Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Free Beer Stories: MLS Cup in Seattle

From Shawn Wheeler, Seattle, WA:

Last summer, when I found out the MLS Cup would be in Seattle I started giving Matty Biggs from Constantly Offside a bunch of shit that he'd have to come up for the match, and that if he did I would buy our tickets. When he finally booked his flight a month before the match, I found us some pretty sweet seats on Stubhub and snatched them up.

Not being a big soccer fan, I wasn't sure quite what I was getting myself in to but Biggs promised me a free beer and a sticker, so we headed downtown for the 5pm game about 11am. A quick apparel stop (scarves and sweatshirts galore) and we were ready to get started on some drinking. Within about 4 blocks of the stadium are some of the best bars in Seattle, so Biggs and I had our day lined up pretty quick. A shot of Patron at Elysian Fields (home of the Emerald City Supporters), a Smithwicks at Fado (home of Gorilla FC), Manny's at Swannies (home of the North End Supporters), then I got serious and killed a few jack and cokes at FX McRory's (please note, Biggs drinks water on game days and someone had to drink his share of the booze).

We marched to the stadium with the INSANE La Barra Real and we could only try to keep up with their enthusiasm.

Instead of entering the game, we turned around and marched back to FX McRory's (Biggs wanted more water and I made up for it again) and saw the RSL drummers some more:

Finally head in to the stadium and the Galaxians are in the south end of the stadium, La Barra Real is in the north end and Sounders fans have packed the area between. Biggs and I went for a walk to compare the volumes, I'm not sure if my ear drums have fully recovered yet from this epic drum:

It's finally game time, and Biggs and I make our way back to our seats and much to my surprise the SSFC fans are standing... for the entire game... when our team isn't even playing. So Biggs and I excitedly took our spots and begin to hurl insults at Beckham and friends.

After a thrilling 90, then 120 minutes, Biggs and I had some of the best seats in the house for PKs:

After the game, sitting in Swannies with the remaining NES crew I come to the realization that this is infinitely more fun than any other sporting event we have in Seattle. Mariners baseball games are as boring as you'd think baseball would be, Seahawks suck and tickets are insanely expensive, and our Sonics have been shipped to Oklahoma. So that day, it was decided that the Sounders had a new fan.

I've got my season tickets reserved for next season, behind the south goal right next to the GFC and ECS. I went ahead and bought 2 tickets, planning to introduce as many friends as possible to the glory that is the SSFC, giving them a Free Beer and a game to enjoy. Hopefully their first experience with professional soccer is as impactful as mine was!

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"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

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