The last sporting event I attended in person was the MNUFC vs LA Galaxy MLS playoff match on October 20th, 2019. This was a particularly memorable event because my 10-month-old son was still at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. He had been there for over a week, plus a couple of days at Children’s in Saint Paul. My wife hadn’t left the hospital the entire time that Ragnar was there. We had playoff tickets and I wasn’t sure if my wife would even want to leave to go watch the match.
I eventually convinced Anna to go to the match. Anna’s mother agreed to stay at the hospital during the match. So we went to the match, we went to Black Hart and tried to forget for even a second that our son was in the hospital (with a non-life-threatening thing, FYI). But it’s hard to forget that your kid is hooked up to an IV. The Loons lost, it was very disappointing. I made my wife sleep at home and I went back to the hospital to spend the night next to my son.
Now, 552 days later, with another child due imminently, I trek back to Allianz Field.
The world has changed, dramatically, in these 551 days. We are in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime unless your 103 years old, pandemic that many people saw coming, that people who should have known was coming, that a Republican government did their best to cover up and yet we are at almost 600,000 people needlessly dead.
We are not out of this, but we are getting close to being out of this. Minnesota is, in spite of a lot of dickheads, probably going to get 85% vaccinated sometime this summer. That is good. The fact that there are at least 15% of people in this state who are dickheads? Not so good.
I know the stereotype of soccer fans of being progressive liberals is generally true, but if you spend any time on Loons Twitter or dive into the cesspool that is Reddit you will know that there are a lot of fucking assholes who have season tickets. People who don’t care about you, your family, or anyone else but their own (white, male, probably between 35-60-year-old) ass. Assholes and idiots live within our own fanbase, just look at Brent Kallman.
I guess this is all to say that I come back to Allianz, 552 days after that home playoff loss, a very, very different person. I want to just fall into whatever it is Wonderwall looks like Saturday, however, that is not a thing that will happen. That is probably the moral of this whole thing. We’ve been forever changed in the last year by the world, by the state, by the city. I am looking forward to watching soccer with my friends. I am 100% sure I will only ever see about 50% of this match through dry eyes. I am 1000% okay with that.