Philly dancing its way to WPS title?
Three days to win a championship.
Although the Philadelphia Independence have had an entire week to prepare for this Saturday's championship game (as opposed to a two-day turnaround of overtimes, last-minute goals and last-minute flights in the 2010 season), the time is ticking by quickly.
One important event we needed to tie in was our end-of-year banquet. We got the gang together -- owners, staff and team -- to have a little in-house love-fest to thank each other and reflect on all the effort that has been put in to make this a successful franchise.
Danesha Adams got goal of the year, for her game winner against the Flash back in June. Her finish began our ascent from the bottom two and put us in good position to chase Western New York for the title.
Kia McNeill got defender of the year for being a rock in the back and battling the league's most dangerous forwards on a weekly basis (not to mention taking a football hit from Abby Wambach in helping to secure the shutout last week).
But while it's nice to reflect on our successes from the season, coach Paul Riley is never one to let us get caught up in the past. So to end the banquet, Paul called for a dance-off to his personal motivational song: "The Edge of Glory," by Lady Gaga.
He brought up an unsuspecting Estelle Johnson, who has apparently criticized his moves, and hit the music. What happened next was not pretty. Teetering on the edge of the stage and wiggling in what was either a cute or very awkward white-men-have-no-rhythm dance, Paul won the contest without a challenge from Estelle. She might have been too shocked to even put up a fight. In her defense, it would be pretty hard to shake it to that song, but it hurt a little to see Paul's moves positively reinforced.
Regardless, we got the point: We're on the edge of glory ... it's make or break time.
And if we hadn't bonded enough with moments such as those over the course of the season, we'll have one more bus trip to really get to enjoy each other's company.
Will it be three consecutive Harry Potters, as it was on the way to Boston? Or will it be another scary movie like "Orphan"? (Thank God we had roommates, because I don't know whether I could have slept alone.)
Assuming we survive the bus ride up to Rochester, we'll acclimate and take over the place as if it were our own. It might be the land of Marta, Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan, but the Independence have a way of making places feel like home.
So with everything getting settled, final training sessions, last double days, video sessions, media days and team meals, there's just one more thing to do: Make Lady Gaga proud.