Finally, we've come to the end of my rather lengthy interview with former Seattle Sounders play-by-play voice Arlo White. In the first two parts, he dealt with some of the big picture stuff both about his time here and what led to his departure. In the final installment of the interview, many of the questions were generated by our readers.
Among the more notable comments he makes is a bold prediction about the Sounders' chances of winning a MLS Cup. In fact, he says with complete confidence that they'll do it in the next two or three years.
Among the other topics he touches on are a certain in-game advertisement, Kasey Keller's fitness for the broadcast booth and his most regrettable on-air moment. But first, I wanted to find out what his favorite Sounders memory will be. He actually listed eight.
Question: Favorite Sounders moment?
Arlo: I'll give you a quick five:
Mike Fucito's winner against Kansas City early in 2010. The season hadn't started spectacularly well and he came off the bench to score that one in stoppage time. I thought that was my first big moment as a Sounders broadcaster. I like to think I did it well and was just delighted for Mike and the fans and came off air buzzing after that moment.
Fredy Montero's late winner against the Chicago Fire on Aug. 28 from the (Nate) Sturgis cross for the 2-1 victory.
The U.S. Open final against Columbus was just off the scale in terms of quality and tension.
Portland away, the 3-2 victory. I really enjoyed the home game and the tifo display was one of the most astonishing things I've ever seen, but in terms of the game, it was a squib in the rain. Walking along the gangplank outside of the broadcast booths in Portland above the Sounders fans to get myself a coffee and seeing everyone look up and sing "There's only one Arlo White." I think I went bright red and managed some sort of half wave trying to be humble about it. I was just bursting with pride on the inside. Then what happened with the game, national TV, national cameras, everyone was beaming. The drive back was fantastic.
Jeff Parke's winning goal in injury time. I think I said it was his first goal of the Obama Administration, which was true.
Just a couple more: The two goals in Kansas City were magnificent. Then the U.S. Open Cup final again where my brother was visiting. I made sure he came over so that he could see two games: the U.S. Open final and the Philadelphia game. To see him on the field with a big grin on his face at the end of the game, the cup was there, he was introduced to Drew Carey, he touched the cup, he saw it awarded. he looked at me and just said "This is unbelievable mate." My brother is my best pal and to have him experience what I had been experiencing for two years was absolutely amazing. And if you'll add to that there was a day late in the season where I signed a garden gnome and a car on the same day. I don't think that will ever happen again.
Q: If you had one call to do over again, what would it be?
A: I don't necessarily want to highlight the mistake of a former captain of the club, but I really didn't think that had gone in against Real Satl Lake. I was taken completely by surprise when to my horror the referee had pointed to the center spot and the Sounders had conceded a goal. It was an optical illusion, I thought the ball had gone into the side netting. I was just horrified because it was a key moment in the game and I had just messed it up. I've watched it back once and I can't watch it again. I'm just mortified by it.
Q: What are the chances you'll be able to squeeze a "Ri-DQ-lous" into a broadcast?
A: I'm not entirely sure who the the NBC corporate partner will be for their soccer coverage, so it remains to be seen whether Dairy Queen will do one. Maybe the days of me saying "Ri-DQ-lous" are gone. We'll have to see what they do with their corporate partners.
Q: Do you have a secret identical twin?
A: Sadly not, but I do have a few former colleagues that I rate very highly and I'm very close with my former colleagues and the man who brought me over to the Sounders, Brian O'Connell, he's a real visionary. He took a punt on me and had to convince the front office to go for a Brit in that circumstance. I've put a couple names his way. I'm not really going to bat for anyone, I just provided a couple names and the Sounders will do their due diligence.
Q: Do you know if there will be a color guy with you on NBC?
A: I don't know at this stage. They are in the early stages of putting a team together. We haven't got that far in conversations. At this point I don't know, but now that it's announced, I'm sure we'll start talking about that.
My broadcasting career before the Sounders was always with a color guy. Whenever I was announcing, there was someone alongside me. I got comfortable with that. In Seattle, it was a lone booth and I had to adapt, but actually enjoyed it more than I thought I was going to. In the end, I would say that I could operate equally effectively in either situation. Whoever they get, they are NBC so they will get someone with impeccable soccer credentials, but I would be equally happy either way. I'm sure they will take some input from me along the way.
Q: How do you think Kasey Keller would be as a color commentator for the Sounders?
A: Who could provide more knowledge about the sport of soccer and the experience of being a national team player and what it means to be a Sounder than Kasey Keller. It remains unclear how the team is going to use Kasey, but I'm sure they are going to. His wealth of knowledge I'm sure will be used effectively, in whatever role he takes.
Kasey would be an outstanding broadcaster. He'll be outstanding in whatever he chooses to do. He's an intelligent guy, who's a very effective communicator and a very lucid thinker. He's not short of an opinion or two. You put all those ingredients into the pot and you come up with a very good sports broadcaster.
Q: Anything you wish you'd have seen while you were here?
A: The only thing, really, is the ultimate prize, the MLS Cup. We had a really good shot at it this year. We needed a little bit of fortune in the postseason and it didn't arrive. Mauro's injury was always going to make it a lot more difficult. Having battled on so many fronts for so long for a second consecutive season was just a bridge too far.
That's not really a disappointment or regret. It was nice for that to have happened. But the expectation for that to happen in the first three years of the franchise was reaching a little bit. It will happen. If not next year, then certainly in the next two or three years and my successor is going to call that game. That call will live on throughout Sounders history as the defining moment so far. I wish whoever it is well with that.
The people will never be able to erase the second and third U.S. Open Cup wins, which were a complete pleasure to do. Hopefully I'll be remembered as part of the family. I doubt I'll be airbrushed out of history because I was here for some great moments.
This was Part 3 of our interview with Arlo White. For parts 1 and 2, please click on those links.