I played soccer for three years at .
By the end of my junior year I'd decided to stop trying to kick a round ball under the crossbar, and kick the oblong one over it—joining the football team to kick field goals.
But once a year, I get to scratch that soccer itch.
Thanks to the Baltimore Blast, some hack soccer players like myself get to play for about ten minutes at First Mariner Arena once a year—in what they call the media game.
The Major Indoor Soccer League's Eastern Division champs, led by February's player of the month, Machel Millwood, have always been the ones in town to "get it."
They're fan friendly. They're media friendly. They're just friendly.
These guys on the field tonight—no, not us at halftime—are professional athletes. Some of them have been at the very top levels of the sport.
The Blast and Wichita kick off at 7:35 p.m.
I covered the Blast for three seasons—including two championships—during my time as a sports reporter in Baltimore. The team could very well be on the way to another title this spring.
At 16-6 entering tonight's game against Wichita (7-15), the Blast have the second-best record in the seven-team league, behind their arch rival—Central Division-leading Milwaukee (18-6).
Since I covered the team, a lot has changed.
Many of the star players of the last decade have retired. Harford County native Mike Lookingland is now the team captain. The league has changed, adding teams in Rochester, Syracuse, Norfolk, Missouri and Wichita. The league is also run through the United Soccer Leagues—providing a stable backbone for a league that has gone through a variety of incarnations in my lifetime.
But one thing hasn't changed: the Blast remains a first-class organization.
The Ravens have become Baltimore's team. But throughout the years, with handfuls of championships and enough memories to fill an aging downtown arena, the Blast have been a constant.
The owners, coaches, players and even the name—remember the Spirit era?—have changed.
But the Blast offer something that is very unique in Baltimore—a sport that is Baltimore, with players from the area focused on giving back to the local fans.
It's family-friendly, affordable entertainment.
And it's fun.
We're taking our daughter, Chloe, tonight. It's her first professional sporting event.
I'm eager to take my kids to an Orioles game. But the place to start with your kids is a Blast game. You can't beat the atmosphere, and the product on the field is always entertaining.
Now I can't promise halftime will be as entertaining tonight, but we'll try.
I scored a handful of goals in high school. I'm seeking my second career Blast halftime goal tonight.
Come out and support your favorite Patch editors at halftime—I'll be playing along with last year's holdovers, Patch Regional Editor Doug Donovan and Lutherville-Timonium Patch Editor . And we've added Bel Air Patch editor to the mix this year.
But for the real game before and after ours, go support one of the best shows in town.
I know you'll have a Blast.
TELL US: Have you been to a Blast game recently? Are you going tonight? Leave a comment.