While recalling this story to share with you, it occurs to me that as we live each day we’re curating our life stories. Who knew, while we were living it, that one day it would be story worthy? To us, it was another day at Café del Mondo…
We were blessed, through my son Alex’s networking and determination, to be feeding the Crew – in many ways. Initially the Front Office heard about Café del Mondo and would come in for lunch. Next, the guys (aka team) would stop in our café after training for lunch. This led to us actually catering at the training facility a few days a week. Ultimately the big brass, Mr. Hunt, Mark McCullers, etc. were eating and meeting there. In fact, there were times when we had the owners, team, FO and even Frankie and Duncan dining at the same time. Looking back – wow. I often wondered if this happens in any other professional sport or is soccer the only sport grounded in a way that the little local café is the ‘go to’?
So, back to the real story. It was May 2012. The Crew was heading to Seattle to meet the Sounders. The rivalry was real and the Crew had yet to beat them. The matchup prior, in 2011, we lost to them 6-2, the heat was on. Bill (the head chef as well as head of the family) had a great relationship with the training staff as he worked directly with them to create nutritionally spot on meals. So, as they prepared for their trip to CenturyLink Field, Bill set out a challenge to the trainers and the team – Beat the Sounders and the steak’s on us! Specifically, if the Crew won, Bill and Alex would grill steaks, on site at the training facility, for the team. You know, the old cliché – the rest is history and all – we won! Decidedly. And the best part of the story – within 5 minutes of the win Bill got a text from a trainer, “Bring on the Steaks!” Yep, Bill and Alex loaded it all up and the smoke from 40 grilling steaks drifting over the training field made it difficult for the guys to focus. After an early end to training that day the team and trainers and coaches and who knows who else had steaks on us! (There may have been a few extras at Obetz that day). Take that Seattle.
So, you work day in and day out. You don’t give it too much thought. Today might seem like a better day than yesterday or maybe something fun happens. But do we ever realize at the time that we’re curating our history? That one day, the bet you made with the team is noteworthy? Or that the memory today is gut-wrenching considering everything that happens in between? That the Café is gone – literally burnt to the ground. That the team was sold only for Columbus to be sold out? That Kirk Urso was only to be with us another few months?
One day all of us will look back on 2017-2018. We’re all going to have memories, stories, histories. Trust me, we’re curating our life story. #SaveTheCrew
Alex Thomas, the “weatherman” & the 2012 Jim Nelson Fan of the Year