By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
  1. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Country:
    United States
    #1 Bill Archer, Nov 20, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017

    Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

    By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
    Nothing says "Major, legitimate, world class sports league" like a nationally televised semi-final playoff game where everyone knows that the owner of one of the contenders - along with the commissioner of the league itself - is hoping his team loses. Nothing even remotely like this has happened since Rachel Phelps owned the Cleveland Indians.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Don Garber, who has screwed the pooch so badly in all of this that they're going to start playing soulful Sarah McLaughlin ballads whenever his face appears on screen.

    As for Fratboy McTrustfund, the man who, according to the Columbus Dispatch, tried to get the statue of Lamar Hunt removed from the plaza in front of the stadium, his unbelievably creepy hatchet man Dave Greeley emailed someone he thought was MLS communications gerbil Dan Courtemanche just prior to the Halloween game in Mapfre vs. NYCFC that "AP" had told him he would "never set foot in Columbus again".

    However, Greeley subsequently told Fratboy that if he didn't show up for his own team's playoff game that his pretense of "even handedness" between CBus and Austin would collapse and everyone would see that the whole "just exploring our options" meme was nothing but a lie.

    So "AP" went to the game, heard thousands of people lustily cursing his miserable ass for 90 minutes and, between that and having to watch the team he wanted so badly to see get crushed post a stunning 4-1 victory over a very good NYCFC side, he didn't seem to be having a very good time.

    The question now is, will he be back on Tuesday to spend a few more hours in the city he has avoided like genital herpes for the last four years - but which he claims he is "open minded" about - or will he finally admit what everybody knows and he might as well stop lying about.

    Either way, Precourt has to take second chair on the Liars Club dais to the man whose lips barely move when Fratboy speaks: "Call Me Soccer Don, That's, Like, So Cool" Garber.

    Now I'm sure that you've read that the big problem in Columbus is attendance. It's being pushed behind the scenes every chance they get by the scurrying media peons at MLS as they feed simpleminded stooges like Taylor Twellman his talking points.

    As an example, they point out that the Halloween playoff game in CBus only drew 14,000 people. Can you imagine? A playoff game. Just goes to show you.

    Well, like they say, you can take your pick who to believe: them or your own lying eyes.

    Here, for comparison sake, is the playoff game in Houston the previous night; MLS tells us that there were 15,600 people in attendance:

    [​IMG]

    And here's "14,000" in Mapfre 24 hours later:

    [​IMG]

    Now some people have suggested that they got the number - which not a single player, former player, journalist, fan or anyone who's ever set foot in the place agrees is even close to accurate (one player has said they all thought it looked like "a sellout") - by taking a turnstile count at kickoff since, unbeknownst to anyone, the "management" decided at the last minute that everyone entering the building had to be individually patted down and no, I'm not going to speculate as to why.

    As a result, hundreds of fans were still waiting patiently in line to get a farewell crotch squeeze from PSV when the game kicked off.

    Now in truth everybody knows that MLS lies about attendance. It's as traditional in The Soccer Don's league as terrible officiating. It's just that normally they OVERstate the turnstile count. In this case, breaking new frontiers of MLS lying, they've clearly UNDERstated it, either by simply making up a low number or by manipulating the timing of the count to suit themselves.

    I only mention this because, as far as anyone can tell, Tuesday night's match is sold out. Has been for a week now. Go over to Ticketmaster and see for yourself.

    Normally, the league and the team can't wait to issue releases proudly trumpeting a quick sellout, and in fact that's exactly what happened with the evenings' other game, in Houston.

    But oddly, even though the game has been sold out for a week now, they've made no announcement at all regarding the game in Columbus. Only a very few people have been cynical enough to wonder out loud whether PSV is holding back a couple blocks of tickets so they can again screw with the narrative but I'd prefer not to think that.

    Still, there's something else very puzzling going on:

    Those of you who've been to Mapfre/Crew Stadium for big events (Crew Stadium: good enough for 3 national team games and an MLS Cup in the past 2 years but not good enough for "Frat Tony") know that when the regular seats sell out they put bleachers on the stage at the north end and on the patio to the south, letting them sell another 2500 or so seats. They've done it many times in the past.

    But for this game they have not done so and refuse to say why, but it's not hard to figure out: setting attendance records at Mapfre does not exactly fit the narrative. You might think that the opportunity to pocket another $250,000 or so from the match would be of interest to a team supposedly struggling to turn a profit, but you'd apparently be wrong.

    As long as we're discussing attendance, let's look at something that Andy Loughnane, the Crews's President of Business Operations, told a writer from Business Journal about a year ago:

    “We set attendance records, both sellouts and overall season tickets and overall season attendance records, (in) 2014, ‘15 and ‘16."

    Wait. What?

    But MLS keeps saying that attendance has been cratering, nobody was showing up and the players were getting lonely out there on game day, proving that Columbus "won't support" the team.

    Actually, attendance did in fact go down this year, but the primary reason is that MLS and PSV arranged for it to happen that way.

    The details are all located here, and it's eye opening to say the least; the team and the league quite clearly conspired to tamp down attendance.

    One recent Crew player, who still has numerous front office ties, says that he knows "for a fact" that the team literally "zeroed out" the marketing budget, something any resident of Columbus already knew. No TV, no print, no billboards, no display ads, nothing at all.

    It was so bad that a local outdoor advertising company actually created billboards promoting the Crew playoff run on their own because the team wouldn't do it.

    Why, if you didn't know better you'd swear that PSV didn't WANT to sell tickets in 2017. Why would that be I wonder.

    By now you've probably heard about the meeting in New York last week when the top political and business leaders from Columbus Ohio were finally granted an audience with Don 'Sir Lies A Lot' Garber and his organ grinder's monkey of a BFF, Anthony "Fratboy" Precourt.

    Basically, the guys from Columbus had some serious offers to make - downtown stadium sites, millions in corporate sponsorships and an offer to purchase the Crew either in part or in whole among them.

    They started the meeting by telling Garber and Precourt that they are committed to doing what it takes to keep the Crew in Columbus and, on that basis, asked them what was necessary to make that happen.

    They got no answer.

    Instead, displaying an attitude which Grant Wahl rightly characterized as "outrageous", MLS/PSV told them that they should just make an offer. Their view was that Columbus owed them something. This is what Precourt characterized, in a statement which the MLS comm shop released (under a PSV letterhead) before the Columbus contingent cleared the front desk on the way out, as "being willing to listen".

    The meeting lasted all of 20 minutes.

    [​IMG]

    Garber and Precourt didn't want this meeting to begin with. They thought they had this whole relocation thing pretty well figured out and when all hell broke loose they didn't know what to do, although one of the options they're NOT considering at the moment is "Not move the Crew to Austin Texas where they average 16 days a year over 100 degrees F.

    It's like Qatar without the slaves.

    Mostly, Don figures he has the cards, no one can stop him; Seattle majority owner Joe Roth told a supporters meeting that "it's not an owners decision" and "the Sounders have nothing to do with it". In other words, Don and his Monkey have all the authority they need to do whatever they want and what they want is to move MLS' original team to Austin and screw anybody who doesn't like it.

    A lot of people are saying the secret here is that if MLS can do this to Columbus they can do it to anyone. It says here that's exactly the lesson Garber wants everyone to take away from this. Do as he says, don't tick him off, or you'll get the same.

    Not long ago, two (or if they were feeling generous, three) guys could get together on the phone and give Garber his marching orders. He was not much more than a functionary who had to salute when Anschutz or Hunt walked in. No more.

    Welcome to MLS 4.0: It's Don's league now.
     

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Bill Archer, Nov 20, 2017.

    1. The411

      The411 Member

      Oct 12, 2013

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Not really a shock. Garber is a charlatan who only cares about the Benjamins. People wonder why MLS is in trouble. It’s crap like this, and there is plenty more out there that hasn’t been publicized.
       
      THOMA GOL and QuarkspaceDotCom repped this.
    2. Sport Billy

      Sport Billy Moderator
      Staff Member

      May 25, 2006

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Not certain what the shock is here.
      Anyone who has watched the expansion process over the last decade knows Garber can't be trusted.
       
    3. smokarz

      smokarz Member+

      Aug 9, 2006

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      It's not just the MLS, it's everywhere. Sports is $$$ to the rich billionaires.

      Sucks for the loyal fans, but good business for the rich.

      LA Chargers or LA Rams, anyone?
       
      MM66 repped this.
    4. QuarkspaceDotCom

      Mar 14, 2000
      Deep in the Bluegrass Hinterlands
      Club:
      Columbus Crew
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      I'm looking forward to see what being a Eurosnob is all about. F MLS. F Precourt. F. Garber. And F Clark Hunt while we're at it. Way to uphold your dad's legacy.
       
      argo15, djtrinidad, THOMA GOL and 8 others repped this.
    5. TOAzer

      TOAzer Member

      May 29, 2016
      Club:
      New England Revolution

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      And, to add insult to injury, the Tony P. & Donny G. Show is keeping NASL "afloat" in a way that no ordinary stream of Cosmos-politan hot air and bullscheit could hope to achieve.

      Are the owners of the league actually willing to do to the professional sport what the USSF has managed to do to the USMNT?
       
    6. kg78755033

      kg78755033 New Member

      Orlando City
      United States
      Aug 25, 2017

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Let's start our own soccer league ... with blackjack and hookers! No, seriously. We need to buy the Columbus Crew and make it fan-owned.
       
      CakeYear and CrewV Man repped this.
    7. CrewV Man

      CrewV Man Member+

      Aug 18, 2011
      Columbus
      Club:
      Columbus Crew
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      I wish that were the case. If it was really about the money, they would make PSV pay a transfer fee for getting around the expansion fee. Otherwise they would le the Crew fail, thank Tony for his $68 mil investment, kick him out and sell the franchise to the next expansion city for $150 mil.

      It is not about money; this is more about arrogance. MLS believes they can do this and they want to see if they are right. And if they piss off Columbus / Austin / San Antonio who cares, they never really wanted them any how. But if they succeed, they can demand stadium tax abatement and infrastructure builds, may a few tax dollars, then . . .
      It has to stop now.
       
    8. 110toyourleft

      110toyourleft Member+

      Jan 27, 2007
      Columbus
      Club:
      Columbus Crew
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      FWIW, the impostor emailing Greeley was posing as Mark Abbott, not Dan Courtemanche.
       
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    9. coachchris

      coachchris Member

      Feb 19, 2007
      Galloway, OH
      Club:
      Columbus Crew
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Mrs. Coach floated the idea to me yesterday, that maybe PREC&T is Fat Don's patsy. It seems plausible, they insisted he be a single owner, no previous experience in sports, no attachment to C-bus.

      Plus, nobody is insisting that he even come close to meeting the requirements of a new franchise, money, stadium, or anything.

      Add to that the idea, that, since he was shorting on advertising, marketing, and every other little thing, nobody in the league is asking for him to pay up what may have been a sizable difference in income (I'm sure a percentage goes to the league), even on his crap TV packages. Nobody knows if TWC/Spectrum was paying the same as any other (better) sports net was offering.

      If this is all true, the league only has a couple years left, no matter what, everybody will have a hand stuck in the cookie jar, and the cookies will be gone.
       
      Robbo Crewfan repped this.
    10. Anthony

      Anthony Member+

      Aug 20, 1999
      Chicago
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      My thoughts exactly. Maybe it is an Ohio thing.

      [​IMG]

      As an aside did you know that there was an alternate (not quite) ending for Major League? There is a deleted scene where by it turns out that Mrs. Phelps was actually pretending to want the team to lose so they would rally around the manager? As the team was left broke by her deceased husband, she discovered Moneyball by finding undervalued players would would play for cheap.

      The scene fared poorly with test audiences so it was scrapped and helps remained a villain.
       
    11. Anthony

      Anthony Member+

      Aug 20, 1999
      Chicago
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      But Bill has the correct answer here -- it is Don Garber's league now. I bet the legaue is far more supportive of this then they are making out to be.

      What I find strange is I am not sure exactly what they get in Austin. Austin and Columbus are in many ways similar places. They are university towns - state capitals that have reinvented themseves as hipster havens. They are about the same size in terms of city, metro area and media markets. It is not like the NBA moving the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia or the Fort Wayne Pistons to Detroit.

      And given what was offered by the Columbus business community it is disengenuous to say the meeting had no firm offers.

      Back during the MLS AllStar game I was feeling excited about our soccer future. We had a full Soldier Field, lots of pre-game events around town, and a feeling that soccer was on the rise in America. Since then we have had the US MNT debacle, the NASL lawsuit, the KC women's team closing up and the Crew fiasco.

      Of all of these, the Crew fiasco has been the worst for my morale. The MNT was bound to not qualify one of these years. Lawsuits are our true national sport and part of me would love for pro-rel to be instituted (though I doubt it will work for a while) The women's league is doing well enough and just trying to stake out how it will look. But the Crew debacle just makes me angry and sad and maybe is the end of what was left of my soccer innocence.
       
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    12. Honore de Ballsac

      Oct 28, 2005
      France.

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Quakes / Donovan / Houston / Wolff?

      Garber's been here before. There are more people paying attention now, sure, but look at that pot o' gold.

      I think Don sees himself as an architect.
       
    13. Unak78

      Unak78 BigSoccer Supporter

      Dec 17, 2007
      PSG & Enyimba FC
      Club:
      Chelsea FC
      Country:
      Nigeria

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Wow... I've been following this league for years and I am now just flabbergasted. In this age of fake news, I never though that MLS would stoop this low... lying about attendance in this way so as to justify pulling a team out from under a fanbase...

      ...I have no words... I guess with the clusterfvkc that the USMNT is right now they probably feel that this will be felt like a broken collarbone on a recent below-the-knee amputee...
       
    14. Unak78

      Unak78 BigSoccer Supporter

      Dec 17, 2007
      PSG & Enyimba FC
      Club:
      Chelsea FC
      Country:
      Nigeria

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      1. This isn't a Garber issue at all though... this is an owner issue... and he just works for them. They're flexing their muscle now. They used supporter culture to build this league, but that was always their lie to us. In ten years they'll lose us all... the hardcore fan... and the stands will be as stale as their namesake... the MLB. Beer and peanuts...
       
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    15. RafaLarios

      RafaLarios Member+

      Oct 2, 2009
      Medellín
      Club:
      Atletico Nacional
      Country:
      Colombia

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      I Guess Garber Is envious of Godell's power right now and wants to make a powerplay :unsure:
       
    16. TOAzer

      TOAzer Member

      May 29, 2016
      Club:
      New England Revolution

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Every dung heap needs its builder.
       
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    17. Pablo Chicago

      Pablo Chicago Member+

      Sep 7, 2005
      Sweet Home Chicago
      Club:
      Chicago Fire
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      All this post needs is Sean Spicer pointing at the Houston stadium pic and saying it was the highest paid attendance for any sporting event ever.
       
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    18. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Please, let's not get political here. Just don't go there.
       
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    19. Unak78

      Unak78 BigSoccer Supporter

      Dec 17, 2007
      PSG & Enyimba FC
      Club:
      Chelsea FC
      Country:
      Nigeria

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Well, it's the type of owners that they chose. During the "dark years" when they were trying to divest ownerships, they basically recruited where they could. SKC got the turnaround that they did bc they managed to find an owner patient enough to make it work there. With many of the newer and bigger franchises like in Cascadia, Canada and the South, they got ppl who were excited about bringing franchises to those cities in particular. AP falls into the category of the former; just a businessman sold on the investment rather than the sport itself. There are several cities with such ownerships right now who are very vulnerable to a move. Interestingly enough, bc of the Hunt legacy, FCD is probably not one of those vulnerable cities. Plus Dallas is too important a market for MLS to greenlight a move from there.
       
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    20. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      If the NFL could leave Los Angeles without a team for over 20 years, anything's possible.
       
      Unak78 repped this.
    21. Zamphyr

      Zamphyr Member

      Mar 31, 2003
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Way to rewrite the narrative. What team was built on Supporters Culture ??

      Early DC United, with the Screaming Eagles at midfield, is the closest - and the on the field teams were dismantled. MLS may market some supporter culture, but that's never been a base.

      There's no lie here, they've been pretty honest. In the stands, it's always been about who will pay the most. That's not supporters - they're always looking for the cheapest seats.
      MLS has always been about families or corporate boxes.
      They'd love to be MLB - and the internet/TV soccer fan would too
       
    22. TOAzer

      TOAzer Member

      May 29, 2016
      Club:
      New England Revolution

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      Nope. MLB works only when there is fundamentally no serious foreign alternative for stronger players. It is mediocrity built on the ruins of a much better past, and running on the fumes of memory. Maybe the owners are collectively stupid enough to think that the future shines brighter with mimicking MLB, although that would be a stupid even thicker than thinking the future shines brighter with mimicking NFL, but that dim pile of crap you conjure up is not what the internet/TV soccer fan would love..... short of the odd shill for Garber or Kraft.
       
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    23. MM66

      MM66 Member

      Mar 9, 2009
      Brookline, MA
      Club:
      Real Madrid

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      But it is political, though not blue/red political strictly speaking. It's about an owner class that contributes nothing, demands its every whim be met and thinks nothing of wiping out a local institution. They lie to your face, claim up is down. Most of all, they want to make it clear they're not the problem. In fact, if you could help them help you, then maybe we wouldn't be in this mess.

      If there's one lesson from this whole Columbus-Austin debacle, it's that MLS fans shouldn't be carrying water for a single league owner. Fans need to stand for our interests - we don't get to watch YOUR team, you get to operate OUR team. And it's going to take an all-out, bare-knuckles, political brawl to further our interests.
       
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    24. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Country:
      United States

      Don Garber and the Beclowning of MLS

      By Bill Archer on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM
      I wasn't arguing that point. I quite agree with you. And I'm encouraging folks to remember how their city leaders acted next time they vote. Politics in the general sense is part of all of this. But the poster I commented on mentioned a specific political person from a specific political party--and I don't want to go there. That does get into the red/blue mix. Let's stay away from that.
       
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