I've always been a planner.
When I know that I'm going to miss a Sporting KC game, I figure out a way to watch it. I find a local soccer bar or a TV that I know will air the match, and I plan to be there.
That's a little hard when you're in Peru, or more specifically, in the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. Which, of course, was my seat for the 2012 US Open Cup Final.
As usual, I had a strategy. One of my friends was going to text updates to my dad, the only member of my family with an international cell phone plan. I would know what was going on, which was the next-best thing to actually watching the game. It would have worked perfectly, if not for the 41 minute rain delay. Instead, I got on a six hour international flight at halftime, and missed the second half and ensuing extra time and penalties.
Fast forward to 2015, where I found myself once again in a foreign country during the Open Cup Final. This semester, I am studying abroad in Athens, Greece. I found a stream of the match and set up in the kitchen of my apartment at 2:00 AM to watch Sporting KC play the Philadelphia Union.
I was struggling to stay awake through the first half and reconsidering whether my decision to pull an all-nighter was a smart one with a class just a few hours later, when Sebastian LeToux scored in the 23rd minute. Sporting KC had a few good chances at goal, but overall the Union seemed to be the better team.
At halftime, I shut my computer and went to sleep. Cue the thank-yous from all of you.
It was the second US Open Cup final that I've been out of the country for, the second one I've had to abandon at halftime, and the second one that the team has won since I've been a fan.
Now, we know the secret. If Sporting Kansas City makes a US Open Cup Final, I'll be planning a last-minute trip across the sea so I can miss the second half of the game.
Call it a superstition, call it crazy, but you can't say that it hasn't served us well so far. As for me, I'll call it my new plan.