Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tunneling through

Covering games at the Coliseum can be a bit hectic, as we can attest to. When you cover games for so long at one venue (for us, Home Depot Center), and then suddenly you are thrust into an unfamiliar venue, it can throw you off which is exactly what happened to us during a Gold Cup doubleheader in 2005.

The first game did not live up to expectations. Mexico had just lost to South Africa 2-1 and Guatemala lost to Jamaica 4-3 two days before
at Home Depot Center. Mexico-Guatemala, we figured, would be a good game. Instead, it was a 4-0 blowout. The match was memorable because Jared Borgetti scored two goals and became Mexico's all-time leading scorer.

After the match was over, I made my way down to the tunnel with Andrea as well as Paul Gutierrez (then of the L.A. Times) and Matt Zimmerman (then of the Long Beach Press-Telegram). Though we had strength in numbers, we didn't really have an idea of where we were going. Somehow, Andrea ended up leading us; Matt, Paul and I just kind of floated behind figuring someone would take the lead. Andrea took the initiative as the blind led the blind.

At Home Depot Center, one way to get to the tunnel is through the stands, sort of by Section 138 where the Riot Squad congregates during Galaxy games. So we figured the same would hold true at the Coliseum.

It didn't as we quickly found out. We walked at the edge of the section in that picture, to the right of the tent covering the entrance to the tunnel. Nobody stopped us, so we kept on walking until we got to the grass. As soon as we were down there, I knew we were somewhere where we shouldn't have been. I looked to my right and there was nothing standing between me and the
field. I could have sprinted to the midfield if I'd have wanted to.

We saw the tunnel and walked towards it. We also saw the South African and Jamaican teams standing in two lines, waiting to walk out onto the field. I definitely knew then that we made a wrong turn somewhere. Oh well. Nothing we could do about it but keep walking.

I looked over and saw Tyrone Marshall, figured what the hell and shouted "Good luck Tyrone!"

He glanced over and said "All right man, yeah man," as we scurried past.

1 comment:

A.C. said...

I was telling Grant Wahl that story last night. I couldn't believe everyone followed me. All I'd been told was that the mixed zone was in the tunnel - and so I was trying to get down there.

I still remember the security guy's face. He was standing next to the fence they set up to keep the press out, and we came walking up the tunnel on the inside of it, from the field.

He said, "You're supposed to be on that side!"