For The Glory Of The City
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Kansas City
Casino cash: $12051
James over at Sporting Times has a great write up on Davy.
The typical swings and roundabouts of post season MLS kicked into high gear this week. The expansion draft, that somehow feels so long ago left large segments of the fan base melancholy, after losing Seth Sinovic to the Montreal Impact. The question raised by many (but not myself admittedly) was simple: Will Peter Vermes trade with Montreal to get Seth back? The answer turned out to be a surprising yes and while Seth Sinovic is now destined to be with Sporting for the foreseeable future the melancholy hasn’t lifted much.
Getting Seth back from Montreal cost the last great Wizard and Captain Davy Arnaud his home in Kansas City and the Impact an undisclosed amount of allocation money. This is good business, Sporting freed up over $250,000 under the salary cap, received a received an invaluable chunk of allocation money which can be used for paying down contracts, signing players and sweetening deals with other teams and ultimately retrieved a quality young player in place of one that is starting some would have you believe is getting old.
We should be happy right? Logically yes, and if I don my cap of pragmatism the trade is good business but Davy Arnaud is never going to appear in a Sporting KC shirt again and that unsettles me. Jimmy Conrad and Jack Jewsbury left Kansas City last close season, and while Jewsbury was popular it was the departure of Conrad that got the wistful juices flowing. He was the face of the Kansas City Wizards, and Davy Arnaud stepped into his shoes, assuming the captaincy before Conrad was traded to Chivas USA and the mantle of the senior veteran leader in the eyes of fans and management alike.
My ‘relationship’ with Davy has been tumultuous affair. He was the standout player in my early days following the Wizards when they were still mired at Arrowhead, a fiercely passionate and busy player who had the ability to keep pushing and fighting when all those around him seemed to be deflated. To say that he was the heart and soul of the team might overstate things, but he was at times a seemingly tireless and unyielding piston who would drive the team onwards out of pure stubborn will to win. It wasn’t all grit however, Davy Arnaud could strike a ball, could make goals and finish them he was for me the finest player in a Wizards shirt and the first player on the team who I thought was worth remembering.
As a morphed from a casual occasional tourist into a fan and started writing this blog my stock in Davy dipped. An incident which I deemed to be spiteful, classless and vicious during a pre-season game had me wondering for many a month if I would ever like Davy again. It was a moment of hotheadedness that I held against him for what seemed like an eternity until I actually got to know him a bit. Little interactions here and there at training revealed Davy to be quite a captivating personality, fun, with an impish and cheeky sense of humor. He won me back in many ways and as he was named captain and the organization also began its own astonishing metamorphosis Davy became the man once again.
Everything was changing, Conrad was gone, Hartman, Jewsbury. With them Community America Ballpark, the Arrowhead days had one last nostalgic visit as we beat United, Conrad was dismissed and Davy Arnaud once more got a bit excited and tried to wrestle the referees arm down as if it would somehow reverse the red if it wasn’t in the air – it didn’t work, but we still won anyway and the Wizards got to be heroes for day. Good old Davy, always going at a million miles an hour even when he was standing still. I was amazed he stayed on the field.
That said my fondest memory of Davy will be sitting down on some bleacher seats at Community American Ballpark talking, just chatting. Callum Williams was with us, maybe Mike Kuhn and we sat around like regular guys joking around and telling stories about our school days. He turned out to be a great guy, fun, but also direct and sincere, fun and more charismatic than you’d imagine based on interviews. You could see why he was made captain in amongst the shrinking violets that fans would make candidates. He was a natural leader, at least that was my impression, and I don’t think I could doubt a word he said.
He was impressive.
And I’ll miss him … not just because he is a good guy but because I am so used to seeing him play in a Kansas City shirt that somehow it seems a bit less without him. How can it not? A game, one solitary game lasts for 90 minutes, Davy Arnaud has clocked over 20,000 minutes for us. 90 vs 21,607 .. it seems to defy logic. He has been as much as a servant during his decade here as anybody has been in the history of this team and up until the 2012 season his body of work will have been under the banners of the Kansas City franchise.
The guy that I wanted to do nothing but hug after the defeat to Houston, the guy who I dreamed about raising that MLS Cup. Its a cruel game we play and love, yet we all saw the end coming, maybe not so soon and maybe some of us that wished to have Seth Sinovic back now are thinking that maybe the price was too high. Time will tell, and Seth Sinovic seems to have much of the heart and fight that Davy does. That is a comforting thought, as is the idea that this is not a eulogy but a brief goodbye, Davy will no doubt be back in 2012 in an Impact shirt, I have little doubt that he will also be wearing a captains arm band and after he gives the Members Section a wave I am sure that once more he will do everything in his power to win. We may even boo him before the afternoon is out.
I like that idea … too many fans have written him off as over the hill or flagging. He is 31, a child of the 80s, and I think he has a few years to go before he really is staring retirement in the face. I am sure he will have a point to prove, and I would not bet a single cent against him doing so.
Not a single one.