Nothing much exciting happens around here, so you can imagine that it is a Very Big Deal when important people get inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame in nearby Oneonta, New York. Yup, you heard it right- not only do we have the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY (about an hour and a half from Binghamton), but the National Soccer Hall of Fame somehow is located about 60 miles NW of here, right between Binghamton and Albany.
Friday night I'm listening to the local news and I hear that Alan Rothenberg is getting inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame, along with HUGE soccer star (and the first female inductee!!) Mia Hamm.
HUH? Alan is from LA and his son, Rich, is a friend and classmate from my JD/MBA program. My surprise was not at his induction, since he is a HUGE soccer promoter and has been the president/corporate backer/business force behind every national soccer thing since the 1984 Olympics in LA (including bringing Major League Soccer to America, having a hugely successful World Cup here in 1994, Commissioner of Soccer, yada yada yada.
But does that mean that Rich is . . . HERE? I emailed him right away and, sure enough, he was headed to Oneonta with his family. Long story short- I attended the induction on Sunday and it was VERY cool- 2 hours of some of the best speeches I've ever heard!
They had the biggest turnout EVER for an induction (nearly 5,000 people- most of them seeming to be young girls). Mia is just plain-old famous- she has transcended gender and nationality at this point, to become an internationally-renown athlete. It was a zoo with her there, and soooooo cool to see what a role model she is for the young girls. Go Mia!