Friday, June 27, 2008

Andy Rooney

Have you ever noticed....

Stupid little things that have bugged me lately that i have no business complaining about:

IT challenges: Getting a new laptop and a new office is nice, but it comes with a price. It's amazing how dependent on computers we've become over the last decade. Without consistent online access the last few weeks, my productivity has crashed. i think the worst is behind me and i'll be back at full speed soon.

Bug bites: In the last week i've sacrificed my body to mosquitoes, flies and various other flesh biting bugs. The insect infliction occurred as i tried to take part in the great outdoors by watching the Chicago Gaels games last Saturday and last night, doing yard work on Wednesday, hiking in the woods on Tuesday and walking the beach at Whitefish Dunes State Park in Door County on Monday. i think i'm more of an indoors person.

Euro '08: i'm half Czech and half Italian. They both departed earlier than they should have.

Sox belted by Cubs: i won't deny it. Last weekend was rough and i'm looking forward to this weekend for a little revenge. "Attending" Saturday's game on a Wrigley rooftop was fun - at first. i actually enjoy going to Wrigley in spite of my Sox loyalty. i got to the game very early, stopped by Murphy's for a bit, walked around Wrigley a couple times, paid homage to former Sox announcer Harry Caray's statue (did he broadcast for another team?). Then i climbed up the back stairs to the Sheffield rooftop for the game, which started well enough with Jermaine Dye's two run homer. Then came the nine-run fourth inning and it all went down hill from there. A late inning escape to a Chicago Red Stars sponsored block party in Pilsen featuring live lucha libre and an entertaining Chicago Gaels win over Fort Wayne salvaged the rest of the Saturday.

Speaking of the 17th Street block party, i've been real pleased with the depth and breadth of our team's involvement in the community in our first few weeks as the Chicago Red Stars.

Here's a sampling of where we've been and who we've met with the last couple weeks:

These are some of the events we've attended:

Chicago Magic North Banquet
Chicago Lakefront Attack Tryouts
FC Drive Tryouts
S.I.F.E. Camp (Soccer Is For Everyone)
CUSC Practice
Park Ridge Memorial Day Soccer Tournament
Campton United's Midwest Cup Soccer Tournament
Grove United Memorial Day Shootout
Glenview Soccer Summer Soccer Fest
Windy City Roller Derby Bouts
SFL Soccer (Stickney, Forest View and Lyons) Picnic
Northwestern Girls Soccer Academy
Chicago Gaels games vs. Fort Wayne and West Michigan

Here's a list of some of the tournaments and events we're involved with:

Kicks 4 Cancer Soccer Tournament
Chicago Street Soccer Cup
USYSA Midwest Regionals
Rockford United Watermelon Tournament
Street Soccer Competition in Crystal Lake
Lincoln-way SC 3v3 Tournament
Chicago Beach Soccer Invitational

Our staff has also been busy meeting with the leadership of many adult and youth soccer organizations including:

Lindenhurst Area Soccer Club
Richmond Spring Grove Soccer Association
Glenview Soccer
Chicago Makers
Glenn Ellyn Raiders
North Stars Soccer Club
Dave Ribbens of Lab School in Chicago, Chicago Magic and long time coach of Trinity Christian College
Tom Drazek, Coach of Podlaise Soccer Club and AAC Eagles U11 and U16 Boys
Windy City Wanderers FC
Campton United
St. Charles Sportsplex
Coerver Coaching
Six Flags Great America
Judith McLean, Executive Director Illinois State Soccer Association
Bob Stariha of Chicago Crushers/Eclipse South

Upcoming meetings are scheduled with the following groups:

Mundelein Soccer Club
Kickers SC (Aurora)
Challengers SC

The whole Red Stars staff has been involved in getting the word out, but special mention needs to go to Community Relations Director Amber Simons and Director of Ticket Sales Greg Zaskowski who are leading the charge and A.E.s Alyse LaHue, Carrie Sear and Kait Sawyer. Red Stars Head Coach Emma Hayes arrived from London on Monday and immediately jumped into a number of appearances before jet lag could set in. Yesterday Emma signed more than 300 autographs in Bolingbrook before taking in the Chicago Gaels 6-0 victory over the West Michigan Firewomen at loyola University. At the invitation of Gaels owner Mark Boyle and West Michigan Head Coach Neathan Gibson, Emma greeted both teams at half time of the W-League contest.

If you'd like to talk to the Red Stars regarding a partnership that could be beneficial to your organization, please write me at

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