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Around the Campfire - November Edition

Stay warm with the Chicago Fire through the long cold winter.

Okay, so I admit it. I have been a little negligent in maintaining my Around the Campfire column over the last few weeks.  I think the abrupt end to the on field 2013 Chicago Fire season sapped me of my  drive to write about the off field comings and goings in the Chicago soccer community. My motivation to participate in off the field activities decayed like the envelope of playoff tickets that rotted in my trash. When I did get my motivation back, I, like most Fire fans, got caught up in the departure of Frank Klopas and the acquisition of Frank Yallop as head coach and Director of Soccer. Even so, my desire to do anything beyond sitting and watching EPL matches on the TV and reading about the Fire was minuscule.

However, it’s time to step back onto the pitch and to start crossing off the days on the calendar through the long winter until the 2014 season begins. Why not have some looks at the many things left to do this winter in the Chicago Fire Soccer community and begin to look at some of the things we have to look forward to in preparation for next season?

Holiday Toy Drive

One charity event that I have a lot of passion for this winter, which I mentioned in a mini Campfire segment last week, is a toy drive that the Chicago Fire Foundation (CFF) is involved with. The CFF is partnering with the Chicago Spurs supporters club and the Atlantic Bar and Grill to help collect toys for impoverished children in the Chicago community. The CFF and Chicago Spurs are asking fan to drop off new and unopened toys to a drop box at the Atlantic Bar and Grill.

If you want to be involved, between now and Saturday December 14 you can drop your toys off at the Atlantic Bar and Grill in the box located next to the bar at 5062 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60652. The Drive's sponsor, the Chicago Spurs, ask that all toys must be new and in their original packaging.

But that’s not all!  There is another wonderful event you can be part of as well. On the evening of Saturday, December 14, the Chicago Fire Foundation will be joining the Chicago Spurs for a holiday party at the Atlantic Bar and Grill. The Atlantic is offering a generous deal to anyone who brings an unopened toy. All those who donate can enjoy $10.00 all-you-can-eat fish and chips!


Supporters’ Player of the Year

Don’t say the fan’s opinions don’t matter. On Saturday November 23rd at AJ Hudson’s Public House on 3801 N Ashland Ave in Chicago, Section 8 Chicago will be hosting an event to select the Supporters’ choice for Chicago Fire player of the year. The event runs from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and should be lots of fun.

Chicago Red Stars

The Chicago Red Stars are gearing up for the 2014 season.  If you want to get involved and watch some quality football, there is still time to get your 2014 season tickets to the Red Stars at the reduced early purchase rate.  Season tickets start at just $99.00. There is less than 2 weeks left to purchase at the reduced rate so get them now.

There is a lot to be excited about with women’s soccer in the Chicago area. The Stars just announced that they acquired the rights to Naperville native, Casey Short, from the Boston Breakers for the 11th overall pick in the draft. Short is a 23 year old defender and was selected as the 5th overall draft pick in the 2013 draft.  It’s always nice to see local talent playing for a local club. I wish Casey Short the best.

I have not yet been out to a Red Stars match, but I hear it is a terrific time. What I run into often is the Red Stars home matches often conflict with Fire home matches. I hope that this season there will be more opportunities to catch a Red Stars match that does not conflict with Fire matches so that Fire fans can have another outlet to feed their obsession and build community.

Heeeeeere’s Sparky

There are a number of opportunities to catch Sparky out in the community in the upcoming weeks.  These events can be great for kids and adults alike and provide an opportunity for the Chicago Fire to engage with the community at large.  Upcoming events include: The Chicago Math and Science Academy, the St Jude "Give Thanks" Walk and the Fox Lake Holiday Parade and Christmas Part. Check out my calendar down below for details

Things to Look Forward to

Its way early to start thinking about it, but one thing that keeps me warm through the cold winter is thinking about the upcoming drafts.  The 2014 MLS SuperDraft will be held on January 16th in Philadelphia.  As things stand now, the Fire will have the 8th and 65th overall picks.  It will be interesting to see how Frank Yallop’s strategy will differ from the former regime's.  I will keep my eyes out for watch parties for interested fans who want to follow the draft.

Upcoming Events Calendar

Sparky @ Chicago Math & Science Academy

Monday, November 18

11:00AM – 12:00PM

Chicago Math and Science Academy – 7212 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60626

Sparky @ St. Jude "Give Thanks" Walk

Saturday, November 23

6:30PM – 8:00PM

Soldier Field - 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, IL

S8C-Supporters’ Player of the Year

Saturday, November 23

6:00PM – 9:30PM

AJ Hudson’s Public House on 3801 N Ashland Ave Chicago, IL

Sparky @ Village of Fox Lake Holiday Parade & Christmas Party

Saturday, November 30

10:00AM – 12:00PM

71 Nippersink Boulevard, Fox Lake, IL

S8C Monthly Board Meeting


December 4


9:00 pm

The Atlantic Bar and Grill 5062 North Lincoln Avenue Chicago, IL