And, way too late - maybe over a year late - I think of "Rocky Mountain, Hi!" as an MLS Cup post title.
I could use "Rocky Mountain, Bye!" for the news that Salt Lake and World Cup veteran Robbie Findley is taking his talents to Europe. Findley of course is best known for his blazing speed, which means he'll come crawling back to MLS very quickly.
Okay, about the thread title. I'm sincere. It's time you and I had a talk.
First of all, run an Internet search, and look how stupid everyone is.
Congratulations, we discovered that Conor Casey isn't as popular as David Beckham, that Denver isn't as big as Los Angeles, and that MLS isn't as popular as the NFL.
I thought we were all big, tough, self-confident soccer fans. I thought we didn't care what the rest of the country thought. I thought we were all writing Unabomber manifestos - hm, seems like there should be an "e" at the end of that, but spellcheck disagrees - me and Dan Quayle, I guess - of course, spellcheck also doesn't like "Unabomber"...or even "spellcheck"...where was I - I thought we were all going Martin Luther on the door of the Wittenberg chapel saying how we didn't need "families" and "casual fans" and anyone who didn't live, breathe and eat REAL football. And now we have to care about when NFL games are on?
Anyway, both the NFL and the AFL went out of business when the first couple of Super Bowls had small market teams, so why bring them up at all?
Putting teams in Columbus, Salt Lake City and Denver means being brave and taking the risk that those teams might win things. I've been trying to make the point that building strong local fanbases means, in the long run, a nation covered with strong fan support, but since apparently the American soccer fanbase consists of mayflies with ADD, let's just change the name of the thing to Major League Shiny Objects and call it a day.
So it does my heart good to see Don Garber patronizing the living crap out of you.
People? You've got to learn to listen to what Don Garber actually says. Other people say "yes" or "no." Other people aren't Don Garber. Don Garber says "yes" or "the bottom line is we're telling the world we're going to begin taking a very serious look at this whole issue and what kinds of things we need to do to determine if it makes sense for us."
This is the precisely the same answer he gives when he's asked about promotion and relegation, or free agency, or stopping expansion at twenty teams, or whatever monstrous idea Sepp Blatter says in between shots of absinthe. And especially a week before FIFA chooses World Cup hosts, Don Garber is not going to say "We'll market our own league, Johnny Foreigner, savvy comprendo?"
The guy's only concrete announcement was that two more teams would be added to the playoffs. That wasn't exactly a suggestion that came from Amalgamated Eurosnobbery.
Is now a good time to remind everyone that Don Garber isn't Sauron, he's Grima Wormtongue? (Nothing personal, Mr. Garber, I just can't think of a less insanely nerdy metaphor...wait, let me try this.)
Is now a good time to remind everyone that Don Garber isn't Saddam Hussein, he's Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf? (Baghdad Bob. I should have just said Baghdad Bob. Still - that's a metaphor that would offend no one.) He doesn't decree anything. He tells us what the owner-operators have decided. That means the only thing the Powers That Be agree on is...more playoffs.
So, to make that pill go down more smoothly amongst the Europhile rabble, the trial balloon of a fall-spring schedule is trotted out. Again. I predict this idea will be strongly considered right up until, oh, let's say Colorado's season opener.
A fall-to-spring just means instead of playoffs being swamped by the NFL, it will be dozens of regular season games. As far as the other end of the year goes, March Madness, NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, and baseball loom just as large in the spring as NFL and college football do in the fall.
There's always a bigger fish. This was always about building a solid niche, not overthrowing the republic. If the many MLS owners who are also NFL owners don't have a problem with MLS competing against the NFL regular season, then why are we so concerned? The FieldTurf is always greener, I guess.
By the way, while I'm yelling at you all - no Du Nord for best blog? What the hell is that all about?