I-71 is lined with deciduous trees that are wearing our favorite shades of the season. I am constantly amazed at how God designed the midwestern landscape: filled with wide open spaces collecting color like an art gallery.
Hubby's soundtrack for our trip included Bonnie Raitt's Luck of the Draw album, Out of the Grey, The 77's, and Def Leppard's Greatest Hits (Vault). We had the perfect blend of His & Hers music, peanut M&Ms, baked cinnamon apple slices, and each other. Two hours both ways went by in a flash.
Ray Allen's employer gave him four tickets to a Columbus Crew game, so while everyone else was watching the Browns lose to the Giants, we joined Ray and his wife, Aniko, for some serious soccer action. It was a delicious 49 degrees outside with a splash of sunshine. The seats were incredible and only one section over from the ones Aniko and I had last time.
The Crew played Sporting Kansas City (currently ranked #1 - MLS Eastern Division). Man, were they good. Tall, fast, and aggressive. Our boys had a heck of a time keeping up with them and were outplayed most of the night. Kansas City scored early on in the game. Columbus held them there until the very last minute. After the second half, we had five minutes of overtime left. Columbus scored at the top of those five minutes to tie the game. The crowd was on their feet. There were plenty of bad calls, boisterous fans, rattling bleachers, and spirited chants led by the Nordecke.
We were pleasantly swept up in all of it.
Pink was the color of the evening, in honor of breast cancer awareness. During halftime, the field was filled with breast cancer survivors and their families. Every ticket holder received a pink rally towel and both of the goalies wore pink instead of their traditional uniforms. As my mom continues to fight stage 4 breast cancer on the west coast, seeing such a poignant theme moved me.
It was a high-energy match, worth every shiver and threat of rain. I even wore my highschool soccer sweatshirt from sophomore year. Aniko and I had moments of wishing we were still agile and fit enough to run the field as hard as those guys did. They make it look so exciting with their headers, chip passes, and full body slide tackles. I'm not sure if Columbus will make it to the playoffs this year, but Seattle will be there.
It's fun having two teams to cheer for.