VMS Spirit Week spotlight: Me
I’ve been doing spotlight features for about seven years now, and well, I felt it was about time to put myself in the spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of questions in my tenure at the Daily, why not answer some? And, who better to do the questioning than Vail Mountain soccer coach Bob Bandoni. Along with his counterpart at Battle Mountain, David Cope, I’ve likely interviewed Bandoni the most. So, we sat down at The Bob recently and I handed the tape recorder over to Bandon. Here’s what follows:Bandoni: First question. Don’t let me down. What’s your favorite East Coast city?: Freud: “It’s a tie. Boston and New York.”BB: Most inspirational sports journalist?: CF: “For me, it was Tim Kewon of the San Francisco Chronicle. He now works for ESPN The Magazine. Tim Kewon was the (San Francisco) Giants beat writer in the late 1980s when I was in high school. I would go a game and I’d write my lead to the story and try and match it up (with the Chronicle lead). And, Tim Kewon was really good. Baseball’s a long season and you have to be fresh. Tim was really good at that.”BB: I can identify with that being interviewed during a 14-game soccer season. What’s the most important message for parents that you have gleaned from your years on reporting on youth sports?: CF: “I think it’s just perspective. I know parents adore their children. They want their children to do well. They’re thrilled when their kids have successes. Just keep it in perspective and remember that the Vail Valley has only produced one NFL player in Jeff Campbell and even only a few World Cup skiers. They may be skilled on the high school level, but you have to remember that not everyone’s going to the NHL, Major League Baseball and so on. You should take out of team sports the values of sportsmanship, teamwork and building friendships.”BB: If you could have covered one sports event in the past 50 years, what would it have been?:CF: “Ooh, just over the 50th mark.”BB: “Yeah, I did that intentionally.”
CF: “Game 3 of the 1951 NL Playoff would be it. (The Shot Heard Round the World). On a personal note, just so I could say I saw it, probably the 1954 World Series and Willie Mays’ catch. (Editor’s note: That was the last time the Giants won the Series). I’ll give you the 1975 Series, Game 6 with Carlton Fisk.”BB: Thank you.CF: “And of course, one day I would dearly love to cover the Giants winning the World Series. The day of glory will someday be upon us.”BB: Top three local youth sports events you have covered?:CF: “Oh, that’s tough. I certainly have to say the CA game in 2000 (when VMS soccer beat No. 1-ranked Colorado Academy in the state quarterfinals). I would have to say the Battle Mountain-Vail Mountain game right here when you pulled the goalie (in 1999. Battle Mountain won in OT to go to the state playoffs). Last year’s 8-man football game – Genoa-Hugo vs. Vail Christian. The Saints won, 64-52. I’m going to make it five because I have to include Battle Mountain-Steamboat soccer, the 2-0 win last year and the 6-0 win last month.”BB: What is your fantasy sports journalist assignment?:CF: “My fantasy sports journalist assignment is being Glen Dickey at the San Francisco Chronicle. I would be a major metro columnist. I’d just call my shots and write a column on what I want to. What’s wrong with the 49ers? Bravo Barry Bonds, that sort of thing.”BB: A quick one. Who wins the World Series?CF: “It’s going to be the Red Sox against the Giants or the Cardinals and I think the Red Sox are going to win it.”BB: Thank you. When we travel to the fine city of San Francisco, where should we dine and what should we order?:CF: “I take two approaches to San Francisco eating. You can do the fine dining route or the locals’ rout. One of my favorite restaurant is the Zuni Cafe on Market Street. It’s a nice French bistro. They serve a drink and have a great wine list. They have this monkfish dish I had last time which is just amazing. I also like going to find the holes in the wall. One of the great places to go is the Sunset district right around Ninth Avenue. It is a cultural melting pot of food.”BB: Favorite novel?:
CF: “Two of them. James Michener’s ‘Chesapeake.’ He doesn’t get too geologic on us in this one. It’s a fantastic saga of six families going back to the days of the Native Americans. And, ‘Pillars of the Earth.’ I love the historical drama.”BB: Favorite music?:CF: “I am a classical music junkie. It depends what mood you catch me in. Like last night, I was listening to Rachmaninoff’s Second and Third Piano Concertos and Shostakovich’s Fifth. If you had to pin me down to one work, it would probably be Beethoven’s Seventh. I’m one up on you.” (Editor’s note: Bandoni’s favorite is Beethoven’s sixth.)BB: Here we go. The name Freud conjures up multiple images – perceptions and I must say sources of great, albeit sometimes inappropriate humor. Is there any relationship with the famous Sigmund.CF: “Yes, he is my great-great-great uncle.”BB: Tell us, has your family made any effort to unearth that lineage?CF: “Well, my mom has a slip that had Sigmund’s picture on it and I wore that slip for Halloween in high school, so I was a Freudian slip. But, there was no push, per se, for me to go into psychology.”BB: Do you have any artifacts?:CF: “I’m not sure. The Freuds had to get out of Austria and Hungary in a hurry in the late 1930s. I’ve never been to Vienna. I did dress up as Sigmund for Halloween one time. I looked like a dead ringer for him. It should be noted that I flunked Psych 101 twice in college.”BB: Recently, I fielded some criticism for my use, perhaps, overuse, of comedic license when speaking with the press. You may remember it was my rural-urban parody in reference to our trip to Paonia. While you and I enjoyed it, some folks questioned its propriety. How important is humor in your life and what role does it play in your work. And the last one is what intended humor do you wish you could take back?CF: “Let’s start with Paonia. Take a joke, people. It was funny. “How important is humor in my life and my work? Well, it’s absolutely vital. I grew up with a sense of humor. My father has a great sense of humor. He can do impressions of about everybody. It’s in my life. It’s a critical part of my life and it translates into my writing. If you can’t laugh at yourself or with what happens, what are you doing? The whole point of this interview is that we’re making fun of me. You have to have a sense of humor in life, and a sense of humor in writing really catches people.
“People who read the writing I do for VMS or Vail Christian, there are little throw-ins that would maybe not happen in the New York Times, but they connect with the reader. I’ll say when I’m covering Vail Christian, ‘Allez les Bleus,’ just as a little throw-in for Linda Isbell, and everyone gets a chuckle out of it. The same thing here and with Cope, where we joke. I know what you’re going to say. I know what Cope’s going to say and we have fun with it. ‘A hat trick at any level is a tremendous accomplishment.’ Cope says this all the time. You say, ‘It is what it is.’ We make fun of synergy. It just adds spice to the writing.”As for the humor I might wanted to have taken back – it’s not Paonia – was the year Ken Bielski coached Battle Mountain hockey. It was a laugh riot from the very beginning, but I don’t think it helped him keep his job. Let’s put it this way, Ken was a delight to cover. You just put the tape recorder in his face and go. That was cool, but I should have curtailed it a little bit. I think I left him out hanging a little too much.”BB: How much time do you spend watching sports on TV?:CF: “A very unhealthy amount. I have the dish, so I get the baseball package, the football package, the hockey package and I also get The Golf Channel, which is essential viewing.”BB: What newspaper do you read most often other than the Vail Daily?:CF: “The New York Times. I’m a religious reader. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be able to finish the Sunday crossword puzzle.”BB: If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?:CF: “Eucalyptus”BB: If you were ruler of the world for one day, what would you do?:CF: “Most people say world peace. I’m going to be very selfish here. I’m going to own the San Francisco Giants and run them from my own Caribbean Island, which has eight or nine golf courses. The house has a walk-in cigar humidor and a wine cellar, pool, hot tub, you name it.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.