Tearing up the Turf

Call it the Curse of EA Sports: lately it seems that getting your mug on the cover of one of their ubiquitous sports simulation games means you're on your way out of town.

Following in the footsteps of their decision to put Brett Farve in Green Bay duds on the front of NFL 2009, they prominently featured Maurice Edu in TFC red:

Will EA offer an updated cover for download, LIKE THEY DID WITH THE FARVE COVER or, seeing as how it's MLS, will they figure nobody cares anyway?

Toronto GM Mo Johnston meanwhile has some other plans regarding the Edu transaction, prominent among them being a rather novel idea about what to do with his cut of the money.

Buy himself a flashy new Argentine forward? Hire a coach who doesn't annoy the hell out of everybody? Take the team out for lobster?

No, Mo is thinking bigger; he thinks he'd like to use the dough to RIP UP THE FIELDTURF AT BMO and replace it with grass.

Just last month "Whining John" Carver was saying that there wasn't a thing wrong with it. "MLS All Star" (and paid endorser) Jim Brennan was waxing delirious about it's "built-in durability features".

And now Mo wants to send the stuff to a landfill.

There are a bunch of roadblocks involved, chief among them being that MLS would have to approve the expenditure and there's just no way to predict how Donny the G will feel about using transfer money to buy a truckload of red fescue.

Then there's the Canadian government, who demanded that BMO install plastic grass so they could hold community Frisbee contests and dog shows on it when TFC wasn't using the place.

You have to wonder though if there isn't an ulterior motive here. After originally spurning BMO, despite government offers to share the place, the Argonauts of the CFL are now making noises about how they think they'd like to play there after all.

The Ontario government, eager to spare themselves the cost of building another facility, seems to be lining up behind the Argos.

TORONTO SOCCER FANS ARE APOPLECTIC and the fight could get very ugly in a hurry.

Maybe Mo figures the Argo won't want to run around scoring rouges (whatever the hell they are[/i] on real grass and then have to pay to repair it every week.

I've said for years that MLS is the first "internet sport".

Particularly in the early years, although it's still very much true today, it's been the internet, not local or national media, which has made it possible for MLS to grow into whatever it is today.

(I would be remiss if I didn't mention in passing that the league was criminally slow in recognizing that fact; they spent years begging Joe Sportswriter from the Daily Cageliner to give them a few inches and ignoring the fact that dead tree media is for people over 60, who are not by-and-large the audience they are trying to reach anyway.)

One of the benefits of this is guys like Steve Sirk. He has blogged for a number of internet fan sites, most if not all of which have disappeared, but the Columbus Crew front office, uniquely I think, had the incredible good sense to bring him on board this year and his "Notebook" is now posted on the official Crew website.

If you've never had the pleasure, GO CHECK IT OUT. Yeah, yeah, it's ostensibly about the Dallas FC/CBus match but mostly it's just entertaining.

And if you don't agree, send me your address and I'll give you your money back. Plus postage.

One reason I mention this is that he's uncovered both a glaring media error and also a pretty interesting and unique MLS record which the league, in their wisdom, has somehow missed.

I urge you to read his piece because he explains this one heck of a lot better than I can but here's a bad summary:

Sirk noticed that almost every article written about Jeff Cunningham's 100th league goal also mentioned in passing that Jeff had now scored against "every MLS team".

(Shamefully, I myself quoted this very "fact")

Sirk looked into it and discovered that in actuality not only has Cunningham never scored against Toronto, he has never even played against Toronto.

Since he did however play and score against both the Tampa Bay Mutiny AND the Miami Fusion, he has in fact scored against 15 different MLS teams.

Also in the "15 Kills" category" is Jaime Moreno, who lacks only Houston to complete the 16.

And what makes this even more interesting is that Cunningham faces Toronto on October 11. Moreno faces Houston on October 12.

Note to MLS HQ: sorry you guys are so busy figuring out how much free stuff you can glom from the adidas rep this week that you can't be bothered doing your jobs, but since someone else has your back on this one I figure you should cut him in.

I mean, we all know that "MLS HQ" consists of 20 or 30 stiffs with spanking new "Sports Marketing" degrees who spend their days fetching coffee for Ivan Gazidis and sending out their resumes to NFL teams, but surely someone there has a few minutes to work on stuff like this.

Send a box of that adidas loot to Sirk care of the Crew. Yeah, their FO guys will steal a little of it on the way by but I'm sure at least some of it will make it to him.

It's the least you can do.