At the risk of sounding like a disgruntled former employee - which i'm sure i am - i feel compelled to share a story about my only previous contact with the Chicago Fire's new team president, Dave Greeley.
First, however, please read this well written post by Steve Pastorino, my partner in crime at the Chicago Fire from 1997 through 2004.
Before i detail my memories of that meeting (it was probably six years ago, so some of the details may be wrong, but i am certain that the gist is accurate), i do want to go on record as saying that it is good that the Fire hired an experienced marketing executive with strong Chicago ties and separated the team operations from the business operations. i also want to say that i truly hope Dave immerses himself in the culture of the Fire and soccer, learns the sport and leads the Fire to more successes on and off the field. To the extent he cares to learn from my experiences, i am willing to share them with him and provide any insight and guidance he desires.
Now, to my recollection of the story Steve referenced obliquely in his post:
I too recall the new Fire president from those New Soldier Field negotiations. Dave wasn't quite the soccer guy he is now. Dave and i's first (and only?) meeting was with Bears President Ted Phillips, Mayor Daley's New Soldier Field political operative Ed Bedore and venerable Chicago attorney Dick Burke.
While most of the city and Bears representatives were polite, though a bit patronizing, Dave seemed bent on putting the Fire in its place with condescending comments. At one point during the meeting, Greeley's relentless disparagement of soccer and the Fire forced AEG's Bill Peterson and me to swear at him (as I recall, it began with an "f" and ended with a "u"), get up from the table and head for the door.
Burke stopped us in the hall way, apologized for Greeley and convinced us to return to the table.
I don't know that we've spoken since, but apparently, Dave's seen the light and he is now serving at the altar of the sport and team he once belittled!
Soccer can be a mighty inspiration. I look forward to talking to Dave again and discovering the elixir responsible for his conversion.