Union Holiday Party at PPL

One of the youngest U fans added ornaments to the goal before the goal-lighting ceremony on the pitch.

One of the youngest U fans added ornaments to the goal before the goal-lighting ceremony on the pitch.

I was a little bummed. I was missing the TUMBB game. I was missing the Dawgs in the SEC Championship game. I was missing the first showing of my favorite Christmas movie ever, Elf, on ABCFamily. Instead, I was spending the day at PPL Park for the U’s Holiday Party, which was pretty exciting, too. I only wished I could be in four or five or six places at once!

After a great Saturday Preview Day, I drove right to the stadium, and before I got caught up in the chaos, sent a reminder text to Dom, who had promised to text Connor and I play-by-play of the SEC Championship. I headed over to the Union locker room, interviewing fans who took their Christmas pictures with Union players Chris Albright, Chris Konopka, and Sheanon Williams. After fans took their photos, we had a goal-decorating time and at halftime of the MLS Cup game, we planned to light the goal up like a Christmas tree. A lot of the younger fans loved placing ornaments and lights on our goal at River End.

When the SEC Championship started, Dom was true to his word and gave the best play-by-play texts I’ve ever received, literally describing every play in over 348 texts (yep, I counted). He earned himself a very well-deserved #HelmetSticker vote from me. While I’m pretty sure the other U interns thought I was crazy for celebrating the Dawg touchdowns like no other, no way was I missing this game.

My favorite part of the event was a goal-lighting ceremony. After taking their pictures with the players, fans could come out onto the pitch and place ornaments and lights on the goal at River End. The kids were so excited to decorate the goal. At halftime, a few of the interns and I went onto the pitch and after counting down with the fans, lit up the goal. Overall, we had about 500 season ticket holders come to the event and it was a huge success.

And I still made it home for the 4th quarter of the SEC Championship game! The Dawgs didn’t win, but I got to go the U’s Holiday Party and watch the end of the game, so I’ll take it! What a great day!


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