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The Lager Wey

Yet another crooked path winding around the law

Posted: Friday October 18, 2002 12:42 PM

  Garth Lagerwey For the time being, the free-thinker's thoughts are still free of charge. Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport

Where Am I Now?

Everyone asks himself that question on a Saturday morning when he rolls over, trying to quiet the band in his head rollicking through an enthusiastic rendition of When the Saints Go Marching In (gratuitous reference to college fight song). Then you realize that VH-1 doesn't have that in its rotation and the voluptuous young lady next to you shouldn't be added to yours. But it's a big change from my playing days, when I did that exclusively on Sunday mornings. (Always playing on Saturday nights really warps the idea of going to church, but I'll leave that to Aquinas and Luther.) Though I don't think of myself as Socrates holding his cup of hemlock yet, let me describe the last year and a half as it flashes before my eyes.

After rehabbing from abdominal surgery (I'm fine), I started law school at Georgetown. First year was miserable, though not quite as brutal as the transition from groupies in Dallas and South Florida to uptight, self-important law school girls. Because Ray Hudson (my old Fusion coach) had joined D.C. United I got to take the goalkeepers in preseason while Mark Simpson was on his honeymoon. I got very lucky and landed the No. 2 United TV job filling in for Thomas Rongen when he was unavailable. I wound up calling two dreadful games, both 1-0 losses at Columbus and the MetroStars. I also called an A-League game, a couple on radio, and did a few radio shows. It was an absolute blast. In between I went to Florence, Italy, for study abroad during the World Cup. When I got back I worked on the Hill for a Congressman from Tennessee thanks to a fan of the Lager Way, David Bone, who arranged everything purely on faith. Great experience -- and thanks again, David. I'm in the midst of second year now with job offers from the D.C. offices of Latham & Watkins (Alan Rothenberg's old firm) and Weil, Gotshal (the gentlemen who took on the pro bono representation of the players in our ultimately unsuccessful litigation). Tough choice.

For the future, I'm looking forward to getting an opportunity to call TV games regularly and speaking with the folks in New York about negotiating with a representative group of players to get a labor agreement for the first time. I'm optimistic because the league office has always said it would be receptive to a union and I have had cordial relations with everyone up there since I retired. Most important, I look forward to keeping in touch with the fans of MLS who have always been the foundation for my enjoyment of the game. Thanks for caring.

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