Photo: Earl Gardner
I can’t remember the last time I had a nightmare. That is, before this weekend.
In a gambling and adult beverage-fueled stupor, I learned that my beloved Union had eked out a point thanks to a late equalizer by Sheanon Williams.
I was happy.
And then I fell asleep.
It was a restless slumber due in part to the nightmare I had about Sheanon Williams leaving the Union. I’ve been a huge Sheanon fan since he made his Philadelphia Union debut and I can’t wait for him to be on the USMNT. I cherish his curly mop, steadily exciting play, and dedication to playing both ends of the field. So you can understand the horror when my (admittedly) addled brain decided to construct the nightmare dreamscape of my favorite player leaving the team that fostered him. In order to do my part to keep him on the team, I’ve decided to use this platform for an open letter to Sheanon Williams.
(Note: I know he is signed through 2015).
Dear Mr. Williams,
Please don’t ever leave the Philadelphia Union (unless I move away so I can keep watching you play).
Earlier this season, I was lucky enough to catch you on your way to the Stadium Club at PPL Park. I literally ran into you with my friend. We snapped a photograph and you were welcoming and understanding of the fandom. I bragged to my girlfriend about it for approximately 15 minutes before I started to feel like a creep.
This was one of my all-time favorite personal professional sports experiences. I’ve been blessed enough to have some pretty cool ones. I witnessed the greatest regular season game in Yankee Stadium history, I’ve attended NBA All-Star weekend, and I’ve witnessed the majesty of a Michael Jordan dunk. Pretty awesome stuff. But something about a player taking his time after duking it out for 90 minutes and simply taking a picture with a fan means quite a bit. I guess because it’s personal and fans take things so personally. We win when our team does, we lose when they do, we shout at refs with the fire of a thousand suns when we feel OUR boys have been wronged. Sports are personal. And that moment was too. It probably took a total of 10 seconds and would never make ESPN, but it made my highlight reel.
I know there’s no current threat of you leaving the team and someday you’ll probably get offered a more lucrative deal and perhaps even an opportunity to play overseas. And then, you’ve got to take it. But you know that. I just hope I’m dead.
Thanks for the thrills,