As a part of my internship with the New York Cosmos, one event I have been heavily involved with has been a tournament called ‘Cosmos Copa.’ Cosmos Copa, or Copa for short, is a grass-roots tournament for locally based national teams that the Cosmos host every summer.
For two of the past four weekends, I have been working long hours at this tournament, mainly on Randall’s Island. I have had to arrive at the fields to set up by around 7 or 8 each morning and do not get finished until around 4 or 5.
Almost as hot as the sun beating down on us each day is the passion displayed by the players and fans of the different countries in attendance. This fire is definitely my favorite aspect of the tournament, mainly because there is a full-time security staff on hand at all times; when a fight breaks out, I have been told not to interfere, which is fine by me. There have been multiple players sent to the hospital this year; some caught a high spike to the ankle, others a flying fist to the face. When it comes to national pride, people certainly hold nothing back. There are players of all skill levels participating, including a couple current and former Olympique Marseille players, a former Spanish national team striker and the younger brother of Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso to name a few.
Aside from enjoying watching the action, I have been able to learn many valuable skills about how to help organize an event of this magnitude. As one of the few staff members involved, I have a multitude of responsibilities, ranging from keeping stats and refilling water to organizing the teams and communicating with the referees. It has been a great learning experience for me, as I have put so much effort into it. It was great to see the final product turn out so well. My internship has been a great experience for me this summer, and it has kept me extremely busy.
When I haven’t been occupied by the Cosmos, MSBA has had a jam-packed schedule, with events nearly every night in the second half of the program thus far. Just this past Monday, we got to hear from Dana Fabrikant, VP of Corporate Development with the NJ Devils, and Tammy Ross, the VP of HBO Sports. Not only was it great to hear from two fascinating speakers in the same night, but also both were very relevant for me personally. As a New Jersey native and long-time Devils fan, it was a real pleasure to hear from someone so high up in the organization. The Prudential Center is one of my favorite places to watch a sporting event, and I have attended many Devils games at the beautiful arena. Dana was a key figure in the arena’s maturity, as she was instrumental in the naming rights deal. Hearing how she got to where she is was nothing short of incredible.
One of the reasons why I want to get into the world of sports is that I love being behind the scenes. When it comes to feeling this through a television, no one does it better than HBO Sports. One thing that Tammy explained to us was what separates HBO Sports from other similar programming. Hard Knocks and 24/7 are two of my favorite shows and I was able to learn a lot from her about why the network makes some of the decisions that it does. Both of these speakers went to show how hard work pays off and it was intriguing to hear about their journeys.
With the program already winding down, my MSBA classmates and I are looking to make the most of the time we have left. Looking at the schedule we have ahead of us, I am sure that the final two weeks will be as good as any we have had here. Hard to believe, but there are only a handful of days remaining for me in the best city on Earth, and in the best summer of my life.