I just came from a packed press conference that seemed straight out of the Olympics. It was conducted almost entirely in a foreign language, with a helpful interpreter translating it into English for the three of us who were there and didn't speak Spanish.
The press conference was to promote the Mexico-Iceland exhibition soccer game that will be played in Bank of America Stadium Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. I'm somewhat amazed that more than 60,000 people are going to show up for this, but obviously I don't know my "futbol" well enough. Mexico's national team, nicknamed "El Tri," is a massive draw.
Mexico is like the Harlem Globetrotters in this game. Iceland is the Washington Generals, there only to provide a sparring partner. You can bet there won't be a lot of fans making the trek from Reykjavik.
I'll be one of those 60,000-plus, covering the game and the atmosphere for The Observer -- we're going to cover the game with gusto for both our English and our Spanish sites.
On another topic, I got roasted on Keith Larson's morning radio show on WBT Monday. Keith thought my blog entry advocating that Michael Jordan should leverage his celebrity to help save Charlotte's libraries missed the mark entirely.
What I admire about Keith is that while he criticized my post to high heaven, he also read it on-air and gave me a chance on-air to defend it.
Some radio hosts, both in this market and nationally, love nothing more than to rip somebody for hours without ever making a phone call asking if they'd like to respond. (Rush Limbaugh once did this to me for a column I wrote about Tiger Woods, but that's another story). Newspaper columnists aren't immune to this, either -- it's easy to simply read something and rip it.
Keith, though, tries to get newsmakers on his show and hears them out, even though he may loudly berate them and disagree with them. That's why I agree to go on his show pretty much every time he asks. I don't get paid for the appearances and they can take a chunk of time out of your day, but I respect the way he works.
I haven't changed my mind about why I think it would be a good idea for MJ to step in on the library issue. I'm sure Keith won't change his mind, either. But our on-air argument, I think, was pretty good radio.