New England Revolution
The 2013 season could not have gotten off to a better start for the New England Revolution as the club spent this past weekend in Chicago.
Most important was the result, of course, as Kelyn Rowe came off the bench early in the second half to inspire the Revolution’s 1-0 win over the Fire. It was the first time the Revs won a season opener since 2009 – when they did it in San Jose – and it was their first regular-season victory in Chicago since July 2006. Any time you take three points home, it’s a good trip.
But I, along with a few other Revolution staffers, had the added bonus of experiencing a bit of the Windy City on a chilly Saturday morning as the players rested ahead of the evening kickoff.
From our hotel on Michigan Ave (in the Loop) we journeyed toward Millenium Park, passing the Art Institute of Chicago along the way. Perhaps on another trip I’ll have time to wander inside and explore the exhibits, but on this occasion we had other destinations in mind.
Our first stop was at the Crown Fountain, which features a pair of five-story glass brick towers using LEDs to display digital videos, primarily of Chicagoans faces. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, considering the chilly temperatures) the actual fountains are only operational from May to October, so there was no water spouting out the front of each tower. Still, it’s a fascinating interactive piece of artwork and attracted onlookers even in the snow.
Next we made our way down another block or two to one of Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks, Cloud Gate, more affectionately known as “The Bean.” It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s so special about The Bean, but the sheer size (33 x 66 x 42 feet and more than 100 tons) certainly has something to do with its magnetic appeal. The effect created by walking underneath the archway and looking up at the warped reflection is remarkable.
Because the most common activity at The Bean is to have your picture taken in the reflection, I naturally did just that with the Flag of New England displayed on my jacket; my own little way of representing the Revolution in Chicago.
As we continued our stroll, we passed by Buckingham Fountain (also noticeably lacking water), the centerpiece of Grant Park. Music fans will note that Grant Park has been the home of Lollapalooza since 2005 and having walked through the massive lawns, it’s easy to imagine why it’s such a popular festival.
Having worked up a bit of a hunger – and a bit of a chill after standing on the banks of Lake Michigan – we decided it was time for lunch. And we were in Chicago. So there was really only one option.
We headed toward Lou Malnati’s, which many a Chicagoan has recommended for Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Admittedly, it was my first time having authentic Chicago-style deep dish and it didn’t disappoint. I went with “The Lou,” which included spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and three types of cheese. Sounds healthy, right? As healthy as deep dish gets, I suppose.
After lunch we headed back to the hotel satisfied with our first Road Trippin’ adventure. Was it touristy? Yes. But I am a tourist. I’m just looking for the experience. And I’m already looking forward to Philly …
During the Revolution’s preseason trip to Tucson, Ariz., staff and players had the luxury of an off day approximately halfway through our two-week stay. Many in our travel party (smartly) used the day to sleep in, relax by the pool and generally recharge for the week ahead.
But I, along with four other Revolution staffers, decided to experience a bit of the local landscape by hiking through Sabino Canyon. We’d talked about a hike the year before, but never had the time. Now was our chance. We took a short guided tour through the canyon to the base of the mountains before hiking our way back, keeping our eyes peeled for rattlesnakes and mountain lions along the way.
Luckily we avoided interaction with any such wildlife, but what we did encounter were some of the most stunning views I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand. With the backdrop of a clear blue Arizona sky, we hiked through a canyon punctuated by rolling mountains, cacti and … well, lots of cacti.
As our hike finished, I was overjoyed that I’d taken the opportunity to experience something I could’ve only experienced in Arizona. I definitely had one of those “what a beautiful country we live in” moments and decided immediately that I wanted to experience as much of it as possible.
As it happens, my job provides plenty of opportunity for travel. We’re on the road approximately 20-25 times a season, visiting spots all across North America from Texas to California, from the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest, from Colorado to Canada.
Convenient, I thought. I’m typically afforded a bit of free time in the mornings and early afternoons on game days, so I set a rule for myself that I would experience something unique to each city we traveled to this season. Then, as I do with most thoughts which pop into my head, I posted it to Facebook. Because that’s what people do.
In the comments section, a Revolution supporter (thanks, Eric!) made a fascinating suggestion. Why don’t I document all of my experiences and post them to the blog? It would interest him, he said, and perhaps a few others, as well.
After a quick discussion with my boss (Far Post Podcast social media master, Jason Dalrymple), the “Road Trippin’” blog series was born. On each road trip this season I’ll use my free time to experience something unique to that destination, and follow up with a quick blog post (with pictures and perhaps video) to keep fans up to date. Perhaps my experiences will even prompt you to travel to an MLS city to catch a game and experience the sites.
I’m assuming many of you have already traveled to some of the cities we’ll be visiting this year, so I could actually use your help. Any suggestions as to what I should do in any specific cities? Anything I can’t miss or you’d like to see? Let me know …
Weeeeeee're baaaaaaack! The team has returned from Arizona and is making final preparations for the start of the 2013 MLS season. This also means we're back in the studio each week for an all-new Far Post Podcast, starting today. I know, I know - we missed you, too.
The second and final RevGirl auditions took place on Thursday night at RiRa in Providence, with three lucky winners being selected out of a total of 10 contestants. Comedian Bill Simas hosted the night's events, as Revolution supporters watched guest judges Kelsey Fournier (Miss Rhode Island 2012), Will Gilbert (WPRI Rhode Show), Jessica Schiano (92 PRO-FM) and Jenna Pelletier (Providence Journal) carefully chose the night's three winners.
Your 2013 winners are Christina Attaway, Rachel Sibley and Sara Leonard.
Great time at RiRa Providence on Thursday evening as both the final stop of the Revolution Pub Tour and the Rhode Island leg of the RevGirl finals took place. Kalifa Cisse, Ryan Guy, Saer Sene, Dimitry Imbongo and Clyde Simms and were all on hand to chat with fans, take pictures and sign autographs.
If you were at the event and took a photo with the guys, you can download your photo here.
In the fifth and final episode of "Inside the SuperDraft," the behind-the-scenes series concludes with a busy second round for the Revolution, who are excited to see several highly-ranked players fall to them.