Friday, April 17, 2009

Herculez Gomez interview - 04/15/2009

Herculez Gomez was the top vote getter in the fan voting this week.

We asked Herculez:
How was that Seattle game?
Did you have Keller beat?
In the second half Seattle came out strong?
When you get complacent in a game, how do you shake it off?
Do you realize you are getting complacent as a team during the game?
Was the crowd intimidating at all? (Interesting comment on Seattle vs Toronto fans here)
Any insight on the upcoming Chicago game?
Who is you key matchup?
It seems that you have been playing with more confidence this year.
Anything you want to say?

Herculez shooting over and around the wall in practice...

Kevin Hartman interview - 04/15/2009

Kevin was the runner-up in the fan voting this week.

We asked Kevin:
How was it to be in Seattle with the crowd?
Did you outplay Keller since you stayed in the game?
Seattle had the advantage in the second half, was that the Wizards getting complacent or changes that Seattle made at half?
Second straight shutout; are you happy with your play?
Anything you can point to that has improved the Wizards defense?
Anything to say about Chicago?
Say anything to the fans?

Kevin upside down in training...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kansas City Wizards, Whiteman Air Force Base and the B-2

April 23rd, the Wizards will be playing New York on ESPN2. There will be a pre-game flyover by a B-2 Stealth bomber. There is also a giveaway, the first 5,000 fans or so will receive their very own "Little Jimmy" (Jimmy Conrad bobblehead doll).

On Wednesday, several Wizards players, coaches and staff traveled to Whiteman Air Force Base to get a close up look at a B-2 and conduct a soccer clinic for base children.

Kevin Hartman checking out the nose of the B-2...

When they said don't touch that meant little Jimmy as well...

The pilots will have an escort with them when they do the flyover, Little Jimmy will be in the cockpit that night. Hopefully he will not be at the controls.

Jimmy being Jimmy...

The pilots were asked if they liked the movie Top Gun. The answer was no, not anymore. Someone made sure to let the pilots know that Jimmy starred in the Wizards Top Gun video.

Just a shot of a Stealth Bomber...

The whole crew that went, well not the whole crew. I'm not in the photo...

After the tour, the players gave the soccer clinic.

Lots of enthusiastic soccer playing kids got to do drills that Coach KZ setup...

Afterwards was time for autographs...

See more images in this gallery.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bannister Mall Handprints Ceremony

30 years ago, a bunch of kids went to the new Bannister Mall. They put their handprints and initials into a pair of long skinny concrete slabs. April 4th, some of those kids came back. They are now parents and grandparents. They wanted to see their handprints before the mall was completely torn down. The developers set a day for people to come see those handprints. As the day got closer, the demolition crew had made too much progress and the developers had to slow down and finally stop the demo for a day. Otherwise the slabs would be destroyed too soon.


Originally, the developers had wanted to save those slabs but they were being told that it would be impossible. The slabs are too old, too skinny and not reinforced. That did not stop the developers though; they consulted more experts and found a way to save those handprints. It would be difficult and they would not be able to save every handprint, but it was welcome news nonetheless.

Some of the hundred or so people looking for their handprints...

So when those former kids came to the mall, it was not to see the handprints for the last time. It was to make a connection from the past to the present, from the old to the new. They found their handprints and their initials; they showed them to their kids and grandkids. They took photos, they reminisced and they put flowers next to their memories. Little kids were amazed that the old people had once been that small. They talked with the developer that was on hand (Tim Weaver from Lane 4), they talked to representatives of the Wizards and they saw the basic plans for the new Three Trails development.

Tim Weaver showing the plans for The Trails...

A close up look at the future home of the Kansas City Wizards. NOT the final design ...

Best of all, they heard how the plan had changed from destroying those concrete memories to reusing the handprints in the new development. It has not been decided how exactly those slabs will be reused, but it is pretty certain they will be used in the soccer fields complex. This is a spot that thousands of kids each year will see them. I am hopeful that they will have another ceremony when they build those fields. I hope that they will put those slabs in and allow a new generation of kids to put their names and handprints in concrete. It would allow those new kids to connect the past to the future.

Four days after the event, those slabs were already up and on pallets. The pallets will be stored in one of the building that is not scheduled for demo right away.

Go to the Handprint Ceremony gallery for more images.

Monday, April 13, 2009

2009 interview poll - Week 4

Time for the weekly interview poll. This week we have 4 nominees:

Kevin Hartman - second straight shutout
Jack Jewsbury - all around good play
Herculez Gomez - made the play that led to Keller taking the rest of the day off
Davy Arnaud - 3rd great goal from range, SHOULD be a goal of the week nominee

As usual, vote here and over at Down The Byline. Both votes count. Write any questions you would like to ask in the comments and I will try to get them answered.