Fans' View

Fans’ View: Road Trip!

I love to drive. Wanna go to Orlando for pre-season? No prob, hop in. We’re leaving Thursday night and we’ll have you back by Monday morning. Warning: mandatory stop at South of the Border in South Carolina for a cheesy photo op.

Road trip 2

As I write, I am planning my annual pilgrimage to Dallas, which occurs as soon as school is out. I pack up the kids, the cooler, the car, leave my hubbie home and off we go. Yes, I am crazy enough to drive across country with my children by myself. And what’s worse –I look forward to it.

We’ve been driving since 2010 and for three of the five Union years, I’ve been able to get to a game down there.

The first year was a FC Dallas game. The stadium is actually in the burbs, miles away from anything else. The parking lots are beautifully paved (sorry Lot A). I forced everyone to get there two hours early in the hope we could see the players before pregame and hang out the nifty sheet I spraypainted with DOOP.

When we arrived, I thought I got the time wrong as there was only one other car in the lot. It was a very lonely place. No flags, no tents, no beer…

However, out of that other car popped three people wearing McInerney jerseys — it was Jack’s uncle and family. We had a great conversation. It is always nice at away games to see other fans wearing the blue and gold.

Off we went into the stadium. I had specifically asked to sit far away from the Dallas supporters. We walked to the aisle where our seats were and I struck up a conversation with the usher. It went like this:

Me: Where do the supporters sit?
Usher: Normally on the opposite side of the stadium, but today they are sitting in this section.
Me: Oh.
Usher: Don’t worry honey, nobody’s coming to the game today. You can sit anywhere.
Me: Why?
Usher: Cowboys first preseason game.

Road Trip 3

She wasn’t kidding, there were maybe 5,000 in attendance for the game.

We moved to sweet seats right behind the Union bench, where we hung our sign out and got ready to DOOP.

And sweat. And fry. Damn, Dallas in August is hot — and I grew up there.

Well, the game was not a win, but we had fun sitting with Jack’s family.

We got the scoop on where the players come out after the game, so we hustled over to greet them as they got on the bus.

Last year the Union were playing the Dynamo while I was in Dallas, so I thought, what the heck? I like to drive. My kids said forget it. I forgave them because we had just driven cross country and it was another 8 hour round trip.

So I went by myself, KYW Philly Soccer Show soccer podcasts all lined up, cooler full of Diet Dr Pepper, and ready for my Whataburger and Jack in the Box pit stops.

Houston also has a great stadium — nice architecture. Friendly fans, but damn its hot. Really hot. The away teams tickets are in full sun at the top of the stadium, thankfully far away from the home supporters.

There were six of us.

Sadly another loss, but it was worth the drive to support my boys in blue and meet other Union fans. One fan I have since seen at other games. He has lots of frequent flyer miles.

So this year I’m ready — no sunscreen necessary this time because the Dallas game kicksoff at 9 pm (thank you MLS schedulers).  I have my Doop sheet ready to hang up, though I hear that the attendance is up at the Dallas games, so we might be stuck in a corner somewhere.

I’m hoping to get to DC this year. We’re bypassing the NY game since its midweek and even I’m not that crazy.

Left on my bucket list are Portland, Seattle, KC, Toronto and Montreal.

If you are up for a road trip, give me a call. I’ll drive and bring my sheet!

6 Comments

  1. Nice read, I wish I enjoyed driving as much as you do

  2. Next season I’ll join you for Toronto and Montreal.

  3. John Ling says:

    My daughter and I have talked about taking a road trip. I have friends in Houston, Kansas City, and Seattle – though not good enough that I’d impose on them to sleep on their sofa. Money has always been the big road block. Time is the other. School puts a big dent in the potential times we can go. So we said this year, maybe we’d go to New Jersey – it’s not far, so no overnight stay. And besides, the stadium is typically empty anyway so no hassle from opposing fans. April 16th – Wednesday night, during the school year. Sigh.
    .
    Hey, how ’bout DC? That’s close! I mean, there’s always the risk the stadium collapses, but hey – YOLO, right? So maybe we’ll head down there for September 27th – my birthday – and take in a road game.
    .
    We’ve also kicked around driving to Columbus for a game. We drive to Indianapolis every year, so we go right through Columbus. We know the drive, it’s very doable (if not boring). Just need to do the actual planning…

  4. Why “leave my hubbie home”? Wouldn’t two drivers be easier? Just curious.

    • He is a Philly boy, he won’t do Texas in the summer…I invite him every year, but he can’t handle the heat. Plus that leaves more space in the car for the cases of beer and cooler full of brisket.

  5. Great article. Thanks to frequent flyer miles and hotel points, my wife and I have done ‘road trips’ the last two years — I was actually in Houston when you were, and Montreal the year before that. I haven’t sat with the away supporters — just regular tickets in the regular crowd — but haven’t had a problem. Will be in Chicago in a couple weeks. Can’t wait for MLS to schedule the Portland game in the summer, so we can get to that one too.

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