The generally successful Game First initiatives continue to touch our lives.
It isn't all good. Why, if it was, I probably wouldn't be making this post.
I have no doubt that there are such regulations, especially during international games. But at least at the Home Depot Center, the reaction when the PA reads the names of the players is invariably "Wait, where are they?"
Maybe we're just simpletons. But it's a needlessly confusing buzzkill for Galaxy fans to cheer someone who isn't even in the room. For one thing, the point of player introductions is, well, introduction. MLS has enough new fans, certainly a big number of people there for the first time, who don't know who any of the other twenty-one guys are besides Beckham or Blanco or whomever. If the league is trying to make stars, saying their names, showing their picture and number, and having them give a little wave to the crowd can't hurt.
It's also great for booing. Again, we're thinking of Beckham and Blanco here. I realize the league is still trying to portray the two of them as goodwill ambassadors coming to your town spreading peace and harmonies (Too Much Joy reference.) But, especially considering "Game First" is a policy aimed at serious MLS fans, it's weird to deprive them of the right to boo and hiss their villains.
Of course, it might be good for certain home teams to implement these policies in the short term. It's demoralizing to hear an opposing player get more cheers than a home player, and that's the sort of thing Beckham and Blanco do when they come to town. There's also the awkwardness of booing a home player on his merits. Back in the days when the coaches were also introduced over the PA, the crowd would be pumped up all right. "Yay!...Yay!...YAY!...BOOOOO!" That's no way to start off a game.
The other new initiative this season?