This week was the anniversary of the trip I took with the North Jersey Brigade to Columbus Ohio for the US-Mexico Wold Cup Qualifier. I remember this was I believe one of my last trips I took to see a soccer game outside the NYC area. This was close to where I stopped going to games regularly, due to burnout and some issues I had with come individuals. The trip itself was long, and I remember I stayed sober for the most part, but everyone else wasn't. That cause some friction and I got some heat from those in the bus. My thing was; you're on a bus for hours, getting stupid and dangerously drunk doesn't sound like a smart thing to do in close quarters. So things were said, people got in between others, but nothing major happened.
The game itself was interesting. Columbus Ohio was chosen for this game due to the cold weather, and the fact that more US fans would be there than Mexicans (which wasn't totally true this game, there was a good number of Mexican fans). These factors was to give the US an home field advantage, and an answer to what Mexico does: play in Mexico City, with it's heat, smog, and elevation. Tit for tat stuff.
That night was a night for the good guys. The US won 2-0 and started their last round of World Cup Qualifiers on a positive note. The stadium used, which is the first soccer-specific stadium built in the US, was small but intimate. It's a bit obsolete by today's standards, but I like the place. It's simple, and when full it's an awesome atmosphere. I remember getting to the stadium, and despite the whole thing about the drunks on the bus, it was a good time. Lots of the US supporter groups were there. One thing that I remember is as the night went on, the winds, rain, and dampness rose while the temperature dropped. After the game, I was so cold and wet, I was really worried for myself. It was an intense feeling. The bus got to the hotel, I got my room key, and instead of partying I went to my room to try to get warm. It sucked. The next morning, we got on the bus and headed home. More sober and upbeat trip home.
Seeing the video of the highlights of the game, it brought all the memories back. It made me sort of miss the soccer scene, but I remembered why I "got out". Burnout and my personal issues with some came to a head and I stopped going, but I still sign up as a member of at leas one of the supporter clubs each year. I was thinking what is stopping me from going back, though I did go a couple times but felt as an outsider, and I figured out a couple things:
Saturdays off: I work Saturdays, so I need to get a job where I am not
Resolve my personal issues: this is tough, I did burned bridges with some, but I should try to make amends. I have tried, but they chose not to reciprocate (sort of don't blame them, but I feel somewhat hypocritical that they always claimed to be "the better men" and wouldn't at least communicate back)
SO who knows what's going to happen. OK enough reminiscing