It wasn't exactly Andre and Wally, but the internet being the internet, news of my long scheduled lunch meeting today with Fire owner Andrew Hauptman was widespread. There seems to be considerable interest in it as my name has been linked to the position i previously held, so i thought i would provide a review of our lunch here.
We met at the Andell Holdings's office in Westwood and walked to a nearby restaurant. We had a window table. i ordered an ice tea (regular, not flavored!) and Andrew ordered an Arnold Palmer. i thought about ordering a John Daly, but i didn't want to get into my story about the bartender who knew exactly what it was when i ordered one, came back and asked me "You want a pack of Marlboro Reds with that?" ;-).
We both ordered salads. Andrew's was a Caesar with chicken. Mine was garden served with ahi tuna.
i suppose you may want to know what we talked about, too, huh? i don't think it would be right to go into any sort of details, but for the most part it went as originally conceived three weeks ago when planned. We discussed Chicago WPS and we discussed the Fire's past, present and future. i learned quite a bit about the Fire's current state as Andrew did much of the talking. He was very forthcoming and was refreshingly direct with his comments.
Andrew told a great story about going to Section 8 during the Fire's home opener in a driving rain with Chicago Sting owner Lee Stern. It was Lee's first experience in Section 8 and from Andrew's description, Lee had the time of his life. He asked if i knew of any candidates for the Fire's open president position. i mentioned six or seven names, told him that i care about the Fire and want them to be successful for a long time to come and i will do anything i can to help with that. He told me he recognizes that.
It was the first time we met and i was pleased that he is personally very committed to the success and growth of the Chicago Fire and to building a collaborative culture in the organization. That bodes well for the team.
The salad was great. i give it four (red) stars.