Thursday, June 02, 2005

36,000 feet, somewhere in the Midwest

Well, here goes nothing. While I consider myself ahead of the technology curve for the most part, this is my first attempt at a blog, and based on the current turbulence we are experiencing on a United flight to Chicago, it could very well be my last! The captain has just asked the flight attendants to take their seats - not a good sign.

We have just embarked on what will be our longest road trip of the season: Four matches; three countries; eight days; roughly 10,000 miles. Without my iPod and laptop, I'm not sure I could stay sane, and even with those creature comforts (I rank the iPod neck and neck with Tivo/DVR as the greatest inventions of the 21st century) this is bound to be a rather grueling trek. Which is why this is a perfect time to start a blog. There are bound to be plenty of trials and tribulations among the 21 members of the Timbers' traveling party. At least that is my hope, or this could end up being as painful to read as an issue of the Limbaugh Letter.

At the moment, we are headed to Rochester, N.Y., which will be our home base for the next three nights. The team plays the Raging Rhinos on Friday night and the Toronto Lynx on Saturday. We'll bus back and forth between upstate New York and Toronto. Everyone is already bemoaning the late-night drive back to Rochester on Saturday night (early Sunday a.m.) following the Toronto match, but it really does make the most sense to not switch hotels, go through double customs on the leg to Puerto Rico, etc. Ah, such is life in the First Division.

It seems all of our seats are in the back four rows of this A319 aircraft. The middle seat passengers on my side of the plane are Scott Benedetti, Aaran Lines, Josh Saunders and Gavin Wilkinson. Our other wedged in travelers are Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, Aaron Heinzen and Lee Morrison - poor blokes as the two Kiwis might say. One of those New Zealanders - Lines - is between Bobby Howe and myself (window). His trip is off to a rough start as the batteries in his cd player started leaking acid before we left the tarmac at PDX, so he is sans tunes and didn't bring a book. Reminds me of the time my iPod ran out of juice two minutes into a 40-minute MAX ride to Hillsboro, an experience so traumatic, I haven't taken public transit since.

Diehards are undoubtedly curious as to who the 18 players are on the trip, so without further ado, in addition to our middle seaters, the group also includes: Byron Alvarez, Edwin Miranda, Paul Conway, Shawn Saunders, Sean Higgins, Tom Poltl, Sam Reynolds, Scot Thompson, Fadi Afash, Dizzy Antoniuk and Brian Winters. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say 17 of them will see playing time over the next few days. The lone exception being Sam, but you never know.

That's all for now. I can feel the carpal tunnel setting in due to this cramped typing position.

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