So here I am at the Chivas USA-FC Dallas match. It's about a quarter-hour until kickoff and I'm a little anxious about tonight.
It really has nothing to do with the outcome. I'm not expecting an attractive match.
No, my anxiety derives from my car. See, I don't have season parking passes for Chivas USA games. The Galaxy got us all parking passes the week before the season opener but here we are in the fifth home game and I still haven't gotten Chivas parking passes. So, without a parking pass, I was forced to park on Victoria Street. I hope that when I go out to my car after the match that it is still there.
I have a bit of a history with stolen cars and MLS games. I covered a Galaxy-Dallas playoff game in October 1998 at the Rose Bowl and my car was stolen right out of the Rose Bowl parking lot. That was a terrible ordeal. Really, to have your car stolen anywhere is terrible but to have it happen while I was covering a game was something else. I've had about four of my cars broken into but only the one that was completely stolen.
I had a friend who used to go with me to a lot of the Galaxy games I covered. I converted him into a soccer fan. Anyway, it was just the two of us for that game (it was on a Thursday night I think) so after I was done with interviews and filing my story (I think the Galaxy won 6-1) I walked out to the parking lot and my buddy Caesar was there. He looked at me and said "It ain't there." I answered "What ain't there?" and he said "The car. It ain't there."
Sure enough, the car was not there. I don't know what anyone would have wanted with my '84 Toyota but whatever it was they decided to help themselves. I lived in Riverside at the time as I do now so I had to get from Pasadena to Riverside at 11 p.m. with no car. I was lucky that Caesar's aunt was nice enough to drive from Riverside to Pasadena to come get us.
I was a mess. I liked that car, even though it was old as crap. I learned to drive stick in that car and I went everywhere in it. It was my first official car, the first car that my parents hadn't driven before me. It turned up about five days later, completely stripped. Assholes took the steering wheel even. Everything was gone: engine, seats, tires.
I recovered from that loss eventually. I had a string of crappy cars afterward but I made it work. But I worry about that happening again. I try not to leave valuables in my cars and try and park it in relatively safe areas.
So tonight, while I watch Chivas-Dallas, while I interview players and file stories, I hope that my car is still there when I finish.