The Big Country

I was gonna talk about the Salvador roster,* but I saw they were doing an online survey, and naturally I was distracted.

I love online surveys, don't you? With simple clicks of the button, ordinary people like you and me can change the world.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I realize this is so no one over the age of 13 inadvertently attends a US game.

Other: comedy blogger

Can you believe there's not a separate section for comedy blogger, by the way?

Other: coach's wife's hairstylist - you know, this is such an old reference by now, and I know there's a more recent one.

I love "I don't look" as an option. Although why would Mexican national team fans be taking this survey?

The correct answers are MySpace and Facebook, and I elaborate on this development in my new book, "Why Our Decrepit Civilization Cries Out For God's Cleansing Fire."

Y'know, it would be interesting to see the actual result of this. I tend to think there are a lot of 5/1 splits in one direction or the other, but my anecdotal experience may not be supported by this highly scientific survey.

Not necessarily a comedy-rich question, except they make you choose one. So, you can either take your spouse, or your children, BUT NOT BOTH!, according to Sunil Gulati.

Isn't number three the far and away winner here? I mean, sure, our little game has an unusually high number of people who DO travel what mere mortals would consider unrealistic distances to see god-damned Eddie Johnson yet again.

The second place finisher, at least the one I would have thought, isn't even on the chart - importance of game and quality of opponent. Yeah, it's probably understood in the question that we're talking about, all other things being equal, would you go to the game or stay at home. But, and yes I realize I live in a pretty flaccid US national team market, quality and importance of game and opponent absolutely factor in, so it seems weird to ignore it.

Unless, of course, the Fed already knows perfectly well about those factors, and are trying to hear about other reasons, since all games can't be created equal. Even then, I don't know how helpful this information is. TV commentary usually inspires people to attend rather than stay home, if the USSF were concerned about high ticket prices they'd have lowered them twenty years ago, and anyone who complains about rowdy, foul-mouthed US fans should be punched in the clitoris.

If someone ever writes a doctoral thesis or dissertation or sonnet or whatever about why the NASL failed and MLS succeeded (fine, so far) and why soccer increased in popularity in the 1990's and 2000's, I hope this list is included. Phil Woosnam didn't do everything correctly, by any means, but he had, what, a grand total of three channels to work with - a number that, once cable television arrived, rocketed all the way up to eight? The fragmentation of television media was an absolute godsend to this sport.

The other reason to pay attention to surveys like this is to get an inkling for what the Powers That Am have planned. Official Viewing Parties have had iffy but improving results in Los Angeles, because the fan base is SO spread out. So while it's a pretty good idea if the USSF tried this for the World Cup, it won't necessarily work in every town, because some markets are pretty widely dispersed.

"But Dan, the best thing that the USSF could do is forget that Los Angeles exists, especially as far as marketing strategy is concerned." Hey, good point.

Warning: this question is a setup.

My emphasis. One of these things is so very much not like the other. Again, keep this in mind.

"Well, I don't care about World Cup ticket priority, but the idea of a membership card has me (1) hard (2) wet (3) both!"

Now the punchline:

Bam! Now are you an "ultra" fan? Now do you want a shot at those tickets?

ITTET, they're going to be looking to...what's the term. Enhance revenue streams, optimize resources - whatever is business school talk for "make more money."

What's really impressive is how far in advance the Fed is thinking. This is an eye towards hosting, which won't happen for a decade at the earliest. (Assuming South Africa or Brazil (or both?) don't go hideously wrong. Keep in mind at this point the sort of upheaval that would require the moving of the tournament a little more than a year in advance, let alone one that would cause Brazil to spurn a World Cup, would be appalling enough that "Whee, we get to host the World Cup again!" wouldn't be exactly the most humanitarian thing to say.) We really think we're going to beat England or Australia in the REAL World Cup competition, so go team.

It's also possible that they're using World Cup ticket priority to sweeten what, put bluntly, a pretty mediocre pot - would you pay $50 a year for a membership card? How about for a 5% discount at the online store? (As loyal readers and forum participants, you are undoubtedly committed to the BigSoccer Shop in any case.) So the big draw might be something that won't come into effect until 2026, which is also pretty ballsy marketing when you think about it.

Answers here. No need to be honest on this survey.

Again, "much more likely." Both times.

Look, I don't wanna drive a damn Dodge either, all right? Just SAY you will. C'mon, take one for the team.

The rest of the questions are, basically, "A/S/L?" Maybe US Soccer Fan Club should partner with OKCupid.

*Because saying "The El Salvador" is like saying "Sierra Nevada mountains" or "ATM machine", right?