Time to Pull the Plug on MLS

Sometimes in life we all have to come face-to-face with reality.

Lose our illusions. Grow up. Accept the facts.

So when, for example, something called a "FreeCreditReport" costs you $14.95 a month, you just have to deal with the disappointment, no matter how badly you'd like to kick this guy (who by the way is Canadian, which sure explains a lot) in the junk:

Because like it or not, your whole life can change in an instant. One minute you're peddling ShamWow's and SlapChops and the next minute you're GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED by a $1000 a night hooker.

Yes, facing reality can be very, very tough, but it's something that we all have to do sooner or later.

With that in mind, I think it's time that we all admit that this whole MLS experiment has failed.

Back in 1996 we all figured that we'd need five or maybe ten years for the thing to really take off and grab the money and attention that soccer deserves.

So here we are, going into our 14th year and where are we? Nowhere, that's where. Attendance goes down every year. Pretty soon there'll be more people on the field than there are in the stands.

Which is OK, because let's be honest: MLS soccer is pathetic. Simply awful. A joke. We all complain about "soccer snobs" in the US who refuse to have anything to do with MLS, but we all know, deep down, that they're right.

MLS stinks.

Our "TV Partner" ESPN is trying to juggle MLS games around so that they don't interfere with a field hockey match between East Texas State Baptist Teacher's College and The Grace L. Ferguson School of Air Conditioning Repair. How many "ESPN DUMPS MLS" headlines do you have to read before the light comes on?

The limey bastard who was supposed to lead us into the Promised Land hung around for about 18 months and then wanted out of this disaster so badly that he's actually buying himself back, a first in world sports history.

The league is on life support, and the only thing that's keeping it going is that Don Garber is running around selling worthless expansion teams to gullible fools. For years now he's been peddling one every year just to keep the league afloat, but it's gottten so bad that now he has to sell two every year.

This is what's known as a Ponzi Scheme: the newest suckers kick in a bunch of money so the older members can realize a little cash to keep them happy, and then you have to go find more stupid shmucks to kick in more money so that the last bunch can see a few bucks and on and on.

But eventually, when MLS has 80 teams and Garber can't talk Tupelo Mississippi or Bangor Maine into writing him a check for $50 million, the jig will be up and the whole thing will collapse.

Those fancy-shmancy "Soccer Specific Stadiums" will become just so many abandoned drive-in theaters, used for Saturday morning flea markets and swap meets. Fox Soccer Channel wil have to go back to airing Aussie Rules Football. Alexi Lalas will have to find a real job.

It's just the reality of the situation, people, and we need to pull our collective heads out of our collective butts and face the music. (Hopefully after washing up a bit of course): it was a nice try, but the MLS product stinks and all the marketing in the world can't get people to buy dog poo burgers.

But out of the ashes of yet another failed American soccer league will come something even greater, a league with style and grace and beauty and class. A league where football is really called football. A league with a split Apertura/Clausura season, the way God intended it. A league with Promotion and relegation, the way civilized nations do it.

I'm talking about the Mexican Football League.

Now don't race for the nearest sharp object and start opening your veins. Or mine. Just hear me out.

The most successful soccer league in North America is the MFL. Hands down.

Conversely, the least successful soccer league in America is MLS. No question.

So rather than continue to try to beat some life into a dead horse, like some drug-crazed jockey furiously whipping a mount that had a coronary at the top of the backstretch and is now as dead as Julius Caesar, there's only one logical thing to do with MLS:

Change it to Mexican League Central.

Using the example of Chivas USA - which would be working fine if it wasn't for all those ridiculous MLS rules that say young players get paid coolie wages and you can only have a handful of good players while the rest must be Americans - most MLS cities can be adopted by MFL clubs.

Atlante USA can combine with Dallas. Cruz Azul USA will replace DC United. U.N.A.M. can open up a branch office in Chicago, U.N.A.M. USA.

Maybe America USA in Colorado will take some explaining, but I'm sure something can be worked out.

What about Canada, you say?

Glad you asked.

Since the Canadians are the only ones north of the Rio Grande who actually understand soccer and have, you know, real fans and stuff, they'll become Mexican League North.

Toronto will become, say, Chivas Canada. Montreal can be Necaxa Canada, etc., etc.

This will also allow a great soccer town like Toronto, with their great, passionate fans to have more than one, kind of like London or Milan. Imagine annual "Toronto Derbies"; think of the drama. Think of the excitement. Think of the city-wide damage.

Montreal could do the same thing: Necaxa Canada and Santos Canada can square off in a TV ratings bonanza that will have the NHL begging for 2 AM time slots just to keep from getting tossed off the air altogether.

Three divisions: Mexico South, Mexico Central and Mexico North.

It's an idea whose time has come.