Saturday, June 25, 2011

Action Jackson – The Return to Action

Jack Jewsbury. Josh Wolf. Davy Arnaud. Jimmy Conrad.

One of these things is not like the other!

Yes they have all spent a massive amount of time with the Sporting Wizards KC. I guess Josh Wolf is the only true striker on that list. But that’s not what different.

Of those four veterans who were here for the 2010 season, Davy Arnaud alone remained to see the new stadium open. Josh Wolf is off with DC and the land of divers, Jimmy Conrad to Chivas and the horrible world of concussions, and Jack Jewsbury, well he’s not missing being part of Sporting KC anymore.


A lot of Sporting KC long timers almost made it to the new stadium and sparkling new locker room. They had spent years being the face of the team. Playing in shit stadiums on teams good (2004’s Western Conference Finals and Open Cup Champions) and on not so good and plain rotten teams.

When OnGoal purchased the team, things finally started to look up. In the two years building up to the opening of the stadium and the 2011 season, the veteran players were asked over and over again to describe the miserable past they had been through and the bright optimistic future that await them and their club in the coming years.

“I can’t believe we are finally going to have a place to call home.”

“The stadium is going to be world class”

But for a few veterans, all they’d have to do with the new stadium and team name was promote it. They pimped it like crazy, participated in interviews, panels, autograph signing, ground breakings, and the ownership even paraded Jimmy Conrad out on stage for the big name change announcement while at the same time refusing to discuss his contract.


Jack Jewsbury is one of those veterans. Drafted 43rd in 2003, he struggled for playing time before quickly establishing himself as a fan favorite by 2004. For eight years he played for Kansas City, endlessly running the pitch, bruising attackers and midfielders alike, and scoring great goals.

In 2010, Action Jackson lost his starting spot. The upstart, Craig Rocastle, took over and relegated Jackson to a minor but important role as a regular substitute. It was clear Vermes was done using Jackson as a star.

While his playing time dwindled, he fought to regain his position, and settled into the unspectacular role as a permanent substitute by the end of the 2010 season.
Even among his faithful, the fans started to lose faith after the long slow lull of losses in the middle of the season. Sporting KC was sinking fast and Jackson was on the chopping block.
Jackson has yet to step through the doors of the new stadium. He never made it to the Sporting’s 2011 preseason in Arizona. Vermes decided to ship Jackson to Portland for allocation money (which to me always feels like a little bit of a slap in the face).

But for Jackson, while the clichéd door was slamming shut on his career with Kansas City, a giant window of opportunity was opening. Jackson stepped out of a team struggling to find its own identity to one who had found theirs years ago.

Immediately recognized for his leadership abilities, Jackson began captaining Portland from the moment he stepped off the plane, retook his rightful place on the pitch as a starter, and quickly proceeded to hoist massive log slices in the air.

Jackson now leads the teams in goals, assists, has started every game, and has already made himself loved by the fans.

He couldn’t have got a better deal. And I couldn’t be happier for him. I just hope the Portland fans pick up the “Action Jackson” chant where the Sporting KC fans left off.


Wow it feels weird to write an article for duNord again! First there was one vacation, and then Wakarusa, then work catch up, and then all sorts of wonderful tailgating activities, and now as my writer’s brain began to crust over from writing about security at my day job I couldn’t be happier to have shit out a little article about Action Jackson. I’m ready to roll.

Here’s two artist’s I’ve been loving recently. Best of all, the Pretty Lights Label releases every one of their artist’s albums for free online.

Michal Menert

Paper Diamonds



Anonymous Ben said...

Great article. Interesting about Conrad at the name change announcement.

The "shit stadiums" are actually lovely stadiums, just not shaped or sized right for MLS. But it is not like they were in sweatshops. I think constantly losing the last couple years would be harder on the soul than an imperfect ballpark.

Conrad and Wolff were not performing at their salary levels, and they couldn't be offered less money. Jackson was OK, but when the team plays awful for two years, you have to make major changes. I've been psyched to hear about him kicking ass in Portland.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We really love our Captain Jack. Hoping his success leads to the Timbers picking up some more true veterans that still have lots of spirit and desire.

Thanks for the read.


1:31 PM  
Blogger Graham said...

Thanks Ben and you're welcome Ninj!

10:11 PM  

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