Pat Shuff's Blog

  • November 13, 2006

the value of experience

Yesterday I did something that some would say was an incredible waste of time. Others say that it would be one of those mastercard moments, you know "priceless". It turns out that our local major league soccer team won the playoff games and qualified for the MLS Cup Championship. The game was scheduled for Pizza Hut Park in Dallas which is 250 miles north of here.

Let me set the stage here. My wife is a big soccer fan. She works for a men's soccer league in town. She plays on two or three teams. We played together for a while on a co-ed team before I was advised not to play any more if I wanted to walk when I got older. My oldest son played for a while with us as well. My daughter played for a while before she figured out that she did not like running that much. Swimming and volleyball are more her sport. My youngest son plays and his mom is the coach. Her family is also big into soccer so much so that they go out of town almost every weekend for a tournament or a game. I have been volunteering for the Houston Dynamos all season as a stats keeper for home games. I have sat in the stands for three games and watch as my wife kept stats so both of us know the Dynamo staff and a few of the players.

Did I say we have a vested interest in soccer? Well, the championship game was yesterday in Dallas. We paid $45 per ticket to go to the game. We got up at 8am to make a 2:30pm game. Yes, 4 1/2 hours of driving to get to the field with some time to tailgate before the game. The game was tied at the end, 0-0. After a 15 minute overtime still 0-0. After a second 15 minute overtime, 1-1. After penalty kicks, 4-3.

When I looked at my daughter who was wearing her orange team shirt with the team scarf wrapped around her and her team hat signed by all of the starters she was smiling. She knew the importance of the day. She new that she would remember this season for a long time. After the game she wanted a copy of the special release of the Houston Chronicle pronouncing "Dynamo Wins" so that she could put it up in her school locker next to the picture of the top two stars with their arms around her.

10 hours driving in the car: $175

5 minutes while we get a speeding ticket: $125

3 hours at the game: $180 (tickets)

2 minutes of smiles, yelling, and cheering: priceless

some things are worth it.

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