The first Friday in December has become a very important day in my life. Some of it for the good, some for the bad.
Today, I planned on heading to The Globe Pub for the FIFA World Cup Draw for 2010, to be held in South Africa. The Globe has been voted the "Best Soccer Pub" in the country the last two years, and likely will be again, so it was the perfect place to watch the draw to see who would play who in next year's tournament.
Thinking back, it was four years ago that I had awaited this same day with much anticipation.
When it was announced in 2000 that Germany would host the 2006 World Cup, I explained to my wife. Pat, that I planned on going to the world's largest sporting event and asked her if she would like to come with, six years down the road. She looked at me, quizzically, and said, "Take your nephew!". Carmen was fifteen at the time, a fan of soccer, and I figured that at the age of twenty-one, he would likely be a fan of drinking, also. What better person to go with me to Germany.
To procure tickets for the World Cup, you had to fill out a form online to get into a worldwide lottery. I was fortunate to get two tickets for a game that was to be played in Gelsenkirchen, the first Monday of the tourney, and today, I was going to find out who would be playing.
Things fell right for me as I was going to see the USA squad play against the Czech Republic.
So that was an exciting first Friday in December, 2005.
2008 had been a strange year, as my fourth year of working with the Mike North Morning Show stopped in the middle of June, when Mike decided not to accept the Score's offer and they decided to go in a different direction. This led to me being relegated to afternoon updates the final six months of the year.
On the first Friday on December, 2008, I got to work early, around 10:00, to get ready for my shift, and to beat the traffic. When Program Director, Mitch Rosen said he needed to talk to me, I realized right there, bad things were about to happen.
I was informed that my services would no longer be required after sixteen years with the station. I was told that it had nothing to do with my performance, but the station, as well as all CBS affiliates, were cutting salary, and I was going to be leaving.
Not nearly as much fun as the same day in 2005!
This year, as I continue to look for that next dream job, I decided it would be good to get out of the house to watch the World Cup draw for next year's tournament, and there was no better place to go then the Globe. I saw a couple of guys I know from STATS, Inc., as well as a bunch of fans from Section Eight. Frankie Klopas, the Fire Technical Director was there, along with Lauren Brophy, the outgoing Manager of Communications for the team, before she leaves for New York to begin working with the Major League Soccer front office.
It was a fun day, with the USA being placed into Group C to play England in their first match, June 12th, next year. I had bangers, mash and beans, along with a couple pints of Shiner beer. Right choice, great atmosphere.
I can only hope that the next time the first Friday of December rolls around, things will be going much better for me, job-wise, health wise, and all around, but we'll have to wait another twelve months to find out.