MAINZ, Germany - Chances are, no other 21st Theater Sustainment Command Soldier had his nose powdered by a make-up artist before participating in a live broadcast at the German television station SWR Fernsehen, here. Sgt. Juan Carlos Mogollon, the PLL non-commissioned officer in charge at the 21st TSC motor pool did - twice.
When a team from SWR's regional newscast the Landeschau looked for American soccer players to kick against British players, Mogollon volunteered.
Mogollon, a soccer player from Colorado Springs, Colo., and his British opponents competed the night their national teams played in the World Cup in South Africa.
However, in lieu of a soccer match there was the type of precision shooting contest most Europeans are familiar with from live sportscasts. Each contestant has a pre-determined number of attempts to kick the ball through a round opening in the lower right and in the upper left of a goal-shaped wall.
A complete novelty for Mogollon who, additionally, was stunned by the large crowd gathered to watch the live broadcast at the Rheinpfalz state fair in Neustadt.
"I looked around and thought, 'this is huge. What am I doing here''
And, then the rehearsal, it was all, 'stand here, move there, look in this direction' - I felt a like a puppet. But, when they counted down to the show's signature music, I felt okay," he said.
In addition to feeling okay, he did okay as well and became a finalist.
"What was really great is that everyone on and in front of the stage clapped and cheered whenever I had the ball. They cheered for the Americans, not the British. The whole thing was a wonderful experience for me," Mogollon said.
When the invitation to participate in the finals came, Mogollon did not hesitate. Accompanied by his friend, Sgt. Alexander Torres, a battle NCO with the 21st TSC, he spent a hot afternoon at the station's studio in Mainz.
The Soldiers received the VIP treatment with the show's host, Martin Seidler, taking the time to sit down at their table and speak with them. Then, when an assistant showed the three finalists through the studio's facilities the tour was conducted in English.
"I've never been to a television studio or a live broadcast. This was great - I even got a free vuvuzela," said Torres (a vuvuzela is a type of noisemaker used extensively by audiences at the World Cup in South Africa).
"It was a once in a lifetime experience. I was on TV, I had a wonderful time," Mogollon agreed.
While Mogollon did not win the finals, he did not have any regrets either, but enjoyed the entire experience, he said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16