard for a grieving widow, or a special moment for a son, it’s the memories you make while you are still around.

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