MLS ready for learner’s permit, not driver’s license

Posted on December 21, 2010 3:44 am

…y’know, I’m starting to lean towards Chicharito ahead of Landon for CONCACAF Player of the Year. Does that make me a bad person? Or does the fact that I’m giving out fake awards make me a bad person?

Oh, wait, I know what makes me a bad person. See that blog post title? I could have used this story as a poetic extended metaphor about MLS has grown from childhood through the awkwardness of puberty, and is now standing at the cusp of adulthood. Kenn Tomasch already had a Facebook post along those lines, though.

Or, I could have made a hard-hitting denunciation of MLS playing TV negotiation hardball without much to back it up – much like a teenager overcompensates for insecurities.

In reality, I’m just ticked off because MLS is lying about its age. MLS debuted on April 6, 1996. We are talking about a league, not a logo. Official announcements mean nothing – unless you believe Cleveland is the only undefeated team in MLS history.

Yes, we all agree that life begins at conception. But when do you celebrate your birthday – the day you popped out of your mommy, or the day your dad’s rubber broke? Thank you.

So, if MLS tries to order a beer from you on December 17, 2015 – don’t trust that fake ID.

Wait…what was that about MLS TV rights?

Wow! Looks like someone else doesn’t give a crap about this year’s ratings!

…except, I’m not actually negotiating rights to broadcast games with the people who took it up Toontown this year because of those same ratings. I was taking the long view, which Fox Soccer Channel probably can’t.

But I just got a text from my frenemy Adam Smith, and he tells MLS to go for it. If that’s what the market will bear, then rock on, Don Garber. The people negotiating this stuff have a lot more information than I do. Don’t they?

I mean, if you’re asking for a 650% raise, you have to have something to back it up, right? Besides massive, massive balls?

Apparently, Fox hasn’t laughed them out of the room:

NewsCorp isn’t usually so diplomatic in rights negotiations, as Dish Network and Cablevision subscribers can attest. Either MLS is impervious to such bullying…or such bullying is totally unnecessary. Stay tuned, I guess.

Stay tuned also to see how seriously David Beckham and Landon Donovan take the Galaxy. If either one of them go on loan this January, it will say a lot. Injury and fatigue brought both of them to a helpless standstill against Dallas last month, and the last thing either player needs is another extended season. If either of them demand to go to the Premiership, AEG should make it permanent.

That said – predictably, I would blame Beckham more than Donovan. Edson Buddle is out of contract, so he’s got a right to try to get paid. Donovan owes the Galaxy very, very little. Beckham, on the other hand, still has some serious unfinished business.

But none of them should be allowed to show up late, in my opinion. There’s no World Cup distraction in 2011 (well, not for male players) – no MLS team should have part-time players anymore, least of all the Galaxy.

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