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Brian Jennings waves goodbye to us

MLS: FC Dallas at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I will try to keep this succinct, however, fully expecting it to be too lengthy by the time I finish. In short, I want to say a massive THANK YOU to Colorado Rapids Nation as I retire from covering the team.

For 20 seasons now, I have had the absolute privilege of being allowed to be a part of this MLS franchise from a media perspective through the outlets of MLS, Soccer365, Current of Colorado, Voice of C38 and Current, and finally, Burgundy Wave. Thank you to all of those who have let me provide content for their projects, including Pat, Brendan, Matt, Abbie, and Jake.

The Rapids have been a big part of my life over that stretch, maybe too big at times, but I have loved every windy day watching training, every Snowclasico, and every match in the press boxes from Invesco, to those in enemy territory around the country, to DSGP. From All-Star Games, playoff runs, Cup competitions, and countless MLS matches, I never took one day of that for granted, knowing how lucky I was to be given access behind what fans see on matchdays and really feeling a part of the organization.

That opportunity allowed me to speak with some amazing players, coaches, and administrative folks within the Rapids, MLS, and US Soccer for all these years. I can’t begin to pass along each memorable experience, relationship built, and ways I have enjoyed the entire ride, but here’s a summary:

The friendships and working relationships with the Media departments through the years are some that I truly enjoyed and am thankful for. Without them (Jurgen, German, Jason, James, Dave, Rachel, Luis, Diego, Dylan, Lucas, Emilio, Kinzie, and Omar), I would not have been able to be part of bringing insights from those principal figures throughout the years.

I am very grateful for the genuine time I’ve talked with the Club management since 2003. I haven’t always shared my off-the-record chats with the public, but throughout the years, it’s amazed me how approachable and affable those that run this club day-to-day are when you speak to them. This doesn’t happen in American sports, and I thank everyone from Dan, Charlie, Jeff, Paul, Tim, Caitlin, Wayne, Padraig and all the Front Office staff over the years for their time.

I’ve also been able to hang around very talented people, but at the same time fun humans, that broadcast the Rapids to the world and thank them for their camaraderie in my time behind a keyboard. It’s been a pleasure, Richard, Marcelo, Jordan, Bobby, Marc, Brian, and Conor.

Suffice to say, getting to know countless players and coaches past what they show for 90+ minutes on the field through personal chats both on- and off-the-record, are one of the things I’ll cherish most. I cannot possibly name them all personally here, but beginning in 2003 with HC Tim Hankinson and players such as Joe Cannon, old friend Chris Henderson and John Spencer, through this last season with HC Robin Fraser, Assistants Wolde, Neil, Chris, and Sharpie, and the likes of Drew Moor, Jack Price, and Keegan Rosenberry, it is all of you gentlemen who’ve played for this club that have always made me feel part of the team and kept me coming back for “work” year after year.

I’ve always loved bringing stories of these Rapids players/coaches who dedicate so much to their work and the views in their own words to fans across Colorado and the world. Many people can share their own opinions through social media these days, but I think it has also been important to hear from those making the games as much as possible.

As I hang up my credentials, I hope fans will continue to embrace and interact with the media members still in the game. While we don’t have the sheer numbers of larger markets, Colorado has some passionate, dedicated people working to bring you regular Rapids news and behind-the-scenes insights going forward. Matt, Brendan, Mitchell……you are the remaining “regulars” now. Keep up the great work, don’t get discouraged by a lack of clicks or crappy comments, and continue to bring fans the Rapids stories because you love it (as I know it’s not because of the money!!)

My final thanks is to all you fans, followers, and readers out there taking your time to keep up with what I hope have occasionally been entertaining and informative pieces – I appreciate you! Without you, I’m just a knucklehead ranting to my friends and family.

Aloha Rapids Nation (I warned you it would run on)………see you in the stands at DSGP!