Paul Peschisolido in 1997.
When players I’ve covered over the years earn major awards, I don’t think about the stats they’ve accumulated over the courses of their careers. I think about the moments I remember the most vividly, the marks that these athletes made on my brain. It’s what makes sport so special, the connection between athlete and spectator.
And in the end, that’s what we in the sports journalism business are — spectators, albeit spectators who bring laptops to the games.
In the cases of Janine Helland, Jason DeVos and Paul Peschisolido, they were all part of moments that remain fresh in my mind. All three were named as inductees into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame on Friday.
In the case of Helland, the bio tells us that the University of Alberta grad played for Canada in two World Cups — in 1995 and 1999, and was twice considered for the Female Player of the Year award. But I remember a lot of chilly spring afternoons in 2004, talking with Helland after Aviators’ practices. She was the team’s head coach, and the team was an extension of the optimism about women’s soccer in Alberta after Edmonton nearly sold out Commonwealth Stadium for the 2002 U-19 final.
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