Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Sporting KC and The Victory Project

Late last summer, my best friend got me hooked on the local professional soccer team, Sporting KC. Now, I'm not a "sports" girl. Never have been. I generally find sports to be boring and drawn out. (Seriously, why does a football game have to last like 4 hours?!) But I kept going over to her apartment and she always had the Sporting game playing in the background. Before I knew what had happened to me, I was in love. The games last roughly 90 minutes (time can be added before half-time or at the end of the game to cover stoppage time.) and the clock doesn't stop for injuries or to "reset." The games are INTENSE. The players run run run the entire time. Whether intentionally or accidentally, players get pushed down, stepped on, or kicked by the other team. They fight to win and make this city proud. And this team has heart. You can see it in their faces when they are disappointed in themselves and you can see it when they dance, flip and slide all over the field when they score. 

But there is something else that I love about Sporting. The guys on the team as well as the managers, owners, etc, all love this city and it's people. They love the fans. Team captain and goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen has been known to play pickup games with little kids in the park. Aurelien Collin gives his game jersey to a fan at ever won home game. Whether they win or lose, the players always take to Twitter to thank the fans for our support. They thank us for being part of this team and for cheering them on to victory and supporting them even when they don't win. When they are on their way back to Kansas City, they let us know they are coming "home." 

To many people, the players calling KC "home" might not be a big thing. But to a lot of us, it means so much. We all know this isn't a big "exciting" city. And it's not a city known for great professional sports teams. (Google the Chiefs and the Royals) So, to have our players like this city and it's people, it means a lot to us. We don't want to be the place that players hate to live. We don't want our professional athletes to be miserable the entire time they're here. So, to hear them say that they love this city or that they love a certain neighborhood or restaurant, it makes us happy. We want our players to be happy here. Whether they choose to live out the rest of their careers here or only spend a few years with us, we want them to enjoy their time here and feel like they belong here.

So, my heart melted this morning while checking my Facebook account, and saw this link. Sporting KC has started a project called the Victory Project to help raise money for local kids battling cancer. 100% of all donations go straight to helping children with cancer. This is such a great way for all of us to get involved and help out some great kids. At the time of this posting, Victory Project is raising money for an 8 year old boy named, Xander. He has a brain tumor that is causing blindness in one eye and partial vision loss in the other eye. The money raised to help Xander will be used to purchase a Topaz CCTV to help him keep up with his school work at home. It magnifies the screen so Xander will be able to see his work. This is such a great cause and I encourage anyone and everyone to donate if you can.

To learn more about the Victory Project or to donate, head on over to Victory Project.

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