Well, I survived my first attempt at floating through the media world while retaining my loser/blogger viewpoint. It will take more than accidental access and caviar to prevent me from calling things as I see them. I am joking about the caviar.
Thanks to the wonderful people at OleOle.com, I attended the press conference at BMO Field yesterday. Thanks to my wonderful family, I was able to to cope with the nerves prior to going down to the stadium and going into the media world as the pretender I is. I also saw a little of the open practice, but Thursday night is my coaching night and I had to be back at the field by nine pm, so I was probably leaving BMO by 7:30. I read that time for the whole practice was 20 minutes, so I don't think I missed much.
My biggest moment of the day was when I entered the media room prior to anyone arriving at the podium for the press conference. The place was packed. While waiting outside I had watched an entire bus of Spanish media being delivered to BMO Field. There might have been air conditioning turned on in the media room, but with bright television lights and maybe 100 people in a room designed for 24 it was hot. There was just enough space for me to slide into the room by aiming for the corner just to the left of the door. I reached my goal, carefully turned to face the podium and proceeded to accidentally turn off the lights with my camera backpack. Ok, it was just half of the room lights and the tv lights were not affected, but a fairly suave move nonetheless. I turned the lights back on and was able to smile at those around me who had witnessed my entrance. I was learning to keep quiet, that way nobody knew if you were local or Spanish.
My media tag will be quite the souvenir. It identifies me as being with OleOle.com (go on and read Starting from Scratch to get my thoughts less scrambled on the day). I can just imagine the onslaught of media requests, both local and overseas, that TFC has had to deal with in recent days. I understand that they either lacked the time or information to put much else on the tag. I can assure you that generic01 was not the name chosen for me by my parents.
Other moments that I will cherish forever...so I write them down before I forget them
Who are these people? I am waiting outside the stadium because the media room has not opened (which makes sense, you are not going to have the press conference when you are still waiting for Real Madrid to arrive). Those waiting outside the player entrance to BMO hoping to catch a glimpse of Real Madrid are not the fans that you see at the typical TFC game. I salute those of Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian heritages who look upon the arrival of Real Madrid, Christiano Ronaldo and Kaka as a real treat, unexpected on our shores. I fear that they were outnumbered by gawkers, celebrity seekers and pretty boy fans (err, that is fans of pretty boys). If the mega-stars all looked like Eric Cantona, I bet you would thin this crowd by 75%. Not that there is anything wrong with the way Mr. Cantona looks, just he is not pretty boy by any stretch...
Speaking of Christiano Ronaldo (top pic), he comes into view, walking through the gates with fans on one side and media on the other. He turns away from me. I get a wonderful picture of his slick, styled hair. I am no fan of Christiano Ronaldo and only grudgingly acknowledge his skill level and global status. I am now convinced that he shunned me so that I would be stuck with a picture of his horrible hairstyle.
A TFC employee comes down the hallway outside of the press conference room. There might be 2 minutes left in the press conference. There has been no interaction between the media horde and TFC staff that I have witnessed in the previous 25 minutes. I don't know where this guy has been or is coming from, but he seems angry about something. He starts asking for media credentials from a man I had spotted video taping most of the press conference. He seems to have none or the wrong kind, but has another man vouch for him saying he came off of the Real Madrid media bus. Our angry TFC guy, perhaps because he did not want to look like he was zeroing in on one person, turned to me. I had my media badge and my camera around my neck. He told me that my media badge did not allow me to take pictures. "You're not going to take pictures with that camera, are you?" he said oh so firmly. I agreed and put my camera away. I should have said "Si", but then who knows what complications would ensue. OleOle.com could be a Spanish company, couldn't it ? The conference was just about up, whatever damage I caused by taking pics had been done (perhaps stealing footballer's souls}. I know he had a job to do, but just what was he accomplishing? I was tempted to ask the Spanish folks if there was a phrase such as "closing the barn door after the horse is gone" in their language. Just to demonstrate my solidarity and point out that this guy was off base. I kept my thoughts to myself. Mr. TFC Guy went down the hall and started voicing his complaints to a fellow staffer who had just come out of the press conference. It is important to point out that this incident was the only discouraging words encountered from anyone BMO/TFC affiliated. I truly look forward to getting back there tonight. More tomorrow.