We love Colorado. It's not a secret.
We've included something about Colorado into nearly everyone we've done from a branding and marketing side this season. From the Colorado-themed jerseys, to the $52.80 ticket packages, to the billboards we've promoted on throughout the city.
Another piece we've put out there is probably our largest. We've fully wrapped one RTD light rail train in Colorado Rapids colors, using the Colorado for Life imagery which includes the Rapids logo, Colorado state flag 'C," and, of course, a lot of burgundy. Here's a couple photos - keep an eye out for it and share your pics if you ride it on our twitter (@ColoradoRapids) or Facebook pages. The train will be around until September.
I am new to the soccer world. This is my first season with the Rapids and I showed up in Colorado with minimal knowledge of the sport. I credit a friend in Houston for introducing me to English Premier League soccer and carving a space in my heart for Everton (I have an unnatural attachment to underdogs) - but a lot of this MLS experience is completely new to me.
One of the most intriguing elements of a soccer game is Man of the Match. Following each home game, the Rapids Man of the Match visits the Summit Club Powered by 2lemetry where he answers questions regarding the match and greets fans. He then heads to Eighteen76 (formerly known as the Cantina) to sign autographs and chat with fans. As a fan, it’s a great opportunity to meet one of your favorite players. Everyone, including me, wants to know how the decision is made.
Here's what I found out: Each game, a small panel of Rapids staff votes on Man of the Match. The decision takes into account much more than goal scoring or saves, in the case of the keepers. The panel looks at a player’s overall impact on the match. In that sense, it has been described as a very subjective decision. There’s no formula, no science. It’s all art, and as such, it is always open to debate.
The Man of the Match in the win over Toronto was goalkeeper Clint Irwin (see above). Let me know who you would have picked as Man of the Match on Saturday in the comments below or on twitter @TamaraCG.
It was a story that went viral early in the week, and then spread like wildfire through twitter on Wednesday. You'll quickly realize why when you watch the video above (warning, might need tissues), but I wanted to give another shout out to the Portland Timbers and their fans for this amazing show of compassion towards a young fan. If you're hearing/seeing this for the first time, here's how Portland described the day though a press release:
In front of more than 3,000 Portland Timbers faithful – converted for a day to support a special wish made possible by the club, the Timbers Army and Make-A-Wish® Oregon – eight-year-old Atticus Lane-Dupre netted four goals, including the game-winner in the waning moments of the match, to power The Green Machine to a 10-9 victory over the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field Wednesday afternoon in Portland, Ore.
The Timbers teamed up with Make-A-Wish® Oregon to grant the wish to Atticus, who learned he had cancer last fall and missed his last soccer game of the season with his teammates on The Green Machine. Guided to victory by Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, The Green Machine faced a formidable Timbers side that included a Starting IV.
When Atticus had the chance to make a wish, he chose to scrimmage the Timbers at JELD-WEN Field, home of the Timbers. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Atticus was outfitted with his own locker next to Timbers captain Will Johnson, while he and his family were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Timbers locker room and workout facilities.
After the game Atticus exchanged jerseys with Johnson, and then, in keeping with Timber's tradition, he held up a slice off the victory log for his four goals.
As the Colorado weather jumps rapidly from winter to summer, back to winter for two days, then summer again, spring for three days and so forth, so do Coloradans in enjoying all of the outdoor activities that one of the sunshiniest states has to offer.
This past weekend, members of the Rapids front office kicked off another busy summer tradition of races and relays with the Cherry Creek Sneak, where the organization was a sponsor with activation in the finish line village. The staff participants in the 5k consisted of Marketing Director, Wayne Brant, Premium Sales and Service Manager, Kenzie Crow, Group Ticket Sales Manager Emily Kilcoyne, and myself representing Media Relations.
As the last place finisher of the group, I’m going to exercise my author's discretion and omit the individual times - if only for self-preservation. But for the competitive sake of the others who participated, the finishing order went as follows:
Shortly after crossing the finish line, Crow then split from the group to run another 5k with friends at the Graffiti Run. The event, a colorful tromp around Elitch Gardens, boasts a less competitive nature and a more festive one to get people outdoors and active.
With the first weekend of races gone, the upcoming schedule of ONECLUB participation includes the Bolder Boulder, the Tough Mudder, the Lookout Mountain Triathlon, the Evergreen Triathlon, and the Crescent Moon Triathlon. Rapids fans at each event should keep an eye out for friendly Rapids staff and in some cases our tent and inflatable soccer field.
Rivalries in sports are fierce. Fans and teams from Boston and New York are pitted against one another across all major league sports (Revolution-Red Bulls, Celtics-Knicks, Bruins-Rangers and of course, Yankees-Red Sox). The teams don’t like each other; the fans don’t like each other; the rest of the country has an opinion on all of it.
But, in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, the rivalry dissolved, revealing a deep amount of respect between the two cities. Fans laid down their differences, and the New England Revolution supporters and New York Red Bulls supporters marched together.
— NE Revolution (@NERevolution) April 22, 2013
Yankees-Red Sox is one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports. It makes for exciting baseball when the two storied franchises meet. But when faced with adversity, the teams laid down their differences and the Yankees stood in support of the Red Sox.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 16, 2013
New York isn’t the only city that stood up for Boston. Outpourings of support came from all over the United States, including Chicago.
Well done, Chicago. twitter.com/WayneBrant/sta…
— Wayne Brant (@WayneBrant) April 16, 2013
A number of teams played Sweet Caroline as a tribute to Boston, wore black armbands, held moments of silence and showed their support in creative ways, including a touching tifo from FC Dallas fans.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) April 21, 2013
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) April 20, 2013
Local teams stood behind the city in a number of ways.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 16, 2013
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 20, 2013
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 22, 2013
Coach said it's overwhelming to see how much teams have done to show support for city (FLA wore local police hats during warm-ups today)^CS
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 21, 2013
Author Golden, in Memoirs of a Geisha, said “Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” With that in mind, the show of strength and togetherness is nothing less than inspiring.
Edson Buddle has only been with the Rapids a few weeks. But as a MLS and U.S. national team veteran, he's known some of his new teammates for some time, including Marvell Wynne. That has made the transition to the Rapids that much easier, as evidenced by the fact that Marvell trusted Edson to give him a new haircut.
On the right is what Marvell looked like at the start of preseason camp. On the left, a few weeks in when he saved his head before the group went to Vegas.
Apparently, he wasn't done with his new look. Here's the image Edson tweeted on Thursday:
— Edson Buddle (@EdsonBuddle) February 22, 2013
Obviously, Colorado is no stranger to snow, although it's been a bit sparce in the Denver metro area the past couple years. On Feb. 20-21, 2013 Commerce City received it's first decent snowfall since last October. So when I got to the stadium on Thursday I couldn't pass up the chance to take new photos of the new adidas Prime match ball on the field at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
A few months ago we told you about Rapids Academy midfielder Bryan Windsor's trip to Barcelona, where he got to train at Barcelona's La Masia facility and receive first-hand instructions from the same youth coaching system that developed the world-player of the year, Lionel Messi, among others.
On Sunday, CBS's famed-program, 60 Minutes, profiled the story of Barcelona FC, giving arguably the best club soccer team in the world - in this era - a huge platform to be seen by millions of people in the United States. There's a lot of good stuff here, give yourself 15 minutes and watch it:
It's nearly impossible to tune out the Denver Broncos buzz, especially when "PFM," as Broncos fans and covering media have appointed Peyton Manning, is leading the team to the playoffs. And I suspect many Colorado Rapids fans are also Broncos fans, or least enjoy the local sports teams' successes, and are also optimistic for the Broncos' playoff hopes.
But for many Rapids fans, "PFM" was already in town quite a few years before the future hall-of-fame quarterback came to the Rocky Mountains. That's our own Pablo 'Freaking' Mastroeni.
As I thought more about the two local pros and their impact on their respective teams, I came across a few more similarities than the PFM acronyms, their 36-years of age (Peyton is five months older than Pablo), or that both of their team's missed the playoffs in the same year the respective superstar was forced to sit out with head / neck injuries.
Here are some I came across...post in the comments if you think of others.
Mastroeni began his professional career in 1998.
Manning began his professional career in 1998.
Mastroeni has one League championship - the 2010 MLS Cup.
Manning has one League championsip - the 2007 NFL Superbowl
Mastroeni was the first overall pick in the 2001 MLS Allocation Draft
Manning was the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft.
Mastroeni was named an MLS All-Star in 9 consecutive years
Manning was named an NFL Pro Bowler (all-star) in 9 consecutive years
Mastroeni's last Final appearance was in 2010 (Nov)
Manning's last Final appearance was in 2010 (Feb)
Mastroeni was the 2012 Team Humanitarian of the Year, nominated for MLS award
Manning won the 2005 NFL Humanitarian Award
Mastroeni has played in at least 14 games for his team in 14 different seasons
Manning will play at least his 14th game for his team in his 14th different seasons (Dec. 16, 2012)
Mastroeni has 65 international caps and played in two FIFA World Cups
Manning has won four NFL MVP honors
Mastroeni missed nearly all of 2012 with concussion symptoms before announcing he's coming back for Major League Soccer's 18th season in 2013...
Manning, who brought back the retired #18, missed all of 2011 with a neck injury before returning this year to lead the Broncos back to the NFL playoffs...(and TBD)
Next month, Broncos fans will be pulling for Peyton to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the 5th time in his career. When Pablo advance past the first round for his fifth time, in 2010, he advanced all the way to the Cup...
Nicknames are fairly common among soccer players.
We've heard of Lionel 'la Pulga' Messi, Carlos 'el Pescado' Ruiz, and even our own Jeff "the Ginger Ninja" Larentowicz and Luis "el Morumbi" Zapata.
And today I heard a nickname that I think will stick with Colorado Rapids fans.
During Wednesday morning's training session I heard Stew Ceus call for the ball by raising his arm and shouting "Patrón, Patrón." That's the spanish word for "Boss," or a figure of that nature.
Hendry Thomas looked up, saw Ceus, and delivered the ball.
And there he was: The Boss, El Patrón!
Afterwards I asked Hendry how that name came about. He explained that in Honduras he was often called "El Doctór," because of his use of glasses. But this time, he said it was the Colombian duo of Zapata and Jaime Castrillon that started calling him that, and then many of the English speaking players and even some of coaching staff followed.
"I thought it was funny," Hendry told me, laughing about it. "It was funny but I still had to ask them why they gave me that name and why it has stuck."
"We named him that because whenever he talks, everybody listens. He's is el patrón, the boss."
I'm thinking his dominating play may also have something to do with this name...