If there is anything I hate, it’s sports team pulling stunts by asking media people to partake in publicity ploys. The following is not that:
The Fort Worth Vaqueros professional soccer team needs players, which means the obvious option is to call a plus-40 year old white dude who last played the sport when he was eight.
That’s right - I am fulfulling a bucket list item by, after nasty negotiations, agreeing to a one-day contract with the Vaqueros for their match on Saturday night against the Houston Dynamo. That’s right - I am a pro athlete.
No, this is not the Women’s World Cup, and it’s not MLS ... it’s bigger. It’s bigger because I will be suiting up to play for head coach Mark Snell in a must-win match.
The highly-anticipated bout between the two bitter rivals begins at 7:30 p.m. at Martin Field on the campus of Texas Wesleyan University. Granted, this is an exhibition match with a bunch of players who are young enough to be my ... older younger brother.
According to “media reports,” the one-day deal is worth $14.3 million, which has caused Dallas Cowboys wide receiver to reportedly call his agent with demands that he “get what Engel got” from Jerry Jones.
The contract includes a personal chef, personal driver, personal masseuse, personal donut baker, personal beer deliverer, free pizza, free ice cream and cheese burgers on demand until I pass out. There is a clause in the contract that says if any of Engel’s teammates look at him in the eye, or call him anything other than “Ronaldo,” he will receive free beer for life.
“With four games in seven days signing an additional player makes sense from a fatigue standpoint for Saturday's exhibition,” Vaqueros coach Mark Snell said, “although the quality and age of our signing today are surely questionable.”
Someone thinks their funny. Mr. Snell and I need to get a few things straight before I hit the pitch for his side:
1. There is no I in team, there is only enough room for Mac.
2. Speak to me when spoken to.
3. You talk to me, you talk to my agent.
4. My dog sits on the bench and, if I deem necessary, will play in the match. Ellie is a fullback.
5. I collect red cards.
Unless the Rangers call me to come out of the bullpen, this will likely be my last chance to a professional athlete, so after this match I plan to retire to spend more time with my family; then I plan to immediately un-retire because no ex-pro jock ever wants to spend more time with his family.
Be sure to be there for this once-in-a-lifetime and likely highly forgettable experience for all of those involved but one.
GAME: Fort Worth Vaqueros vs. Houston Dynamo (exhibition)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 27
WHERE: 599 Collard St., FW Texas 76105 Martin Field, Texas Wesleyan University (corner of Collard and Lancaster; 8 minutes east of downtown Fort Worth off of I-30.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760