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Cockroaches And Communism , 22nd July 2011 - 22:28

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I heard this morning that the heat-wave currently affecting the east coast of the USA has even made the television news back in England.

This morning at training the temperature hit three-figures and we've been warned that it's likely to be that way tomorrow when the game kicks off.

But the discomfort of being far too hot was put firmly into perspective this afternoon when I joined Sharpy, Jack, Conor, Ross and Billy on a hospital visit.

Some of the kids in the Nation's Children's Hospital here in Washington are in a bad way and it was humbling to meet them and their families. We were giving out free books and chatting to the young patients and it made us feel a bit guilty for grumbling about the fierce sunshine.

It was really nice to be able to put smiles on faces and there are few more rewarding things to do than accompany players to a children's hospital.

Last night we had another supporters ‘meet and greet' event. Ossie, Seamus and Phil Neville joined Sharpy and me at the Black Finn bar but the scheduled ‘Q & A' session was abandoned when it became clear that the sound system was nowhere near good enough.

I think the bar had borrowed the equipment from Toys R Us and although it was fine within a radius of ten yards, it wasn't much use beyond that.

Still, the supporters thoroughly enjoyed meeting the lads and getting their photographs and autographs.

In fact, so much have the attendees enjoyed our open training sessions and meet and greets, that we came across this rewarding testimonial:

"Passion like that is at its best when it is reciprocated, which brings me to my favourite part about the experience of watching Everton train. After the short session, most of the players came over to chat with us and sign various bits of memorabilia, which I suppose is expected of professionals in this situation. It was clear, however, that the players weren't just going through the motions. There was a look of genuine enjoyment about them, especially when they saw the supporters from back home. Phil Neville got a huge kick out of the "show us your stepover" banner. Being a part of such a close fan-player interaction was a massive thrill. Cahill has been talking a lot recently about team spirit and I'm starting to believe him." 

After the event we went for traditional USA steak dinner.  It was a lovely evening but it didn't get off to the best of starts when one of our guests from our main partner, Chang, spotted a cockroach ambling across the dining area floor.

A startled member of staff gave chase but the insect gave him the slip and he was extremely apologetic! Things improved considerably from then on. The food was excellent but as with most meals in USA restaurants I left the place feeling that I probably wouldn't need to eat again until we get back to England.

My following morning stroll was interrupted by a camera crew from Eyewitness News. They were near to the White House and stopped me in my tracks to quiz me on camera about the state of the US economy.

I was sorely tempted to suggest that they should sack the entire government and consider communism as a way forward but it was far too warm and so I politely declined the request to be interviewed.

The 10am training session was open to some Evertonians and although it was very hot, the fans enjoyed themselves...particularly the three women from back home who got really over-heated during the post-training autograph session when Sylvain Distin whipped his top off to pass it to someone in the crowd!

I could sense their disappointment and offered them my own t-shirt. They declined but I could tell they were touched by my offer because they were laughing loudly as they turned and walked away.

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Jeanette CheyneWish I had thought to ask for Sylvain's shirt!!!!! But thanks for the photo's of Sylvain. We did the Rocky steps as well. You were right about the taxi drivers they didn't have a clue where the PPL stadium was after a big discussion amongst themselves one of them decided to take us but still drove passed the stadium until we told him to stop, At the stadium we went "tailgating" with some American friends who looked after us well. We enjoyed the training day and later on went to see some live American rock and Country rock bands at the 9.30 club it was great. Overall had a great time in USA. Want to go back again. Your shirt ha ha ha ha still laughing! Thanks again One of the women from back home.

Saturday 30th July 00:47 Report Comment


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