As anyone with even peripheral awareness of footie knows, this past Sunday was the Euro2012 Final between Spain and Italy. Throughout our fair city, pubs which had been crowded with fans during the tournament, were even more packed for the Final.
With all due respect to The Who, this was a Magic Bus. Fully stocked with beer and snacks, outfitted with leather couches and chairs, the match showing on multiple television screens, including the big one at the back of the bus, and ably piloted by our driver, Jose. And for some unexplained reason, in the center of the bus, there was a stripper’s pole.
Our hosts for the day were the great Eric Wynalda, (former professional and U.S. Mens National team player and current Fox Soccer broadcaster) and a team of Fox Soccer marketing aces, led by the wonderful Lauren.
Our day started at The Brick Yard in San Francisco, where we were feted with good food and drink. Then it was time to board the bus. Mr. Wynalda or Eric as I’m now allowed to call him, met us at the door and gifted us with Fox Soccer scarves, draping them over our shoulders as a Hawaiian hula girl might drape a lei on your arrival in Hawaii.
Once aboard, we gifted with additional Fox Soccer swag and plied with even more alcohol. The Bay Area Gooners were well represented and we presented Eric with a BAG t-shirt and scarf.
Honestly, I’m not exactly sure of the route the bus took, because I was having too much damn fun, though I know we traveled across the Golden Gate Bridge. This was one of those instances where it was the journey that mattered.
We ended up back in San Francisco, following the match, and Eric smartly suggested more drinks were needed. Can this guy host or what! In all seriousness, I was mightily impressed with his graciousness. He is a consummate storyteller, and made every attempt to engage each of the fans traveling on the bus that day. In fact, he was still there chatting with fans, several hours after the match was over.
Oh yeah, and Spain won, 4-0.