In March, my eldest nephew, 8, accompanied me to WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami. His brother, 5, had to stay at home.
Unsurprisingly, the five-year-old only had one thing to say: "It's not fair!" It didn't appease him that he can go to WrestleMania with me in three years, so I had to find a substitute.
Since these boys are at a very impressionable age (and still think I'm a cool enough uncle to emulate), I have a great deal of influence when it comes to choosing professional sports teams to support. I have one team in each of the five majors (including the MLS), and my nephews have duly accepted these teams as their own.
So to pacify the five-year-old, I told him that he and I will make a weekend trip out of a professional soccer game. Since we both reside within the 515 area code (home to Des Moines and the Iowa State Cyclones), I decided to take him to see a game in Kansas City.
However, Sporting KC is not my MLS team; I support the Columbus Crew. My sister has already ordered a jersey for my nephew, who calls me several times a week to ask when the game is and how many more days until we leave.
I've never attended a professional soccer game at any level, so I'm just as excited even though I'm not a die-hard fan by any means. As passionate as I am about professional wrestling, that zeal doesn't overflow into any of the "real" professional sports.
All that to say: I have no idea what to expect. I'm wondering if the fans at Bleacher Report can clue me in.
I know that Sporting KC have been fighting to stay atop the Eastern Conference while the Crew are still trying to make a second-half-of-the-season comeback to even qualify for the playoffs. Will this game even be competitive?
Also, I've heard great things about the stadium in Kansas City. Are we really going to be blown away? Is there anything special I should check out?
What about MLS fans? How do they compare to the die-hards who attend the World Cup? Will the stadium be packed? Will many Crew fans show up? Will we get harassed if we're wearing Crew gear?
Soccer is a big deal in my hometown, where my nephew will be attending school, so I really want to get him excited about the sport while he's young. What can I do to make sure this is a good experience for him?
I'm excited for the game, and I'll write a review on Sunday morning. But if any of you have any general recommendations for Kansas City that would be appropriate for a five-year-old, please feel free to let me know that as well!