It’s safe to say many Galaxy fans won’t be sorry to see Pete Vagenas – often derided as “Pass-back Pete” – leave for Seattle.
But journalists will.
Because Vagenas was coherent, articulate and often funny. Not many athletes are. And that’s journalistic gold when you’re on a deadline.
He’s definitely a member of my all-quote team.
The departure of Vagenas breaks the last tie with the Sigi Schmid era of players who were smart, chatty and downright fun to talk to.
Chris Albright? Gone. Kevin Hartman? Ditto. Tyrone Marshall. Done.
Those were players journalists flocked around when they held court in front of their locker after a game. They had something to say and a way of saying it.
Edson Buddle is a nice guy, but he is terminally shy and downplays his achievements. Nobody wants another “I just stuck my leg out and got lucky” quote.
Landon Donovan (apparently all but gone from these parts) is valued by the press precisely for his openness. He takes his sweet time emerging to talk after a game (that’s fine, he’s doing the things he needs to do as a top class athlete such as dipping in a whirlpool and getting a massage), but when he does he’ll talk until you have no more questions.
I can’t count the times an interview has ended with a flock of journalists looking at each other going “got anything else?”
So Pete’s gone. Seattle-area journalists don’t know how good they have it.
Message to Chris Klein: do not leave.
Or we’ll have no-one to talk to.