Season’s end

Rough count of the past year: 45 stories, 39 of them about MLS. Quite an increase from 25 over the two preceding years (not counting Olympic Athlete of the Week, which was a quick roundup that has since been folded into the blog).

It’s not as if I won’t know what to do with myself now that it’s over. I’ve got plenty of projects lined up for the next few months. Some of them could be affected by the present uncertainty, some won’t.

There’s something melancholy about the end of a season, particularly if you’re one of the last people to leave the stadium. It wasn’t like the end of the Salt Lake Olympics, where the crews taking down the media center were so efficient that I was scared to step away from my “desk” (table) for even a minute, lest it be stripped like a car parked in a bad neighborhood. In this case, we all settled for listening to the revved-up leaf blowers that clean the stadium. RFK’s main soccer pressbox, unlike the boxes in newer NFL stadia, is not enclosed.

For almost eight months, I’ve been in a routine. Call Monday. Interviews Tuesday. Write Tuesday night and Wednesday. Gauge reaction Thursday. Watch Thursday night game. Then on Saturday, with the kids in bed, flip around to see more games and think of a story for next week.

So now it’s over. I’m relatively pleased with the tens of thousands of words I wrote. I’m going to miss my Tuesday conversations with Landon Donovan or Fernando Clavijo or whoever was willing to chat for the weekly story, though I have roughly 17-18 hours of archived conversations in case I want to hear that awful voice I have while I’m formulating questions. There’s no guarantee it’ll happen again next year.

But on the bright side, I’m looking forward to a leisurely lunch tomorrow.

Wonder if there’s a European game on …

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