Tucson has had terrible luck with professional sports, for some reason. It's not a question of whether there are sports fans here—there are—but nonetheless, there's a long list of teams that once made their home here that either dissolved or moved on.
Spring training baseball. A series of minor league hockey teams. A proposed minor league arena-football franchise that shuttered before playing an actual game. (If you've actually tried to watch an arena football match in person, you probably weren't too heartbroken over that missed opportunity.)
Considering Tucson's rough sports history, you have to admire the spirit of the founders of FC Tucson, an independent soccer team that is kicking off this weekend with two nights of games at Hi Corbett Field, including exhibitions featuring two Major League Soccer teams. Whether FC Tucson will succeed in the long term is hard to say, but they're definitely opening on a big scale with the games on Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5, with several world-class soccer players on the pitch, including former Arsenal goal scorer Thierry Henry, and dastardly Mexican defender Rafael Marquez playing for the Red Bulls.
Soccer often appeals to a demographic of nerds on the Internet like myself, but the online buzz for FC Tucson has been sort of minimal, with FC Tucson having fewer than 450 Facebook "likes" as I write this.
While it is fun to whine about sports opportunities lost, these games could be the beginning of some sort of pro-soccer tradition here in town. Try to make it to a game.
THE WEEK ON THE RANGE
We brought you reaction to the news that Mayor Bob Walkup would not be seeking a fourth term; told you that Shawna Forde was sentenced to death after being convicted of two counts of murder in an Arivaca home invasion; celebrated a new effort to allow Pima County to break away from the rest of the state; linked to a GQ article that provided an oral history of Tucson's Jan. 8 shootings; shared a Rolling Stone story about the U.S. Army's use of mind control on U.S. senators; and warned you that congressional Republicans wanted to cut Border Patrol agents and PBS, among other budget targets.
We let you know that downtown's Scott and Co. was doing a bit of remodeling, including a patio expansion; showed you Plush's own remodeling; suggested you check out the new Mother Hubbard's; and let you know that the new Onyx Room will be serving "a nice, down-home Southern menu—ribs, barbecued chicken, fried chicken, catfish, shrimp, smothered pork chops, beef brisket, mashed potatoes, gravy, rice and gravy, collard greens, fried okra, black-eyed peas." Yum!
We gave away tickets to Drive Angry; brought you photos from the Tucson Rodeo parade; brought you a slideshow of photos featuring Cochise County's Miracle Valley, courtesy of Josh Morgan; shared a multimedia presentation about the lives of immigrants in Staten Island; previewed the Oscars; posted video of a cat struggling with a box; suggested some great TV; noted that Donald Rumsfeld refused to say whether he was a lizard from space; brought you photos from Mars; and stumbled across the worst song that TW web producer Dan Gibson has ever heard.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"Is the AZ Legislature eating paint chips?"
—Robert Reynolds, via Facebook, commenting on the news that state Sen. Al Melvin wants to eliminate AHCCCS ("Al Melvin's Plan to End AHCCCS Would Devastate Economy, Destroy Jobs and Drive Away Doctors," The Range, Feb. 23).
BEST OF WWW
If you care about food at all, Ramiro Scavo is one of those Tucson chefs you have to be interested in. There have been a number of exciting new restaurants opening lately, and Scavo's Pasco Kitchen and Lounge is among the most buzzed about. He's trying to make the menu as local as possible, including veggies from a proposed rooftop garden. This week at Tucson Weekly TV, we take a look inside the restaurant to get an idea of what Scavo has in mind.
Also, we went to one of FC Tucson's practices before the Desert Cup to talk to the coaches and see the talent on the field.