“It was awesome, but never again.”
That’s my response anytime someone asks me about showing up to Allianz Field last February, watching the U.S. Men’s National Team take another step toward qualifying for the World Cup and beat Honduras 3-0 with 19,000 fellow crazed fans…in ZERO degree weather.
To be honest, I don’t remember much about the match itself, aside from Weston McKennie throwing us all into a much-needed frenzy with his 8th minute opening goal. Even with two pairs of socks, long johns, two pairs of pants, three longsleeve top layers under my coat, two pairs of gloves, a mask (to keep my face warm), scarf, and beanie cap, I needed that reason to jump up and down to stay warm.
What I remember most, though, is the atmosphere, and being part of such a unique experience. Where else would that many individuals pay their hard-earned money to sit (or stand) in those elements for nearly two hours watching a game that had no business being played in Minnesota in the winter.
Even though I say, “Never again”, let’s get real.
If they announced another winter US Soccer match at Allianz Field tomorrow, I’d be one of the first in line to get tickets (or maybe this time I’d be in the press box, or maybe a tent like Jeff Rueter).
Why? It was ridiculous. It was unnecessary. But it was one of the most memorable nights of my life.