U.S. National Team keeper Marcus Hahnemann joined the Colorado Rapids in 1997, the year the club reached MLS Cup for the first time, losing to D.C. United 2-1.
Greetings fellow Wavers. I'm jumping aboard this inflatable to join the turbulent, but always intriguing, ride of Rapids Nation.
It's hard to believe we're in Season Seventeen. My history with the Rapidos (my preferred nickname for our side) goes back to Season Dos. I was hired after the 1997 preseason had already started to be the Colorado Rapids PR honcho. That was the year the franchise wisely hired Coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick and brought in game-changers Paul Bravo, Peter Vermes and Marcus Hahnemann to bolster the solid core of Marcelo Balboa, Chris Henderson and Steve Trittschuh from the '96 inaugural campaign.
I was new to the PR game after a decade of slaving in the newspaper trenches. The Rapids were an excellent outlet for my growing soccer addiction, which started in the '70s on the rec-league pitches of Northglenn. I suspect many of you weren't even born then. I may be one of the few Wavers who can say he attended NASL games of yore -- Colorado Caribou, Denver Dynamo -- at the old Mile High.
But I digress. Back to 1997: As a newly minted father I quickly discovered that the circus life of a fledgling sports league -- constant travel, unusual hours, grinding commute to Denver (we were on 17th Street downtown then) -- didn't abide domestic tranquility. So I bailed back into the newspaper current by August; read: I had a cup of coffee in MLS front office life. To my everlasting regret, I didn't ride the season through to the Rapidos' unexpected MLS Cup run of that year. Doh! Such is how the futbol bounces.
So here we are in 2012 (already butting against my blog word-count limit), and my soccer addiction needs another outlet. I'm happy to be writing for BW.
Alas, the cup-of-coffee Rapidos' PR guy will join the player-rating rotation and post features, commentary and occasional reflections on pro soccer's halcyon days in Denver.
It looks like we're in for another season that's as twisty-turny as Frisco's Lombard Street. Glad to be along for the ride.