As I prepare to go on that 4000 hour flight to Brazil … and then follow the USMNT from south to northeast to south to every other place in Brazil – I have been thinking about things that soccer has done for me other than the obvious.
The love of my life is Mildred Penelope my 2 year old Basset Hound – some may argue that it is my wife Joanne – but she would not argue that. I would not have “Millie P” if it were not for soccer (and a few Manhattans) – so as I head to Sao Paulo … here is ‘the rest of the story’.
Several years ago both of my sons (Christopher and Stephen) were playing for the Houston Dynamo. The Dynamo made it to the MLS Championship Game against New England at RFK Stadium in DC. Long story a little shorter – Dynamo won and the boys invited Joanne and me to the Owner’s Party at a club in Virginia that night. We felt a bit awkward (being parents, etc) but the boys had their own agenda.
The boys had adopted a 10 week old little dachshund puppy (named Addie) and they were hoping to dump her on us when they came home for the off-season later that week from Houston to Danville. Their plan (clear in retrospect) was to keep bringing Joanne Manhattans until she said yes (I am simplifying their strategy but not inaccurately). Let’s just say that we were going to stay for 15 minutes and 2 hours later Joanne had agreed to Addie coming for the off-season to our house – and – Joanne was no longer my Designated Driver to get us back to K-Street.
Fast forward three days later when the boys were flying into SFO from Houston for the off-season. Joanne remembered her Addie-discussion and was so mad that she didn’t talk to me for 24 hours – at the time she was absolutely anything but a ‘dog lover’.
I brought the boys and Addie home that night – all 4 pounds of Addie – and Joanne fell so madly in love that she (Honestly ----) instantly became a dog lover. Now she is “that lady” who is crazy about her dog. (You know that lady – you’ve driven behind her and honked at her as the little dog sits on her lap – yeah that lady).
How does that equal Millie P? --- Four years later – after four years of incredible bonding of Joanne and Addie … Joanne agreed that I could get a Basset Hound puppy. While my puppy was supposed to be a boy named “Howard” – he ended up being the most beautiful Basset Hound in the world named Mildred Penelope. Thanks to Lindsey’s mom and sister for picking her out and getting her for me (Chris having a sister-in-law who is a vet is pretty handy).
Oh … I guess I should point out that while the boys were trying to simply dump Addie on us … Christopher ended up having Joanne pay him $700 because he claimed that he loved her so much and $700 is what it would cost to get an American Bulldog Puppy. That American Bulldog Puppy is named Gattusso and that is quite another story. If I get stuck at a Brazilian airport this weekend I may bore you with that story.
SOCCER + MANHATTANS = Puppy Love. It is THE BEAUTIFUL GAME.