In the Presence of Greatness

So here's how it happened:

I was just doing a little surfing around and I came across a post at something called ARSENAL AMERICA where that pompous, arrogant little prat Steven Cohen gives a short interview, most of which is taken up with a bloviation on his opinion of BigSoccer posters.

I'd been thinking about doing a piece about what a shame it is that the only soccer show of it's kind in the US consists of some ignorant MLS hating clown whose only qualification is a British accent, so this seemed like an invitation to dig in.

To start, I thought I'd pass the quote around to a few guys and get a few quotes I could toss into the piece, little love notes from some of our fellow BigSoccer "Geeks with pocket protectors in Mom's shag carpeted basement" as Steven so eloquently phrases it.

Naturally, the first person I thought of was 10Shirt, and I popped him an email.

What I got back was so stunning, so humbling, so dead on that I'm saving my comments for another day.


Anyway... Now for the bonus round of Truth or Bullshit.

First Steven, let me praise you a bit before I rip into you. You've got the perfect attitude and credentials (including the face) to be a FoxSoccer radio expert. All it takes is a cup full of arrogance and two teaspoons of general derision for half the people that listen to you, mix it all together and voila, instant controversy and a bank of full phone lines that either disagree with you and you can tear into, while the other half praises you and gives you a tongue bath.

Steven, the difference between BigSoccer and places like it and "radio experts"... (that was hard to type without blasting Diet Mountain Dew all over my monitor) is that it pains you to be out of control of the discussion. Sports Radio clowns all hate message boards to one degree or another. I mean, it takes a special kind of gutless coward to "discuss" topics with people when you have them on a 30 second delay. Message boards & the blogosphere have taken some of that control of opinion away from you guys and it chews at your stomach like a belly full of razors

You know, there are other forums on BigSoccer besides FFA & Politics, Stevie.

Beyond that, I ********ING DARE YOU to find an MLS fan that thinks MLS is the "best league in the world". We know it's not, but it's ours. America sure as hell didn't start out as a superpower, but damned if we aren't the only one left, aren't we?

And, while you may or may not be evil, we do not expect MLS to garner undeserved praise, however, we certainly do take offense when the criticism leveled against it is based on comparing it to leagues without the same type of competition from other sports, or leagues that have a 100 year head start on MLS.

Perhaps it's just my inner geek coming out, but for MLS fans and you, there can be no Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.

Maybe because there is just something about Americans that makes us not give a shit about sports leagues in other countries. I mean, why should I spend my money on watching teams where I have absolutely zero emotional ties to the clubs and their history versus a league and teams that I do have a connection with?

Really? As opposed to pretending that all we have to do is change the seasons around to conform with the European & South American schedules and promote teams from and relegate teams to a 2nd division that doesn't really exist and suddenly soccer will become the most popular sport in the US? Easily surpassing the revenues of the NFL/MLB/NBA and the gargantuan attendances of NCAA Football & Basketball.

All in all, our solution of avoiding the "instant gratification" of fans like you that already have a passion for another league in another country has pretty much served us well. It's allowed us to survive all the pundits who said we would fail, first within 5 years, then within 10 years. I'm sure as we enter out 13th season, there's one or two clowns that are still predicting our downfall by our 15th season.

Perhaps we're just sure enough in ourselves and the billionaire idiot savants running the league that a gradual but growing investment in talent, combined with measured pattern of growth & expansion, together with the construction of our own facilities to control scheduling & revenues so that we now have a generation of fans and youth players that have always known of MLS and they can be the ones who have the dream of playing in it or following those teams from their youth they way you did your beloved Chelsea.

Maybe we see that as a better solution than paying a bunch of cast offs from other countries a shitload of money to go through the motions in 70,000 seat stadiums in front of 5,000 people.

Really Nick? I must have missed that thread. Link Please. Anyway, if what you have been doing is trying to bring the game to the US from an entertainment point of view, with your watered down for the FCC brand of milquetoast smack and general level of ridicule for anything not from the EPL, perhaps you should consider another line of work or stop talking about MLS until you can do it with facts and an understanding of the culture of sports in the United States.

I'm an Architect, you're a radio jock for a niche sport in the US on a niche sports channel that gets ratings just under National Cheerleader Competitions and College Football recruiting (and I'm being generous here).

Which one of us, do you think wakes up in the morning with a better outlook on his life and career? Me, the guy who gets to take ideas and turn them into habitable art that evokes emotion or you, the guy that's threatened by what people type on the internet.