June 26, 2011

the way to san jose

Well it turned out I couldn't make the full stretch of away Galaxy games without some time with the ACB. After spending a lot of time wrestling with whether to, I finally gave in and signed up for their bus trip to a game in San Jose. Despite 6-hour trips both ways in one day and a 6am departure, I'm glad to report that I have no regrets. It was definitely an experience. Two seats were reserved for kegs, and they were tapped before the bus even left the lot. After many warnings from trip veterans about not overdoing it, I really tried to hold off, but at 8am, a beer with my name on it was delivered to me. Next time, I'll know not to worry about pacing so much. The ride passed faster than you'd expect, without ever needing to open up a book or watch anything I had on the ipod. The game itself was purely surreal. The Quakes play in a stadium that is about at high school stadium level quality. While singing our chants and cheering, we were waiting for the old wood of the bleachers to give way any minute. In the midst of a game full of questionable reffing, our goalkeeper broke his arm while the San Jose fans chanted 'f--k you Ricketts' while he lay on the ground. Then our second keeper was given a red card in what replays showed to be another bad or at best questionable call. Emotions were high, and it was getting ugly on and off the field. We had no goalie. It wasn't even halftime yet. Though he had never played as a goalkeeper before, Midfielder Mike Magee stepped in and the team played one man down. And as the game went on, save after save, it became amazing watching Magee and the team rally around him. ACB didn't already have a chant for Magee, somehow "Magee. Magee. Magee's on fire" organically arose and became our rallying cry. Several times during the game, he would give us signals after a play that he heard us. Those are the moments that drive what we do as a supporters group. It wasn't until I got home and watched the replay that I discovered how loud we actually were and how much tv coverage we got during the game, holding our own against the Quakes group that was probably 4 or 5 times our size. Somewhere in the last few minutes of the game, I realized we might actually finish the game without being scored on. I've walked away from a lot of ties feeling a little negative about the game. This 0-0 tie felt like the greatest win I've witnessed so far, and I've never been prouder of the heart shown on the field by the Galaxy, as well as in the stands by the ACB. As expected, the ride home was hell. But 12 hours later, I was ready to go again.

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