I kind of hate derby week.
I especially hate this one.
There is so much going on. So much vitriol (yes, I totally stole that word from Merritt), so much derision, so much… expectation. The hopes of an entire season rest in this one match.
And I won’t be there.
I’ve struggled with this all week. And I think I’m making the right choice. I know I’m making the right choice. A friend, one of my oldest friends, needs some support and I’m choosing her over the derby. I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to be in two places at once but, alas, I’m mortal and I’m needed elsewhere.
“You need to be present where you are.” These are the words one of our elders gives to me when I tell him I won’t be at the match. Be present where you are.
And I give them to you with a few more words: unity, togetherness, family. Those, too, are his words.
So be present in the moment. Remember for me every minute of the match, from two hours before to an hour after. Be present and remember.
Be together. Be united. Be strong and loud and proud and confident. Be an Army. Be the Army that raises this club. Again.
The world will try to tell you that soccer (or football or fitba or whatever you choose to call it) games are won on the pitch and not in the stands but I will tell you otherwise. You impact this game. You influence these players. You can change the run of play. You’ve done it before. You will do it again.
Do it for me. Bring me three points and the Cascadia Cup.