Soccer – The Most Important of Life’s Unimportant Things

December 15, 2006


by @ 10:17 am.
Filed under Major League Soccer, Miscellany

Someone once said “The test of a person’s character is how they treat the people they don’t need”. By this measurement, Lamar Hunt was and is a saint.

Mr. Hunt was a billionaire. He really need hardly anyone. Yet anyone who was ever in his presence will tell you the same thing: he was the very definition of graciousness, friendliness, and kindness.

A quick story to illustrate why we, as FC Dallas fans, loved the man, and will grieve mightily at his passing:

Last year at the opening of Pizza Hut Park, the Inferno supporter’s group hosted a 24-hour tailgate and charity fund raiser. We got started that Friday night – good weather, good friends, and the now-legendary drunkenmidnightsoccer. Food was cooked, beers were consumed, and a good time was being had by all. But who drops by around 10:00 or so?

Himself. He came out personally, to greet us and thank us for coming. The man had just bought us a brand-spankin’ new stadium to watch our favorite team in, and he came out to thank us for coming to tailgate.

But it gets better. Sometime late that night, the construction company’s security people (Pizza Hut Park wasn’t quite finished yet) started hassling us and trying to run us off. Stadium security and the Frisco PD were consulted, and it was a big pain in the neck, as everything had been arranged in advance with the FC Dallas front office. At some point, one of the myriad of walkie-talkies present (all those guys always have a walkie-talkie, don’t they?) started squawking, and someone answered it and was told, in so many words, that Mr. Hunt said this was okay, and that we were his guests. End of hassle. That’s all it took. Not that he didn’t have anything better to do, but Mr. Hunt made it clear we were his guests.

That Saturday was the hottest day in the history of mankind, and if you’ve ever spent a hot day in Texas, sitting around a parking lot under a tent awning, well, then you and only you can imagine how miserably, oppressively, horribly hot it was.

But during that long day, not once, but twice, Mr. Hunt came out to greet us, check on us, and make sure we had everything we needed. It was opening day of his brand new stadium, mind you – it’s not like he didn’t have enough on his agenda to keep him busy that day – but he thought about us, and, instead of having one of his “people” come out and check on us, which would have been more than thoughtful (I’m not completely sure a man like Mr. Hunt even has “people”), he came himself.

That’s just one of many examples of why we love him. I feel sure that many other people, more eloquently than I have done, will add their tributes to Mr. Hunt, and I look forward to reading them all.

There is a shortage of great men in this world, and we just lost one of them. My sincere respect and condolences go out to Mr. Hunt’s family, and I pray for the repose of his soul.

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