To the Editor:
On my way home from church early Sunday afternoon, I noticed a soccer game in progress on the newly constructed Jefferson-Houston playing field, so I went across the street to watch Cal-Berkeley play Yale. Figuring the Yale players would first-off want to know where I got my degree and, it being a second-tier university, wouldn’t let me sit with them, I made a strategic decision to sit w/ Cal-Berkeley. Luckily, the player sitting next to me has a grandfather who taught at my alma mater while I was a student there.
Yale’s goalkeeper is this massive young man whose size reminded me of legendary MLS goalkeeper Zack Thornton. Yale beat Cal-Berkeley 5-2. Members of both teams, when they found out I live nearby, commended the quality of the new artificial turf field, which their league http://dcalum.org/Sport.aspx?id=5&m=779 had reserved for Sunday afternoons for their entire season. But, they explained, they had had to find alternative venues ‘til a few weeks ago because the field was not yet ready.
Next on was U Michigan versus Virginia Tech. One of the U-Berkeley players who lingered pointed out his high school friend playing for Virginia Tech who had a few years playing professional soccer in Europe. I left at half-time, after insisting U Michigan descend en masse on a U Michigan house across the street.
As far as I know, the neighborhood had not been formally informed that the field was now open, even though their league had reserved it several months ago before it was even completed. Nevertheless, it is heartening to know that users of this caliber so highly regard this facility. When we citizen-taxpayers bellyache about how much the Jefferson-Houston project cost, one key question is whether we got our money’s worth. While the ultimate test is whether our $44-million unaccredited school makes adequate yearly progress and is accredited, I’m inclined to think that, certainly as regards the recreation field, we did.