Saturday, June 28, 2008
"Let's Have a Party"
Yesterday and today both provide plenty of reasons to celebrate with a party.
One down, two to go on the south side.
After watching the Sox demolition of the Cubs from Giron's Italian Restaurant in Brookfield, i met up with Section 8 Chairman Ben Burton to see a living legend perform in Berwyn. Elvis Presley's former girlfriend Wanda Jackson led the party at Fitzgerald's. If you closed your eyes you could swear this was taking place on the stage. At 70, the world's first female rock and roll singer proved she could still belt out an hour plus set with energetic songs interspersed with tales of her mentors like Hank Thompson, Jimmie Rodgers, Elvis, Hank Williams Sr. and Jerry Lee Lewis. Now that i've seen the late inventor of the power chord Link Wray and Wanda live, my next goal is to see fellow rockabilly legend Ray Campi. He doesn't perform often and he's getting up there in years, so it will be a challenge.
The Chicago Red Stars missed an opportunity to promote to a unique audience at the Wanda Jackson show. People who go to local music clubs are generally young, active and looking for unique and fun entertainment where the performers appreciate and connect with the audience. This crowd will never provide the bulk of a women's pro soccer fan base, but it can provide the Chicago Red Stars with a unique nontraditional audience that will diversify the crowd at Toyota Park and expand the base of support. Our new marketing director starts next week and i'm sure that outreach through urban street teams will be part of his strategy.
1) Chicago Fire Premier: i'll be taking in my first Chicago Fire Premier PDL game of the year this afternoon as game one of a unique Fire doubleheader. After starting the PDL season by winning five of its first six games, Coach Larry Sunderland's college age Chicago Fire affiliate team takes a four game winless streak (0-1-3) into today's 2:30 pm match against the West Virginia Chaos at Argo High School which is located just north of Toyota Park off of 63rd and Harlem. This is a great opportunity for fans to see future MLS players while they're still in college. The Fire Premier generally has half a dozen players drafted by MLS teams and past players include current Fire players Chris Rolfe and Dasan Robinson. This year's team is led by University of Michigan's Peri Marosivic with three goals and an assist. Peri's Wolverine teammate and Hinsdale Central graduate Patrick Sperry has manned the Fire Premier's goal in all ten games this season with a goals against average of 0.50.
2) Fire vs. San Jose. Like their PDL affiliate, the Fire is also trying to rebound after starting the season with only two losses in their first nine MLS games followed by three straight MLS losses. Halftime of the game will feature a very special ceremony honoring Brandon Kitchens and Dan Parry who both died young after many years of leadership in Section 8 and in world outposts where their service was needed. The Fire will be unveiling a very special display and plaque on the north side of Toyota Park to honor these special young men.