Reminiscing about Jeff Cunningham

Jeff Cunningham is in town this weekend as a member of FC Dallas. His imminent arrival in such a critical match against Real Salt Lake got me thinking about all of the many Jeff Cunningham-isms and antics during his year and a half in Utah.

Some things that really stand out to me are:

He could be a big ball hog, especially if his other option was to pass to Jason Kreis, but he demonstrated a tremendous amount of character off the field when he said he was willing to take a pay cut to ensure that Andy Williams could stay with the team. The proposal was ultimately turned down by the league, and eventually became a moot point when Scott Garlick retired, but not many people in professional sports are willing to renegotiate their contracts to help out a teammate.

Who can ever forget when he went over and kissed his own banner after scoring a goal, it was classic Jeff Cunningham.

For all the goals he scored, it’s the one that he didn’t score that I’ll never forget. Standing three yards from the goal mouth, he whiffed on a cross from Chris Klein. Realistically all he had to do was stand there and it probably would’ve bounded off his shins and into the goal. During his post game interviews with reporters, Cunningham blamed the cross saying it was kicked too hard. It was the dumbest excuse I have ever heard in professional sports.

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