We all know I’m behind in the blogging department, so you’ll have to excuse the fact that 2014 is two months old and I still haven’t recapped 2013. That’s about to change.
Oh 2013, what can I say?! We had a good time. We enjoyed each others company. And when December 31st came, we vowed to never call each other again. I lied. I’m sorry, but too much happened last year not to share. Forgive me. I promise after today, it’s really over.
What do you say, how about we recap, you know, one more time, for old times sake?
And of course, for the readers too! Without them this is kind of pointless, eh.
Here are the best and biggest events in 2013:
#1: The internship (and a back story)
So, back in 2009 I had this amazing internship that I loved more than life itself. I won’t say who it was with, but just know it was in the sports department of a local radio station. It, in my opinion, was the best “job” in the world. I was doing things and talking to people most sports fans only dream of. I felt so lucky to be where I was. It was a good thing and as we know, all good things must come to an end. And when it did late in the summer of 2010, it crushed me. I mean this was my life. It was all I had known for a year and a half. Now that it was over, I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it was over. I never thought I’d see an end because for some silly reason I thought for sure I was going to get some kind of job out of it. I don’t know, maybe I was just naive, or had belief in myself and talent or maybe I just thought my hard work and perseverance would pay off, and when it didn’t the walls of my tiny world came crumbling down around me. I didn’t have a plan for “the what happens next” so I did what every rational, perfectly normal person who had just saw the bottom drop out of their dream does, I gave into defeat. I surrender to the dark side. I thought, shit, if I can’t get hired by a place I busted my ass at, what’s the point anymore. I must not be good enough. I’ll never make it this business. I might as well quit. Call it for what it is, time spent and money lost and move on with life. I couldn’t though and that was the problem. No matter how hard I tried to stop being in love with something I felt that didn’t want me, I just couldn’t do it. I thought about getting back in to the field everyday. I applied for job after job. Got rejected time after time. So finally, I decided if I couldn’t get a job, I’d make one for myself. Enter this blog. I had high hopes and thought it would be a way to slowly move back into the profession I loved. I also thought because I had worked for a legit outlet and people knew me that I wouldn’t have any issues trying to get permission to cover things. Oh, but I did. PR people laughed in my face. The very same PR people who months ago told me it was a joy to have me around, and how if I ever needed anything they were just a phone call away. It’s funny how things change when you no longer have a big name affiliate associated with your name. All of the sudden, you’re not the same person to them you were months ago, instead now you’re just a struggling nobody and that gets you nowhere fast. I decided to go on and just write as an “outsider.” I kept up with the blog as much as I could, but for a while it kinda depressed me to have a reminder of a life that didn’t want me. So, once again, I walked away.
Then in January of last year, I decided to go back to college. In May, I was lucky enough to have my boss at the old internship let me come back for a second round. I promised myself I would work my ass off even harder this time than I did the last. And I did. I had the honor of covering events I would have never dreamed of before. I interviewed bigger names. I had more responsibility. I was loving life because yet again, I was where I wanted to be. I had my doubts when I first started back up, I can’t even lie about it. There were days when that whole “am I good enough” put itself back into my brain. I fought it just as hard as I fought to prove to some of my “co-workers” that I belonged there. That just because I was an intern didn’t mean I wasn’t talented and couldn’t do their job and be better at it. It was a struggle some days. But I enjoyed it because I was there. I was doing what I loved. My life was back to normal.
That normal came to an end December. I didn’t want to see it end and I was sad but it was different this time.
You’ve probably read all this and thought damn, why would this be the best of 2013, well, I’m going to tell you.
I think that my internship was undoubtedly the best thing to happen to me in 2013. It made me fight for what I want. It forced me to believe in myself and my abilities again. It gave me hope. It gave me pain. It give me a new prospective. I saw more of the “inside” world. I tried harder. I did different things. I came out this time a lot wiser than the first time. It made me better. It changed me. I saw things for face value. I learned more than I ever expected to. I gave it all I could.
There is still nothing more I strive for in life then to have a successful career in radio. Mainly sports radio. It’s all I’ve wanted for about five years now. I’m not there yet. I’m just a girl without an affiliation again. I’ll be “fan” this year, I’ll take it all in from sitting in the stands instead of standing on the sideline, but the simple fact that I made it back there after I lost any hope of it ever happening again, proves to me that sooner or later my day will come. That one day someone out there will be looking for exactly what I have to offer.
I have these crazy friends who I simply adore. They are the father-son duo known as Tony and Andrew. Big Jackets fans, bigger Crew fans. In July, they let me tag along on a family trip (which included 3/4 of their clan) north of the border. Like all good family vacations this one was centered around a Crew/TFC game. Also a trip to the Hockey Hall Of Fame was in the cards because as big as a hockey fan I am, I’d never been there.
And so off we went, our sites set on Oh, Canada.
Our first stop on the adventure: A sports bar in a little town in the middle of nowhere Canada for dinner. I can’t even remember what town this place was in but it was a couple of hours away from London, which was were we were sitting up shop for the trip. We walked in and even though it was the middle of summer, they had hockey on just about every TV on the wall. I was in heaven. Other than that, it was a typical sports bar…. with only a few minor Canadian differences.
They print mustard labels in English AND French!! I was so geeked I took a picture to show everyone back home. (If we haven’t established this already, yes, I’m a dork.)
Exhibit B: Our waiter. He was so polite and friendly. The first time he actually said “eh” I couldn’t believe it. I looked over at Tony who was sitting in front of me and ask him if he had heard it. He said he hadn’t so I made him listen the next time the waiter came back. We both giggled like silly Americans when the waiter indeed said it again.
Every few minutes this goal light would go off. I watched it for a while trying to figure out what in the world would set it off. After a few times, I finally brought it to the attention of the rest of the table. We had a healthy debate about it, (you know like you normally do about a goal light going off in a restaurant) and finally came to the conclusion that it was to let the wait staff know an order was up.
Exhibit D: They offered gravy with your fries on the menu. Yeah. I’m opposed to this notion, but that didn’t stop Tony and Andrew both from egging me on to dip my fries in brown gravy. I won’t lie, even though I thought it sounded gross as hell, I tried it. Turns out, it was pretty ok. Poutine on the other hand, is an entirely different story. ( We’ll get in to that later)
See, just like I said, completely normal sports bar! :) All kidding aside, it was a nice little place. If I’m ever up that way again and can find it, I’d probably stop.
After dinner we were back on our way. Got in to London about 10 that night and Andrew, his sister and I took a walk around the mile and half the encompassed the hotel. We found a Tim Hortons (duh, cause we’re in Canada) and marveled at how even the lobby was open 24 hours. Doesn’t take much to amaze us.
The next morning we hit the road and headed into Toronto.
As we rolled into the city, I took this picture of BMO Field
It’s not the greatest but I was in a moving car on the freeway. What can I say?!
Next stop: Hockey Hall of Fame!! I was beyond excited. I had goosebumps just waiting in line. I’m not ashamed to admit, I may have even cried a little bit too. Tears of joy, of course.
Share my joy with a few pictures, eh.
I really don’t think a place has ever made me as happy as HHOF did. If you’re a die hard hockey fan, it’s some place you should visit at least once in your life time. Just amazing.
All excited and hopped on HHOF “highness”, we moved on to the Crew game.
Decked out in out Crew gear, surrounded by a sea of red, we walked up to BMO Field. One of the Toronto police officers took one look at us and jokingly said ” nope, sorry no Crew fans allowed in.” We laughed and continued on our way. When we finally got inside, Tony and Andrew were overjoyed. Not because we had made it, but because there’s a poutine stand inside of the stadium. That’s practically all they talked about the entire trip. How good it was, how I needed to try it, how much I was going to LOVE it and how we needed it in the U.S., I had to disagree with the fellas. If you don’t know what poutine is here’s a crash course. It’s french fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. It’s a considered a delicacy in Canada. Highly popular up there too. Like I said, they have stands at BMO Field. I didn’t get the chance to take a picture of it because the guys inhaled it so quickly, so here’s stock photo from Wikipedia..
(photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com)
I know, right. I thought the same thing. And before you ask, yes, I tried it. Personally, I’m not a fan, but hey, to each their own yo.
Anyway, while those two were chowing down I was busy watching Crew pre-game warm up and taking pictures.
One of my fave’s
The Crew and Papa Dom drew first blood with his terrific goal!! Later, however, the game turned out to be a wash. Literally. It started to down pour around the 78th if I remember correctly. I mean a holy temperature drop, side ways winds, heavy rain, everything on your person becoming soaked. It was awful. I have stuff that was in my bag that day that is still kind of damp. Terrible. And what really topped the terrible off, TFC came back, tied it, and went on to win it in stoppage. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I THINK it was literally in the last couple of seconds of stoppage too. 2-1 TFC. Dejected, soaked, sad, and all hungry again, we made the walk back to the car. We didn’t expect the rain so no extra change of clothes either. Gross huh. We ended up going to dinner with a couple of Tony’s friends in the city.
Sitting in soaked clothes, wet, tired, beat, and crushed by a soccer outcome, Andrew and I struck up what has become known as “the great cleat debate.” We were going through my pictures of the game when Andrew looked at me and said “wait, you didn’t get any shots of the second half?” To which I replied, “I did, that one of Josh (Williams) is from the second half.” We went back and fourth for a few minutes before he said ” No, it couldn’t be because Josh changed his cleats in the second. He took the orange ones off and had yellow ones on, I swear he did, dad, didn’t Josh have yellow cleats on in the second half?!” This went on for a while until finally I told Andrew that the next chance I got to ask Josh about this subject I would. We changed the topic of conversation and went on with dinner. Before we left, I went down into the washroom (as they are called in Canada) and saw this sign hanging there..
As you can tell from the photo, Cellphone Courtesy Month was a total bust for me.
We got to London, hung our stuff up to dry and called it a night. Well kinda, Andrew and I tweeted each other from the same room for a good chunk of time. It’s just what people do nowadays. :)
I don’t know if you can actually see how wet it is but here’s the Crew gear…
The next morning we we’re on our way back to the USA. Of course we stopped at Tim Hortons for breakfast because when in Canada, you do as the Canadians do.
I was shocked how much smaller their smalls are then ours…
it’s not as girthy as ours in the US. I felt jilted. I mean I thought if any thing in Canada the coffee’s would be BIGGER not smaller. Whatever. I’ve moved on…..
And so has the trip to Canada. At the end of it all, I had an amazing time even though the Crew lost, we got soaked, and the Mountain Dew tasted funny.
Oh and for those of you wondering about the outcome of “the great cleat debate”…. I asked Josh the next time I interviewed him. He got a laugh out of the topic and told me the answer. Turns out Andrew and I were BOTH right. Josh started the second half in his orange cleats, but when it started poring, he changed them. Sometimes it’s really nice to have an internship where you can ask silly questions.
#3: Dos a Cero 2013 (aka USA vs. Mexico )
This was my first ever U.S. Men’s National game. Like ever, ever. I covered it for the internship and was completely blown away. The fans are like no other. It’s like a normal soccer crowd times 20. They are insane! They go all out. Get decked out. They love their team and rooting for their country. I was really impressed to be quite honest with you. I had no idea what to expect and what ever I did, it far and away was better than anything I could have imagined. I know when the team came out for warm ups and the crowd let out the loudest cheer ever, I got goosebumps. Then when the sold out stadium sang the Star-Spangled Banner, I got goosebumps. The “HOME” banner, goosebumps. After both goals were scored, goosebumps. The “Dos a Cero” chant, GOOSEBUMPS!!! (It was 90+ degrees that day too so I know the goosebumps were not from being cold, ok) It was such an amazing experience. I would love to do it all over again some time.
Here’s the HOME banner I spoke of…
(photo courtesy of Nolan Wong)
The thing I loved most though, was the fact that it brought every one together. My friend Nolan made the trip in from California and we got to hang out a for couple days. All my Crew peeps were there. It was my friend Nate’s last game at Crew Stadium before he moved to California. I mean how cool is it to say that 24,584 people came to tailgate with you before you left?! It was kinda like an awesome going away party. Too bad he was rooting for Mexico.
I got the chance to interview him and Mike Rogers, another friend of mine about the game before heading in to do official media duty.
Speaking of people I interviewed at tailgates…. this next one is um, shall we say special. I grabbed General Juicer of Yellow Nation Army, a local Crew Supporters group. I had no idea that this would turn out the way it did…..
OK world, I give you “the enlightening revelations that flow from Gen Juicers mouth” (his words, not mine.) Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
As you can certainly tell…. a good time was had by all at the USA vs. MEXICO game back in September.
And you know, I had like two or three more “top numbers” I wanted to give you, like the Jackets late run for the playoff and the Crew scoreboard fire but after that, I can’t. I just can’t. Way to go Juicer. Way to ruin my thought process.
So I guess I’ll end it here. 2013, we’re done. Finally.
Until next time
Peace, Love, and Stupefying Events!!