This is story all about how my life got turned right upside down… no, never mind, just a brief recap of a lovely midweek trip, or a stream of consciousness, or something. I’ve been awake for 32 of the last 36 hours, for freedom and liberty. If you don’t want to shoot me by the end of this great, I won’t blame you if you do.
Just a normal Monday in San Francisco, sitting at work waiting desperately for 5pm so I can head for the airport to Seattle. So not a normal Monday at all.
Text from Southwest Airlines ‘Your flight has been delayed.’ Great, that means I’m going to be even later to the AO party, which means I will probably have to DD for my host. Eff you Southwest.
Hour later, another text from SWA ‘Your flight has been partially undelayed.’ Okay, that hasn’t happened before.
Accidentally wore my San Francisco Warriors shirt to Oakland Airport. Feel like it did not go over well.
Oh, the only seat is a middle seat in the back third of the plane surrounded by children? Perfect. That is exactly what I wanted. Can I order a crying baby here as well please, flight attendant?
As we approach Seattle, dad behind me points out the lights and says ‘Look a Mariners game’ to his daughter, pauses and says ‘they are probably losing anyway.’
Off the plane, onto light rail, but not before someone asks me how the light rail ticket thing works. Clearly I look like a public transit expert, not sure how that reflects on me.
Light rail finally makes it downtown, I grab a cab and head for Golazo HQ where the AO party is, with bold intentions. Intentions to drink rapidly, since it’s past 10 and to not lose any of my belongings. Aim high kids.
My good friend/AO Seattle president meets me at the door with a drink while Alexi Lalas stands outside, chatting with people. One point for the good team.
Find the always gracious and charming Free Beer Movement Dan and harass him about the silly brown scarf he is wearing.
Meet Matt from AO Vegas and Mike from Seattle who I kick with for an extended period of time + take a shot of fireball with before learning Dan is announcing the raffle. There were raffle tickets?! Thanks Southwest, not like I wanted to be a part of that.
Heckle Dan as he calls numbers, no one near us wins anything.
Dan gives up the mic, immediately Matt wins the backpack he wanted (and apparently was counting on since he brought no carry on luggage)
Catch a KickTv shirt at the same time that someone else does, we decide to pick a winner the only fair way outside of a proper duel, so rock paper scissors to the death. Scissors scissors every time bitches. I now have a souvenir. Makes me feel better I didn’t win one of the sweet authentic jerseys. Okay, no it doesn’t.
The rest of my SF crew gets to the party, we take pictures with the large flag.
Cobi Jones is there, I attempt not to embarrass myself like last time I saw someone famous in Seattle. ‘Stu! I follow you on twitter!’ Yes, that really happened, and no, I still can’t live it down. Bullet dodged, didn’t say anything incredibly stupid.
Party winds down, cruise out. Can taste victory tomorrow. Or is that the fireball?
8:30am game day. I am awakened from my air mattress by a voice that keeps telling me it will leave me here. Drag my ass out of bed.
Negotiate to borrow the car to drop my bags off at my airbnb spot. Lose. Get dropped off at AO pregame bar while Shawn goes to make the tifo happen. Too bad it’s 9:15 am and even if I was dumb enough to start drinking, I can’t. They aren’t open.
Paseos and sightseeing with the SF crew tides me over. Except it’s raining now. WTF weather, don’t do me like this man.
We begin the trek toward the stadium. First stop, a bar! Hooray beer.
Beer down, let’s get to Fuel. Suddenly it is warm. And sunny. Cool game mother nature, you are winning for sure.
Outside terrace/parking lot/street party/tons of Americans is hoppin. Have an hour and a half to the march which means drinnnnnkkkkkkkkk.
I highly don’t recommend the mango finlandia shot + no equal ECS beer, also known as the AO special. Shots in a test tube however were the chef’s special I do believe.
Impressed with the numbers at this place. It keeps getting more crowded. Somehow I’m getting sunburnt. Nature 2 Me 0. Meet up with more friends from the Bay Area. Overhear guys behind me say they are from Mississippi. Awesome. See a lone Panama fan enter the beer garden. Lost much?
Hiyo, it’s march time. We miss all the pomp and circumstance and rush out from the bar when we see the masses moving. Jump in and start chanting. Solid mass of people winds all the way to the stadium, where maybe 50 Panama fans are singing. Kinda.
Go in with immediate concern of acquiring the game scarf. Decide to be a good brother and get another to bring back. Manage to get one from the future, aka US Honduras. In Salt Lake City. Oooooops US Soccer, that box shouldn’t be here.
Acquire ourselves some lovely seats in section 123ish, then more beer. On field DJ from Mad Decent? Wow, we really have upgraded huh?
National anthem = full body chills. LETS DO THIS AMERICUH.
Under the tifo, more chills. We manned Dempsey and Jurgen heads and jumped in with all the glorious chanting. Nice work Kevin and Christine. Made friends with the people next to us, who were from Portland, and they told me about the all you can eat popcorn.
Jozy scores, all hell breaks lose, including a glorious popcorn shower. AO is going crazy. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Or nightmares, if you are Panama. The USA ain’t nothin to f*ck with chant is loud and strong. Capos and entire crowd doing a great job.
Halftime. Try and dodge the bathroom crowd by going at the end of the half, fail so miserably. Walk back down the aisle to my seat right toward Eddie Johnson breaking on goal. Oh, 2-0 you say? I like.
In about the 70th go into voice preservation mode. Literally lasted maybe 2 minutes. Who needs to be able to talk anyway? Between ‘We split your country in twooooo’ and ‘He’s big he’s quickkk’ it was impossible to stay quiet. Nice lil Team America action too.
The amount of jealous text messages I am getting is awesome. Come with next time you bums! BEASLEYYYYYYYYY oh, that would have ended us all. Full pandemonium was on the menu if the post hadn’t rudely interjected. Hey, Panama finally got a card for diving? Somehow we have like six cards. Ugh.
It’s over. All three points are coming back home with me to SF, and you can’t do shit about it. Get a Seattle dog before Christine eats us all. Cream cheese, onions and hot sauce? Not bad. It’s no dirty SF dog with health department bacon, but I would do it again. Grabbed beers with S and K. Lovely people. Sat outside, at least half the people that walked by gave the US some love. You could tell everyone was stoked. Finally head home, run into two guys on the street from Huntington Beach that were headed for the titty bar. Now that is how you celebrate America baby.
Hello 4:45 am alarm clock. I hate everything. Get to the airport, through security. Oh how nice, they are calling our names on the speaker. Now I get to be that guy running through the airport. Half full flight back to SF, at least 50% of the plane in US gear.
Rock the scarf to work, no one says anything. I figure it’s solid marketing at the worst.
Spend at least 10 minutes thinking about what an American Outlaws – Wu Tang Clan music video for USA ain’t nothin to f*ck with would look like. Pretty much perfect I imagine. Could we crowd fund this?
Conference calls post 90 minutes of yelling? Now that’s what I call scratchy.
By 5:30 fully feeling the lack of sleep. Delirious you say? Maybe.
Head for the bus home, dude walking next to me asks if I was there last night. Talk for a couple minutes, tell him what bar to hit up on Tuesday. Mission accomplished. Well done America. Well done Seattle. Well done everyone who made this one so effing amazing. Let’s do it again soon.