Fun times in Philly

By on April 16, 2014

I got to become pretty familiar with the Schuylkill Expressway last week.

Twice in three days, I found myself navigating through that traffic. It’s during times such as these that you remind yourself how fortunate you are that the Schuylkill isn’t part of your daily commute.

Thankfully, there were good reasons to be on the Conshohocken Curve.

Last Thursday, my daughter Kendall and I were able to enjoy a nice evening together at the Phillies game. Unfortunately, the Phillies’ bullpen blew yet another game in a 6-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Let’s just say that by the time we left CitizensBankPark, traffic wasn’t an issue.

Less than 48 hours later, photographer Mike Shull and I were on the road to PPLPark, home of the Philadelphia Union. Being honest, those who know me would probably admit that, when I’m at home on the couch, there are other sports that I follow a little bit more closely than soccer. But being at PPLPark last Saturday was a pretty darn neat experience. And not just because I sat two tables away from three-time Olympic champ Heather Mitts, who was there working the game with Channel 6 Sports, in the media dining room before the game started.

I got to witness first-hand what must have been a dream come true for Andrew Wenger. Not only was he making his debut with the hometown professional team, the Philadelphia Union, and not only did he mark the occasion by scoring a game-tying goal, but as the icing on the cake, the Sons of Ben fan group chanted his name in appreciation. Now there’s something Andrew will be able to tell his grand-kids someday.

Afterward in the locker room, I loved his response when a reporter asked him about it. His answer, with a big smile on his face, was, “That was pretty (darn) cool. Much better than the (expletives) they were giving me last week.”

The last part of that quote was a reference to the not-so-friendly way he was treated by the fans while leaving the field after getting ejected with a red card while playing with the Montreal Impact in Philadelphia.

As Mike and I were having a friendly conversation on our trip back to Lititz, he asked me if Andrew had said anything in the post-game interview that really stood out to me.

I couldn’t help but to think of the way Andrew answered that earlier question. While following his phenomenal career through high school, to Duke, to being drafted No. 1 overall by the Montreal Impact, and now to Philadelphia, I’ve come to believe that Andrew likes to keep things kinda close to the vest. And there’s nothing wrong with that. He knows that he’s a role model and he handles it very well.

To me, it was cool to see him having some fun with it, giving us a real peak inside.

If I can peak into the future, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Andrew flourish in Philly. The vibes just seem to point to this being a good situation for him and his career.

Time will tell.

With the time now getting late on Tuesday night, I’m starting to think about what my Wednesday will look like once I get out of the office. One thing I’m sure to be doing is looking on the TV for the Union’s game against the New York Red Bulls.

This time, I’m going to stay on my couch, rather than get back on the Schuylkill.

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