Good, Ollie's back. But you know, we do have a variety of bloggers who are very entertaining and insightful, and a bunch of bloggers who provide comedy both intentional and unintentional. And I understand there's a forum of some sort. "MLS Rivalries," huh? That sounds educational.
Wanna know what I think? I think a labor stoppage would be good for the league. In fact, if I'm the owners or the league office, I'm actively encouraging one.
By the way, one of the great ways to get a blog going is to say something literally for no other reason than to start an argument. If it's borderline insane? So much the better. And now, back to the post.
You know what we'd all be writing about if it weren't for the labor scare? Training camps.
Yes, yes, I know. It's reassuring to get daily updates that your rookie draft pick class has managed to put their shorts on forwards. And is it fun to read about Luis Angel Landin being fat? It is fun indeed.
Or even worse? Even more intolerable than the labor stoppage? I mean...well, thank God there's a lockout scare (*snarf snarf snarf*), because otherwise we'd have to talk about today's Nats game against El Salvador. Talk about a fate worse than death.
I think the odds of a "labor stoppage" are close to 100%, or at least they should be. They've all had notice for a while, I'm sure most of them can work in an unpaid vacation for a week or so. And hell, a non-trivial percentage of them are going to show up to camp to be cut, waived or traded anyway. Where's the incentive to hurry that process?
Plus, it keeps the bluff going. Ooh, scary strike! Look how serious they are! You'd better give up, Don! We shall overcome!
And the US soccer press will keep us posted frantically. Everyone wins.
Now, the odds of an actual game being cancelled, or even played with scabs? Gonna go ahead and peg that at 0%.
Which is also great publicity. Just before the season starts, everyone gets the relief and euphoria of an MLS season after all. It's awesome publicity. Now we don't have to settle for crappy baseball! Hurray!
The union - small "u" union - would have had a much better chance if the CBA had run out before the 2008 season maybe but probably not the 2009 season. After a good two years of recession? The union came to this game like the USMNT without Landon Donovan. And the result has been very similar, and just as painful to watch. Landon's so smart to skip both of today's shenanigans.
But, just like the USSF couldn't or wouldn't cancel this year's friendlies, the MLSPU couldn't cancel the negotiations. So, they cried "lockout!"
And way too many people bit. A few minutes' thought should have proved what a desperate PR tactic that was. And if your whole strategy relies on PR, well, misleading the public with your first move is probably a tactical mistake.
Besides, and I can't hammer this point enough, PR doesn't mean diddly in labor negotiations. It's meringue. It's shiny wrapping paper. The public simply doesn't have the attention span to hold a grudge over labor wranglings.
There might have been ways the MLSPU could have made headway against the owners, despite their economic disadvantage, but relying on the goodwill of fans wasn't it. The fans don't have any power besides the power to buy season tickets, and as long as MLS is a loss leader for SUM's World Cup rights? That's no power at all.
But you're really mad, and you're a season ticket holder. You have every right to be. Even in the best of times, though, the owners expected you to be gone in three years. Peter Wilt exposed that part of the business last year. You may never come back, and your ticket rep will miss you badly. But they had plans to do without you anyway.
So MLSPU built their strategy around the one segment of the soccer population more replaceable than the players. *standing ovation*
At least we don't have to pay attention to the US game tonight. I can't even be bothered to preview it.
Instead, covering tonight's US game, is a mystical time traveller.
Greetings, mortals! I come from a time when the United States of America was a pollution-ridden wasteland! A time when Jay Leno exerted his merciless domination over the world! A time when cicadas and Thompson's gazelles still roamed the earth! A time known to you as...JANUARY 2010!
Tonight's US game features a squad of hungry young hopefuls, hoping to defeat the odds and claim a spot on the 2010 World Cup roster! But in order to do so, they'll first have to defeat a tough rival from Central America! If the US doesn't do well, there will undoubtedly be significant consequences! I wouldn't imagine any of these players would represent the United States again!
Thank you, mystical and unreasonably optimistic time traveller. Now, back to watching the milliseconds whiz by on Bill's blog.