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Examiner
  • Althaus: Romantic Alvarez pops proposal with elaborate ruse

  • Byron Alvarez isn’t just the most prolific player in the Major Indoor Soccer League, the Missouri Comets forward is also the most romantic.

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  • Byron Alvarez isn’t just the most prolific player in the Major Indoor Soccer League, the Missouri Comets forward is also the most romantic.
    At last Saturday’s 19-9 victory over the Norfolk SharX, the league’s reigning scoring champion and MVP took part in an elaborate marriage proposal that was witnessed by all the fans inside the Independence Events Center.
    “I had been working on it about a month and was able to pull it off,” said a grinning Alvarez, who proposed to girlfriend, Jennifer Ford, at halftime.
    In an elaborate ruse, Comets account executive Cydney Potter asked Ford to be a last-minute replacement in a halftime game that involves a contestant being blindfolded at midfield.
    With the help of the fans clapping, the contestant walks around the field trying to find a gift package.    
    “It’s like the old hot-cold game,” Potter explained, “and Jennifer was excited to do it.”
    Instead of finding a gift package at the end of the game, she found Alvarez – sporting a “MARRY ME JENNI” T-shirt – kneeling behind the team mascot.
    Her gift was an engagement ring.
    “I couldn’t believe it,” said Ford, a Lee’s Summit resident who was visiting with friends and family members after the game. “I had no idea what was going on. Cyd came up to me and said some fans had backed out of the contest and wanted to know if I’d take part it in, and I said, ‘Sure.’
    “Then, I’m blindfolded, the fans are cheering me on, and they take the blindfold off, there’s Byron.
    “I was in total shock. It was the most amazing moment of my life. I’ll never forget it.”
    Alvarez made sure that all of Ford’s family members were on hand for the big moment.
    “He wanted me to ask all my family members to the game, and I did,” Ford said, “because it was a great time for all of them to be around because of the holiday weekend. It just couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.”
    There was just one little hitch that worked its way out thanks to the Comets’ second-half offensive explosion.
    “I didn’t tell Coach what I was going to be doing at halftime,” Alvarez admitted. “I knew I would be a little bit late to the locker room (at halftime), but I thought we would have a big lead and it wouldn’t be a problem.”
    Oops.
    The underdog SharX were making life tough for the Comets as the halftime score was 7-7.
    “I knew that Coach wouldn’t be happy, so I went out and proposed to Jenni and came back and told him I had to do an interview,” Alvarez said. “I knew I’d better play a great second half and that we better win that game.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Both tasks were accomplished as he scored his second goal of the night and the Comets outscored the visitors 12-2.
    “The fans loved it,” said Comets director of sales and marketing Jeff Husted, who gave me a heads up before the proposal. “That’s just Byron. This was going to be one of the most special moments of his life, and he wanted to share it with our fans.”
    After kissing Ford, Alvarez hot-tailed it back to the dressing room to a thunderous standing ovation.
    “I’m still kind of in shock,” Ford said. “I’m going to have a great story to tell all my friends who weren’t here today.”
    I’ve been covering sports events for more than three decades and it was one of those moments that make you smile. I never thought that the most colorful player in the MISL would actually do something at the Events Center that topped his brilliance on the field, but with that proposal, he outdid himself.
    I just wonder how many female fans in attendance turned to their husbands or boyfriends and gave them a why-don’t-you-ever-do-anything-like-that-for-me stare.
    But then again, there is only one Byron Alvarez and the Comets and Jenni Ford are thrilled that he is part of the hometown team.

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