Away Days - (St. Pete & Columbus)
Southern Heat in St. Pete
There's an old saying that floated through my social media timeline's that paraphrased went something like this, "Traveling is the only thing you can pay for that actually makes you richer."
Ok, for all the literalists and the politically correct police roving the internet, we know this isn't the case, but from a spiritual perspective and recharging a tired or belabored mind, I think this statement rings pretty damn true.
I don't really do resolutions in a new year or at any time for that matter, but as a personal promise I've been trying to do a bit more self-reflection and travel in 2017. So to keep the commitment going, I decided to start it off by following the Chicago Fire on their pre-season and eventual MLS kick-off!
Much like my previous pre-season trip to Portland in 2016, I headed out to St. Pete / Tampa Bay to check out Chicago vs. Montreal in a prep match before the Suncoast Invitational began and the team was on full-tilt toward their 2017 season.
Big advantage of travel in any context is being able to have friends or family on the road to your destinations and luckily my family in St. Pete were willing to host us - Shout out my Uncle Richard! (Squad, Squad, Gang, Gang).
Of Course, it wouldn't be a Florida trip if I didn't try and get some color on the beach (and by color I mean red, because all I do is burn.. : (
But for the finale, we got behind the scenes access to the Fire vs. Montreal Impact, the team's first Major League opposition in St. Pete having beaten Philadelphia in Bradenton at IMG Academy. The club even gave me the keys to their Snapchat for the day, giving me a chance to add my personal commentary to an eventual 4-1 win. Check out my snapchat takeover on the club account and some select photos from the match!
Kick-Off in Columbus - MLS 2017
I got to be 100 here. I don't have a whole lot of footage and feedback besides the fact that this trip we rode in the historic Fire Fanbulance with our good friend Raul, which is pictured below. It was exciting to kick-off the season away, in a atmosphere that's pretty hostile for Chicago fans in general. Thankfully this time around it was a manageable day-trip thought it did require me heading straight from a 2am finish time on a DJ set to rendezvous with the rest of the team headed to Ohio. We tied 1-1 and received a vital away point against a tough team.