Everyone, Jamie's Journal is back! It has been a long time since we have caught up with each other and I take responsibility for that one. We have been playing so many games lately and have been on the road in just about every state in this country that finding time hasn't been very easy. I made a bunch of people promises that Jamie's Journal would be making a return very soon, including DJ's Grandmother, (I promised her that I would get a Jamie's Journal out within a few days or else I would do DJ's laundry for a year) so you can thank her, and my utmost fear of smelling DJ's stinky tighty-whiteys! So once again, sorry for the extended delay, but we have A LOT of catching up to do, so let's get right into it then, shall we?
DJ's DreamKeeper Charity Dinner
One of the most pleasant surprises this year has been the success goalkeeper DJ Countess has had with his charity helping various kids with different disabilities in the Salt Lake community. The reason I say it has been a pleasant surprise is because, like most of the players on the team, DJ only became a Utah resident in early April, and yet he has already gained so much support from various people in the area along with several very influential investors. Here's my first example of how welcoming this community has been to the idea of DJ's charity and what it stands for. For the past several Wednesday nights, DJ has been hosting a night at Shaggy's nightclub in downtown Salt Lake, where all the proceeds from the evening go to his DreamKeeper Foundation. As if donating all the proceeds wasn't good enough, the idea of shaving DJ's hair into a full-blown Clint Mathis-like Mohawk in an auction-type event came up and DJ cordially accepted. Believe it or not, the pot got up to over $600 and so for the game against Chicago, DJ rocked the Mohawk with pride knowing it was for a worthy cause.
Another awesome event hosted by Biaggi's Restaurant, with Cars-Mart, and Siegfried and Jensen as the title sponsors, was the Charity dinner that brought together a few hundred very giving people and several guys from the Real Salt Lake team. (If there are any other sponsors I forgot to name, I apologize and thank you for your support.) Everyone involved reached deep into their hearts and even deeper into their pockets and raised over $20,000. One of the most touching parts of the night was seeing Colby Christenson there with her family and seeing in person how touched Colby's family was by the support everyone was giving to them financially and emotionally. Colby is suffering from Cerebral Palsy and has been amazing throughout. I'm telling you this girl has a smile that will melt your heart! She is an angel! It was so awesome to see everyone being so selfless and giving any and everything they could for her and for the foundation. This touched me especially because I also have a brother with Cerebral Palsy (Brett, 21...P.S. Hey Buddy, I miss ya!) who has been confined to a wheelchair for his entire life. I know what it's like first-hand to go through the struggles a family goes through with a child born with Cerebral Palsy and it's not easy, that's for sure. So when people open their hearts, it has so much more of an impact than they will ever know! One last highlight of the night was when Brian Dunseth, Jordan Cila, Seth Trembly, Nelson Akwari, and myself got an idea to make a bid on an auction item where DJ would come, along with the head chef at Biaggi's, to your house to make dinner for 8. Well we pooled our money together and started going crazy as soon the bidding starting. It started at $300 and I immediately bumped it up to $500. Then Jordan yelled "$600", Nelly followed with "$700", then Dunny with "$800", until I topped it off with $1100! Then to our surprise, assistant coach Peter Mellor yells out "$1200" and gets the whole place to go crazy with excitement! This was never a part of the plan, but, as always, Pete was one step ahead and picked up on our plan and joined in! So needless to say, all of us who pitched in can't wait to have DJ serve us dinner. All in all, the night was a HUGE success and we look forward to the next event, which is a golf tournament at Thanksgiving Point on August 15.
Catching Up On All The Games...
There have been several games lately where we have been playing well, but just not getting the results we want. Unfortunately, even though we're playing well, the results are the most important thing, and we've got to turn things around, starting with this upcoming game against FC Dallas on the July 23 (Pioneer Day). This is going to be one of those games where we need to fill the stands at Rice-Eccles and get the place rockin' to get the ultimate home field advantage! (Think April 16 if you're wondering what rockin' is.)
Leading up to this game we have been in Kansas City most recently where we put in a hard fought comeback but came up short. I think I also made some new friends on Kansas City. My first new best friend is Jose Burciaga, Jr., who just barely missed with a left hook to my face while at the same time attempting to break my leg, I mean, win the ball. My second best friend who I will be exchanging Christmas cards with is goalkeeper Bo Oshanyi. That elbow to the eye when I wasn't looking was very thoughtful of you, Bo. I'm just messing with you guys; I'm sure it was in the heat of the game and y'all are good guys off the field, just chill with the cheap shots.
OK, I'm done with the "calling people out" section of today's journal. The Kansas City trip had been the second leg of a road trip that saw us start the week in Minnesota playing the Minnesota Thunder in a wild U.S. Open Cup game. If you like goals, there were 10 of them. Unfortunately, we gave up 6 of them and had an embarrassing loss to a lower level team. Not taking any credit away from the Thunder as they were the better team on the night, but I somehow think the less than accommodating hotel and food in addition to playing on a field with the width the size of the little strip of grass most people have in their front yards in between the sidewalk and street played a part. However, that game is history and so are the other losses this year, so why not start a winning streak of our own this weekend? Oh yeah, and one other pretty cool thing happened since the last journal. I scored my first (of many, hopefully) goal for Real Salt Lake. I must admit Andy Williams did all the hard work with his ball he played me, but it's cool to finally say I have scored a goal for RSL. Now is where I should apologize to any fan in attendance that night hoping to see some cool celebration after that goal. I apologize for absolutely spazzing out and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I was so excited that I freaked out and just kind of ran around doing nothing. Next time will be better, and hopefully will come this weekend. I promise we are going to score on the North Goal at some point this year too for all you die-hard fans sitting behind that goal.
Feature Player of the Day
I was thinking that maybe I didn't give goalkeeper DJ Countess enough love already in this edition of Jamie's Journal, and seeing as how I have about one third of my inbox asking me DJ questions (When is DJ going to be the Feature Player of the Day? Does DJ have a girlfriend? Will DJ marry me?), I thought it would be appropriate to satisfy all you ladies out there with some inside scoop on Mr. Delvin (err, I mean DJ) Countess...
How did you first get involved with soccer?
DJ: My dad wanted me to be in condition for baseball season.
If you weren't a professional soccer player, what would you be doing?
DJ: I'd be in a boy band, psych. I'd probably be a pro baseball player.
Describe yourself in one word?
How would your teammates describe you?
DJ: You tell me
Favorite American soccer player and favorite non-American soccer player?
DJ: American, Brad Friedel; Non-American, Peter Schmeichel
What is something most people don't know about you?
DJ: I'm appreciative for everything I have and have received, because at any instant it can all be taken away.
Best memory so far at Rice-Eccles Stadium?
DJ: The season opener vs. Colorado when we won 1-0.
Proudest moment of your life off the field?
DJ: Being blessed with such a wonderful family.
Best player you have ever played against, besides me?
DJ: Joe Cole
What CD do you have in your car CD player?
DJ: A Nelson Akwari Special Mix Tape Volume 1 including every type of music
Boxers or Briefs (I don't care to know, about 37,385 women is Salt Lake City do though so I had to ask)?
Person you're closet to on the team?
DJ: My Fraternity Brothers (They know who they are)
Describe how helping kids out in the community makes you feel.
DJ: It's indescribable, there's something about a child's smile that will really touch your heart.
What's one quote that you live by?
DJ: "For those you can, you should, and for those you can't, you should try."
Best place to eat
DJ: In-N-Out Burger (Very California)
DJ: 1967 Corvette
Favorite actor and ctress
DJ: Actor, Al Pacino; Actress, Jennifer Anniston
DJ: Caddy Shack
Napoleon Dynamite or Kip Dynamite
DJ: I gotta go with my boy Kip
Cookie dough or Cookies' n' cream
DJ: Cookies 'n' cream
Dogs or Cats
English Premier League or German Bundesliga
DJ: English Premier League
N*SYNC or Backstreet Boys
DJ: GOTTA GO WITH MY BOYS BACKSTREET BOYS... GOTTA GO WITH MY CREW (Coach Ellinger actually has a video tape of DJ, and Seth Trembly, singing a Backstreet Boys song in a karaoke machine when they were on the U-17's that might circulate through Salt Lake City if DJ gets on coach's bad side!)
Jessica Simpson or Jennifer Lopez
DJ: My girl Jess, all the way
Fear Factor or Survivor
DJ: Survivor, I can't eat that stuff.
Well everyone, there you go. I hope we all feel a little closer to our good friend DJ now and you girls out there can add this interview to your wall full of DJ Countess pictures. (I really hope no one does have a DJ Countess wall or I might get sick, haha!)
I'm still working on getting Mr. Clint Mathis as the Feature Player of the Day seeing as how in preseason I asked him if he wanted to be the feature player and he told me when I scored a goal for the first team he would think about it. Well that one came back and bit him in the (you know what) pretty hard because I actually did it! So, if you run into Clint, after you get his autograph you have to then tell him he'll be your favorite player ever if he does Jamie's Journal!
Thanks for waiting it out with me and keeping the faith that Jamie's Journal would return. Life has been crazy here as of late and I had been trying and trying to get a Journal out, but I always seem to have something come up at the last minute. Kind of reminds me of my college days. (Where I had a 4.0 thank you very much ... OK not quite, but if I added both semesters together I did!) Alright folks, you've been great! Thanks for reading along and check back again with me as I'll be writing again after the All Star break where I'll be going home to the best state in the country, Texas! Take care everyone.