Today, we take up the gauntlet thrown down by Club President, John Hall, to share with you, our fans, the reasons why we became involved in this community-owned club.
John Hall asked us to write about why we became involved in the club. OK, here it goes ...
When I saw the announcement for the club, I immediately hit Twitter to respond. I'd worked for the long-defunct DeKalb County Liners as their official scorer and, through a twist of fate, was their PA announcer in their final season. From that experience, I became the PA announcer for the DuPage County Hounds, DuPage Drones, and, eventually, NIU Softball, Volleyball, and Wrestling (I've also done some men's and women's soccer matches and some baseball).
So, I'd been involved in a summer league before ... and who doesn't need a PA announcer, right? Well, John and I had a phone conversation one night and he said the club already had this guy from England doing PA, but would I be willing to do play-by-play on the livestream?
Well, as luck would have it, I've done some play-by-play (PBP) back in my college days, plus one glorious return to the booth during the 2015 MCL Championship Series for one game.
So, I agreed.
But WHY did I agree? This wasn't going to be like every other gig ... this was a VOLUNTEER position. Who volunteers to spend two hours talking into a microphone in an attempt to bring the game to the viewers at home?
Uh ... me. Because I have been in love with soccer since the age of 13, when the expansion Philadelphia Atoms, in their very first season, won the NASL championship in my own backyard. Because I saw the beauty of the game at a time when Americans were content to write-off soccer as a bunch of boring, 1-0 games (mainly because the few games that were shown in the US at that time were between quality sides more likely to be separated by that single goal). I love this sport. I've played it (keeper); I've coached it; I've refereed it ... I've seen a ton of quality soccer played from on the pitch to up in the stands. This sport is in my blood.
I'm doing this for YOU ... the fan who can't get to the match because of work, but who can listen to the game on your iPhone ... the fan who just came home from the hospital and can't get to the stadium for awhile ... the fan whose son plays for the team, and who wants to see/hear how they're doing ... the fan who's a shut-in for whatever reason, who just wants to stay connected with a team, a cause, a goal ... the fan who sees themselves up in the booth someday, doing what I do ... whatever your reason for tuning in ... that's my reason for being there for you.
I admit I love doing it ... and there are still some rough edges to smooth out ... I keep reminding myself that the guys I try and model myself after spent hundreds of hours, over hundreds of games, honing their craft. And I've done less than ten ... so there's loads of room for improvement. I hope you'll hear the improvement as time goes by (assuming I haven't been run out of town on a rail by then).
And that's why I am also taking this time to reach out to YOU ... if you're a former player, or a coach, or someone who loves soccer, and loves talking about soccer ... contact us about becoming a color commentator!!! Yes ... you could be the next Kyle Martino, or Taylor Twellman, or Lee Dixon, or my personal favorite, Graeme LeSaux!! Two commentators are better than one!!
So, whaddya say, DeKalb County?? This is your chance for fame and glory beyond your wildest dreams ... not to mention working with the best press box crew in the entire UPSL ... and, let's not forget ... you'll get to meet the one, the only, the man, the myth, the legend that is PA announcer, Nik Myles (the line of groupies waiting for him, post-match, is embarrassing, folks)!!
All it takes is a love for this game and a desire to share that love with others ... the core of everything we do here at DeKalb County United ...