The Rapids Firstkick on Saturday, March 10 was a day to celebrate for many reasons, but for a pair of supporters, opening day will be one to remember for a lifetime. At about the 40th minute, Bulldog Supporters Group member Matt Walshe, 32, asked his girlfriend Stephanie Prochaska, 26 and also a BSG member, to marry him - in the middle of the Suporters Terrace bleachers. And what better way to propose then in true supporter fashion....
Matt had asked BSG merchandising and Tifo manager Matt Baumgartner to hold up a sign from the 'capo' podium that read “Stephanie Prochaska, will you marry that guy?” Baumgartner also had a cartoon hand pointing to Walshe, who knelt on one knee and presented Stephanie with the ring. After she agreed, Baumgartner switched the sign to one that said “She said yes!” - which set off chants among the BSG that included, “He went to Jared!” (even though he didn’t).
Walshe and Prochaska have been attending Rapids matches since 2010 when they had season tickets for the Championship season. Walshe chose the home opener Rapids match as the right time to pop the question, knowing how much his now fiancée loves soccer and the Rapids.
“She’s a big soccer fan," Walshe said told ColoradoRapids.com. "It was the home opener and we won, so it worked!”
Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni took a knock to the head on Saturday and had to come out of the game as a precaution. He passed the cognitive tests on Monday - which was another sign that he did not have a concussion - and was cleared to return to training today.
However, he head was growing by the hour...
If you're going to a theater show in downtown Denver, or are maybe just driving on 14th street, take a look up as you approach Larimer, Lawrence, Arapahoe, or Curtis Streets. You won't be able to miss the seven-story wallscape of Mastroeni on the side of The Curtis Hotel, right across from the Denver Center for the Performaning Arts. It took the crew nearly four hours to lower and affix this beast today. CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS.
There's a fun and lively spirit around the complex on the day before the season opener. Take for instance this morning, when Technical Director Paul Bravo walked into his office to see it filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of pairs of socks. When cleaning out the equipment room this winter, the staff had uncovered boxes upon boxes of never before used socks. They waited for a chance to spring them on someone before donating them, and Bravo was the target this morning.
Oscar Pareja did an interview with the Denver Post's Spanish publication, Viva Colorado, in Spanish. You can see he's more comfortable expressing his passion in his native language. Among the questions about style of play, philosophy, etc., he was asked about trying to grow the Hispanics fanbase. Here's what he told Viva Colorado, comparing his youth to what he's hoping can happen in the U.S.:
"We wore our team's jersey and we gave our children the team's flag. We argued with our uncles and our cousins about which team was the best. Give that heritage to your child. He does not have the opportunity to watch your country's team play. Give him or her the opportunity to feel that passion by watching the Rapids."
Not long after Thursday practice ended, rookie Tony Cascio brought out his new remote controlled plane to fly around - inside the stadium. Eddie Ababio, Davy Armstrong, and Josh Janniere went out to watch. We got word of this and ran out to film their fun - and became part of the video. Watch till the end.
Yesterday, Omar Cummings joined Nate and Chad on Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan. Cummings revealed how he got the idea to Tebow after his playoff goal against Columbus, and explains how his goal celebrations come to be. Let's hope he gets to celebrate this weekend as the Rapids take on the Columbus Crew in their first match of the 2012 MLS Season. Listen to the interview, and see how Cummings and the Rapids are preparing for 2012!
Rapids week continued Monday when the Colorado Rapids were guests at the Denver Nuggets game at Pepsi Center. Forward Omar Cummings delivered the game ball, and then the players were introduced on the court, escorted by the Nuggets Dancers. Representing the Rapids were 'keeper Chris Sharpe, Quincy Amarikwa, Andre Akpan, Omar, Tony Cascio, and Academy players Dillon Serna and Shane O'Neill.
A highlight and memorable moment was when Rocky - the Nuggets famed mascot - walked out in a Rapids burgundy home jersey and got the players involved in tossing Rapids t-shirts and mini soccer balls into the stands. CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS
Many know that Colorado Rapids President Tim Hinchey has an extensive background in professional sports. Before he joined the Rapids, he was most recently Vice President of Commercial for English club, Derby County. If you follow Tim's tweets, you know he's still a passionate supporter of the Rams.
Tim was interviewed by sports business website iSportconnect to discuss the business side of the sport - and even comparing MLS / Colorado to Derby / the Championship. CLICK HERE FOR THE INTERVIEW
Marvell Wynne is in the prime of his soccer career. If not for soccer, he might be competing at track, given his speed. Or possibly playing baseball, since his dad was a Major League Baseball player. Or how about even a referee for the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls?
Marv blew the opening whistle Saturday at the Filmore Auditorium in the match between the RMRG United States Pummeling Service and Pikes Peak Derby Dames' Slamazons.
"I had a great time at the Roller Derby bout," Marv told ColoradoRapids.com. "The girls are great and the crowd was into it and fun. I was nervous to blow the whistle to start everything but I pulled it off. Blowing a whistle is harder than it looks. Props to the refs....in roller derby!"
At first glance I thought maybe Stew Ceus had injured his hand when I saw him take a goal kick while holding a large burgundy wrap at practice. And then it was obvious that he was having a hard time trying to get his warmup top off over his 'keeper gloves. Our equipment manager was quick to the spot. After a second trying to softly remove it, he and Stew pulled in opposite directions until it came off.