Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Heritage Cup Finale

The Heritage Cup was one of the quirkier projects I've ever taken on. I posted about creating the cup, but over the summer my role as presenter and fan took some very interesting turns.

Before the competition started the Cup and I got a little coverage at Centerline.com.

The first game of the Cup was on July 13th, and we took it up to Qwest Field to show it off to the Seattle Fans. I have to say that the Seattle fans were excellent, and the game was sold out at nearly thirty-thousand. I had to carry it in twelve blocks, and was surprised how many people recognized it.

The Seattle Sounders also have a marching band, and I needed to show off the cast bronze trophy in front of the brass section. Unfortunately the Earthquakes lost the first game of the competition 2-1. Seattle also held all of the tie-breakers, so it looked bad. San Jose would need to win the second game, and most likely by two goals!

The second match was in San Jose on August 2nd. That weekend became a huge celebration commemorating the San Jose Earthquakes tradition, and featured the 35 year reunion of the original team. I took the Heritage Cup to the Reunion dinner, and then the next day I took it to the game to present it to the winning team on the field at the end of the game.

San Jose amazed everyone by winning the game 4 to 0! Above is a picture from certerline.com of me and a representative of the Seattle Sounders fans presenting the Cup to team captain Jason Hernandez after the game. You can check out Centerline's match report here.

I was really hoping to leave the Cup with the team, but now we needed to get a placard made to commemorate the very first victory in this competition. That meant I had to carry it back one more time, and on the way I ran into San Jose's most dedicated (and crazy) fans. I had told them that they couldn't drink out of it up in Seattle since we lost, but this time they were due.

Here's what the placard looks like on the trophy, but as you can tell it is still taking up space in my studio.

I finally got to give it away in a presentation at the Soccer Silicon Valley Community Foundation Annual Dinner. As a surprise SSVCF gave Sarah and I a framed copy of the poster she designed with autographs from the stars shown on it, Kasey Keller and Daren Huckerby. Here's a picture of Earthquakes players Jason Hernandez and Shea Salinas at the dinner. It was their turn to cart it around this time. For the next year the Heritage Cup will be displayed in the Earthquakes front office. Then in the 2010 season we start we do it all again.

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