Wednesday, August 29, 2007

2007 Soccer Hall of Fame Inductions

National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum, Oneonta, New York

National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction 2007 Julie Foudy Highlights Video

National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction 2007 Mia Hamm Highlights Video

Coach Mom & I got to see the induction of Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy to the Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, New York on Sunday. We got there about 11:00 a.m. for the noon time ceremony and the Hall of Fame was mobbed. In 2004 we attended Michelle Akers induction(the greatest player in the history of women's soccer -- Mia Hamm described her as the best ever in her speech), and got there at the same time & sat in the front row of the lobby where it was held then.

This year it was held outdoors on the grounds. We brought chairs and set up in the 10th row amid a bunch of grumbling people who were standing behind the last row of chairs. I wasn't going to set Coach Mom's chair behind a bunch of people standing up! One woman behind us asked, who's that other woman being inducted with Mia? Julie something? So I didn't feel bad about encroaching on their space.

Unlike Akers, who was inducted first in her class, the Hall of Fame did it right and inducted Foudy & Hamm last. Former National Team head coach Tony DiCicco & retired National Team captain Carla Overbeck inducted Julie Foudy, who then gave a great speech. Anson Dorrance inducted Mia Hamm, and they were both very inspiring. Julie Foudy talked about her daughter Izzy and the cameras panned over her while the crowd oohed. Mia Hamm thanked her husband Nomar Garciaparra and talked about their two daughters, Eva (Ava?) and Grace, but the cameras did not show them. I don't think those kids have ever been photographed and apparently Mia intends to keep it that way. Good for her.

But as usual it was a disorganized mess from an event planning perspective. The Hall of Fame was blocked off during and before the ceremony for the VIPs. You could get into the gift shop, but there was a long line. And they weren't selling Foudy and Hamm shirts. Or if they were, they ran out early. Morons. They should have had a stand up OUTSIDE and they would have sold at least 1000. They were selling David Beckham's Galaxy jersey and many girls appeared from the gift shop wearing those. But what a missed opportunity. Thousands of people there, soccer in their hearts, money in their pockets, and kids tugging on their sleeves. (The crowd was estimated at 5,000.)

The game was supposed to start half an hour after the ceremonies ended. I walked back to the car to dump off our chairs. We walked towards the field. Now it is after 2:00 and Coach Mom has to eat. But there are only two food concessions open. Two ines total. I got in the shorter line (the one that didn't sell french fries). After waiting 45 minutes in line (and missing the entire first half of the Hall of Fame game, when Hamm and Foudy played) they ran out of everything but nachos. So I got Coach Mom a plate of nachos, cheese crackers and a candy bar (so she wouldn't keel over) and told them they had to let me cut the line when they got real food. Luckily an old friend of ours spotted us as we got into line & I sent Mom to talk to her while I waited. Again, event planning 101, if you expect a crowd of thousands, more than half kids, you'd better have plenty of food concessions. The line I was in was being serviced by 6 women using an extra large home sized grill. A dozen burgers and a dozen hotdogs at a time. To feed thousands of people. Planning, people, planning!

So, we saw part of the second half of the Hall of Fame game, saw Christie Welsh score two goals, but missed Hamm, Foudy, Overbeck, & Tiffany Roberts play though. We saw a few more of Coach Mom's former players and students. Coach Mom won the Oneonta Soccer Club raffle and got a big basket of soccer shirts and ephemera. We left the game with 20 minutes left & went to Brooks's BBQ where we just got our takeout chicken before the hordes from the game descended.

Oneonta Daily Star: 5,000 greet soccer greats

Oneonta Daily Star: All eyes on Hamm and Foudy

Hall of Fame Soccer Hall of Fame Induction Has Record Attendance

NYTimes: Hamm and Foudy Join Hall

No comments: