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After dropping the bombshell that my family would be leaving Texas and moving up north to Minnesota I decided that the Crown blog needed one final edition to summarize my time on a team that had been a big part of my soccer life in Texas, not to mention in my personal/social life too. So while many of you have heard some of these stories at after parties or in one of my Meet Crown: 5 Questions articles, I think putting it all in one spot will allow me to have a token to look back on when I am old and sat in front of a fireplace on a cold Minnesota winter night. Let’s start back where it all began, a balmy day back in November 2011…
We arrived in Roanoke, Texas with a Honda Civic packed to the brim with essentials, including a little 18-month old gem in the backseat. Here is a pic so you can remember how little she was, and so I can 😢 up a little:
I had come to break down some barriers and show that a stay-at-home Dad was actually a thing, and I was going to crush it [Spoiler: I did by the way]. But part of the negotiations between my wife and I when deciding whether to move to Texas was that for leaving my family and friends behind in Canada, I would be allowed unlimited soccer opportunities, and now looking back over the years I can admit that I MAY have taken that a little over the top 😬. A little known fact was that my first game was not actually for Crown, I played a few games of coed at GameOn with FC Mule Pub, an interesting crew of characters in their own right. But that was a bit of a drive and I was waiting for the more local BlueSky facility to answer my email, which I touted myself as a bit of a soccer stud. Eventually Captain Keller called and the link was established, I just needed to go for a sub ‘tryout’. I had no idea what the skill level was in this particular part of Texas but to be honest I was not worried, I have never had a problem with confidence when it comes to the game I love. I walked into BlueSky and saw about 10s of the game before and thought I would be just fine, must have been Icy Hot playing 😜. This brings us to a pretty major moment if you think about it. After the last game against the Chubby Chasers 🤨, a guy from their team actually asked me to join them, funny enough it turned out to be future excuse-laden Crown member Rob, but Eddie came to the rescue and pulled me away from the conversation…what could have been? Perhaps I would have been Crown’s all time nemesis? Speaking of that, let’s take an intermission for a quick Top 5 list, Evil Villians of BlueSky:
5. Jimmy ‘The Traitor’ Wang…shocker, right? Well deep down we never forgave him for ultimately choosing DW Energy over us despite all his great valid reasons, which was evident by having to play every game against us with Shawn in his pocket.
4. Speaking of Shawn, he makes the list too, say it ain’t so! And why you ask? Well there was a bit of a poorly dealt with situation a few years back involving a few Crown members being cut from the Open age team, ‘The Jr Varsity Scandal’ I think it is called…the story still comes up quite often so there are definitely some hurt feelings there, kiss and makeup now fellas!
3. Probably Crown’s biggest rival in those early years, Icy Hot, with the guy with the sleeveless shirts throwing hairy shoulders and Carl sliding ankles there was a lot not to like back then.
2. An oldie but a goodie, the terrible old ref who put Tad in a chokehold…yes a ref put a player in a chokehold…and was never seen again…
1. You totally thought I was going to put Doug here, right? No, you know this spot is reserved for ‘The Captain’, BlueSky’s most annoying and delusional player by far, kudos because there are some real knobs there. There are no captain’s armband emojis so here’s these: 🥇🏆🏅🎖
Let’s switch gears now and talk about some good stuff. I can’t do a Top 5 Heroes list as there are too many and I would be excluding people. But let’s just say boy am I glad that Shawn called that fateful day. I have played on many teams with varying levels of camaraderie over the years but nothing tops this one. Shawn has always (well until recently 🤔) been a great organizer of the team, supplied the beer, and became a great friend that I spent many an evening with having drinks whether it was at Eddie’s or on Main Street. Speaking of Eddie, he has graciously hosted the ‘After Party’ for as long as I know, I guess we should be thanking Erica too for dealing with us late night punks. And what would an After Party be without the burgers, which I have a hunch we all owe Keith a few bucks for. Special mention from those early days for super fan RL, loved hearing the encouragement from the sidelines. And Johnny, well we all need a little of this in our lives, don’t we? I think when a ‘Dab’ is done in reverse like this it becomes a ‘Bad’:
Throw Rodney in the mix and you have a group I affectionately call ‘Crown’s Old Guard’ or ‘The Untouchables’…I like to think that while I was not there from the inception of the team, I cracked into this group and outsiders saw me as a Crown regular. I would be remiss if I did not mention a few other guys who while I mainly played Crown 2 (Open) with, they dabbled in Crown over the years, Josh, Phil and Jimmy, all became incredible soccer friends with Josh getting me involved in a couple of teams, Phil becoming my protege 😉, and Jimmy sharing many a beverage on Main Street with me, we just get each other. I can’t mention everyone or we will be here all day but whether you were a full timer or sub over the years rest well knowing I enjoyed our time on the field together and I never forget. I think this is a great time to recap the statistical side of Crown, keep in mind this is only since the blog was created in 2016 and does not factor in games played or position played, but you will get still get some personal enjoyment I’m sure:
And no, I (and Keith 👍) did not take the pain staking time to compile these lists to show my incredible value to this team 😳…it was always for a bit of fun and added competition amongst us. There are a few interesting things that jump out to me though, mainly the fact that Shawn mentioned when I tallied these stats about a year ago that his goal was to catch Eddie in goals, so close! And Rob actually had 3 Assists?! Who knew. I will say I am slightly concerned about who will make up the Assists in my absence, will be interesting to see who steps up in the midfield, maybe I was just holding back Keith? I think what is more disturbing though is after I left Crown forfeited their subsequent next two games which is a crazy coincidence, right? Sort that 💩 out. Lecture over.
Well sadly I think it is time to wrap this up, I will leave you with this pic from downtown Minneapolis as I reflect on my time with Crown and ponder when will my next game be? Who will it be with? Will they drink Corona products after? Will they be able to compete with Crown for the total soccer experience?
The answer is a resounding NO of course, love you guys…
P.S. Almost forgot, I only gave you a Then pic of Ava, so here is a Now…wait, is that a field in background?!