Who the Hell is Mark Franek and Why Doesn't He Shut Up?

One of the downsides of this "blogging" thing I do here is that I end up wading through tons of raw sewage in a search of a couple things that I think others will find interesting.

There's just so much inane drivel out there, and you have to discipline yourself into skipping over the clowns and the terminally ignorant, since a) they aren't ever going to have original thoughts or ideas or insights and b) a lot of it can really tick you off if you let it.

Then too there's the problem of finding a particularly annoying piece of garbage which you really, really want to respond to but in order to do so you have to put up a link which, coming from BigSoccer, can generate hundreds, even thousands of hits, thereby rewarding some dimwitted fool for writing insultingly stupid stuff.

Which brings us to Mark Franek.

Now, we've all heard the kind of silly prattle Mark - who is purportedly an "adjunct professor of Writing" at "Philadelphia University", which basically means that he's a nominally paid, non-contract, non-tenured, part time employee with no benefits - feels it's important that he tell us about in this incredibly lame Philadelphia Daily News piece entitled A FAN'S CASE AGAINST LOCAL PRO SOCCER.

You know the drill:

"MLS is boring blah, losing money, league structure is all wrong (as if he had the first clue), European soccer is much better, watch on TV, stadiums a waste of money, Beckham a waste of money, blah blah blah".

Most of us could write this pathetic, ignorant dreck - which he seems to think is refreshingly unique and original - in our sleep.

But Marky-Boy is different: he wants us to know that he's abig time socccer guy: played Division I soccer, played "professionally" (sure you did, pal) coached High School, "loves" the game. He just hates MLS.

Oh, he's never been to a game. Oh no. And he has no plans to, although he says he may take his girlfriend to a game to see David Beckham (thus contradicting his own argument that Beckham serves no purpose).

He says the league is "millions in the red" but offers us no evidence to that effect.

He says that Kornheiser and Wilbon don't discuss MLS as much as Drew Carey and Jon Stewart do, thus proving soccer "doesn't matter".

He wonders if the team will "hire a marketing director". He wants to know if the team will "bring a championship" to Philadelphia (although he himself won't know or care).

But I wonder: when Mark played "Division I soccer" (to great success no doubt) and "professional soccer" (cough, cough) were there huge throngs in attendance? Did Tony Kornheiser talk about his play?

And I'm certain that the new ownership is, even as we speak, passing copies of his article around the room saying "WOW! A marketing director!! Brilliant! Why didn't we think of that!


"Hey! Win a championship!! Goodness, now THERE'S a thought!"

Would someone please tell me what is wrong with guys like this? I mean besides the stupidity of someone who himself played the game on a much lower level than MLS and yet thinks himself quite the spiffy guy because of it but nevertheless thinks MLS is beneath him, why write this sort of thing at all?

Are there other sports he doesn't like? Has he written about them too? Is there a "NASCAR is for rubes and drunks" column up someplace?

It's bad enough that people who think they are soccer fans (but who are really just posers who think following European "footy" makes them seem erudite) refuse to give the slightest respect to MLS because it didn't pop out of the womb playing on a par with Serie A. Who cares. Your loss, and we'll do just fine without narrow dimwitted arrogant "adjunct professors" like you.

Is it really necessary to hate MLS to the point that he feels the uncontrollable impulse to unleash his massive, impressive "writing skills" (I won't even get into the grammatical mistakes or weak prose) in an attempt to denigrate it?

What's wrong with a guy like this? "I love soccer, but I don't want it t succeed here" makes some kind of sense? Was he rejected by MLS? Is he too stupid to understand that building something takes time?

Stay home, fine. Actively complain about it - why?