There's something I'd rather write about than face the horrible truth about my picks over the weekend. By the way, readers, using words like "idiot" and "pinhead" and "Flowers for Algernon had better MLS analysis" is needlessly vindictive and hurtful, and I do wish you would stop.
Hell, I didn't think the Rocky Mountain teams were gonna win on the road in the same month, let alone the same weekend.
But anyway, I'm way late reacting to these blog posts by two extremely well-informed gentlemen, both of whom drank deeply from the waters of the River Sarcastic on this subject. This subject being, the hiring of Dave Greeley by the Chicago Fire back in - August. Well, I was pretty busy that week, in my defense.
I don't want to belittle this...well, yes, I do. Exactly how much effort could it take to market the Chicago Bears? They have a 3,500 waiting list for season tickets. (That's actually pretty chumpular by NFL standards, although the vagaries of Personal Seat Licenses elude me in this case.) It would take more effort to destroy the Bears than to sell them - even changing the colors to green and gold and moving home games to Moline would simply be undone by your replacement after you were assassinated, and the team would be more popular than ever.
How has Greeley done so far? Damned if I know. The official blog is keeping Don Garber-esque updating schedules, but maybe the new regime is more focused on winning than blogging. Or, they want to keep reliving beating New York.
The larger question seems to be, do we want "soccer guys" or "corporate guys" running MLS teams. That's not the question, because that question has been settled since Rothenberg replaced Werner Fricker. Soccer teams have to make money, or else join this illustrious list. Even a combination of the two is no guarantee of success - Nick Sakiewicz, Johnny Moore and Alexi Lalas had soccer credentials that were pretty hard to dispute.
Sorry, I keep reflexively thinking of Sakiewicz as a flop, but apparently he wasn't. That's another thing - guys who seem like flops from a fan's point of view aren't necessarily so to their bosses. The name "Tim Leiweke" storms into mind. We won't really know how solid the Galaxy's foundation is until the post-Beckham era, of course. Unlike the Chicago Bears, it is certainly possible to screw up marketing a soccer team in the United States - even one with a famous name.
Right now, there's a league-wide disconnect between fans and teams. The brand-new Quakes are playing big games in the wrong city, security is butting heads with supporters throughout the Eastern Conference, profitable teams are putting out terrible product. These are not huge problems, otherwise they wouldn't have been papered over with Beckhamania.
But they are avoidable problems, and that's what is particularly frustrating. Given Sakiewicz's track record, I'd expect some of the same problems in Philadelphia, and fewer in Seattle. I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised.
As for Chicago? They have their own stadium, they win more than they lose, they've got a hardcore fan base they can build on. The smartest thing Greeley could do is extend the el train from Midway to Bridgeview, but he may or may not have that kind of power. The dumbest thing he could do is go back to the well of aging Mexican stars to shore up the sizzle after Blancomania fades out, but that's probably just me as the bitter Galaxy fan talking.