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06 / 05

Kick This Around: A Lansing United Blog

WRITTEN BY: Jeremy Sampson
PUBLISHED ON: June 05, 2014

I have a co-worker whose wife has been converted.

On opening night three weeks ago, he and his wife were celebrating their wedding anniversary.  He took the day off, and they went out for lunch and spent the day together.  And to wrap up their day, they could have gone a lot of places.  Movies, dinner, maybe to a theater, a festival, or someplace out of town – it was all on the table.

They showed up at Archer Stadium.

His wife knows he is a sports fan.  And of course it was a big night with the inaugural game, with free t-shirts of course.  So she agreed to attend.  And as the match went on, she asked questions.

“Where are these players from?”

“Why would he come all the way from England to play in Lansing?”

“Is he really from South Africa?”

Then as the match went on, the questions started to change tack.  She asked more about the league, and who the opposing teams would be.  She wondered about the infrastructure behind putting the match on – who are all these people running around in neon green staff shirts?  And how did they manage to make it look like they have been putting this presentation together for years when it’s their first ever match tonight?

She laughed at the halftime promotion when kids came down to the field to try and win a free pizza by kicking a ball half the length of the field into a smaller goal.  She happily munched on pizza and chatted with the people sitting near them in the stands.  They talked about how surprised they were that there were so many fans, and that if they got up they wondered if they’d get their seats back for the second half.

When James DeCosemo was red carded, she asked about strategy now that United were down to 10 men with almost a third of the game remaining.  And when the final whistle sounded, she asked why there wasn’t overtime or a shootout to decide a winner.

I’m sure there are plenty of stories like this from inside the stands from that opening weekend.  You may even have seen my co-worker and his wife in their seats, or talked to them in the line as they waited for the gates to open.  Everyone had different questions and experiences.  But her last two questions of the night were perhaps the most important ones.

“When do they play at home again?  Can we come back?”

I’m anxious to see them on tonight.

Story written by Dave Ellis, posted by Jonathan Yales