What do you do with a corpse?
You bury it. Or you burn it. Maybe you scatter the ashes, maybe you keep it in an urn and cherish the memories.
But you have to dispose of it somehow. Otherwise, you get a horrific smell, and a breeding ground for disease and maggots.
What do you do with a walking corpse?
You shoot it in the head. Or you put a stake in its heart. Preferably both. A walking corpse is unnatural and unholy, and wants only to feast on the living blood of the innocent.
And what should the US Soccer Federation do with the NASL and the New York Cosmos?
They should give them exactly what they’re asking for.
Thanks to Knave, on This Very Site, for posting the link to this comedy cavalcade. But here's the important part, for a given definition of "important."
In this case, the NASL seeks two principal forms of relief.
First, it seeks a preliminary injunction to preserve the status quo during the pendency of this litigation to prevent the USSF from implementing its decision to revoke the NASL’s Division II status, so that it is does not face the immediate prospect of being driven out of existence as a competitor, and can continue to build its league to a level where it can eventually compete with MLS, while it pursues its antitrust rights in this Court.
Second , the NASL seeks a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction striking down the USSF’s Professional League Standards and other divisional rules as a violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act so that, going forward, competition and consumers, as opposed to the USSF’s anticompetitive rules and conspiracy, will determine which professional soccer leagues are able to compete as top-tier men’s professional soccer leagues located in the U.S. and Canada and which ones are able to compete in the second tier—the free market situation that exists for all other major professional team sports leagues in the U.S. Competition, rather than private conspiracies, would then be restored in the relevant markets.
Seriously, why not? If divisional standards are what's holding the NASL and the New York Cosmos back from glory, isn't it in the best interests of everyone to give them enough rope? It's not like waivers cost anything. They probably have a macro for them.
Here, let me whip something up for ya, Sunil:
To: The Honorable Mr. Rocco Commisso
Recipient, Foreign Policy Association Medal of Honor
Owner, New York Cosmos Soccer Club
Chairman, North American Soccer League
Aww, does the baby want its bottle? Is the baby going to cwy its widdle eyes out?
Have we or have we not literally gone through this bullshit seven times already? You’re not here for the hunting, are you, Frank?
You know why we have divisional standards, Jim? To prevent people like you from coming in, taking out corporate credit cards and then taking the last couple months of payroll and fleeing for the Cayman Islands. Makes the sport look bad. We’re still cleaning up from the last bunch of red-assed baboons who threw their crap all over the walls, and the fact that you’ve named yourself after those same god-damned baboons doesn’t put you on my Christmas card list.
It’s not our fault that every one of your teams worth a tinker’s piss in a high wind wants to peace out on your sorry-ass little flea circus. Hey, what happened to that hot sexy world-famous brand that was gonna knock us all on our asses? Looks like you dropped some equity somewhere between Hofstra and Coney Island, brah.
It’s not us, it’s you. We’ll prove it.
By the power vested in me by not being a god-damned clown about crap like this, I hereby award you the Order of the First Division, complete with propeller beanie, coat of arms, and Certificate of Being Really Really Important and Relevant.
Now let’s see if you, that guy who isn’t David Beckham and Delta House can draw more fans than Chivas USA on Free Punch In The Dick Night. If that fails, well, I dunno what to tell you, Sparkles. Maybe hand out Cosmos-branded Ex-Lax so someone might give a crap.
If you have any further questions, please address them to the Complaints Department in my pants. Now go play with your starry balls and stop bothering normal folks.
Your obedient servant,
Undefeated three-time champion of US Soccer
cc: any NASL clubs who haven’t already sent a forwarding address to USL
The New York Cosmos are parasites, living off the name and the work of others. They probably always were. In the 70’s, they were a rounding error in the Warner Brothers cocaine budget. It was Studio 54 first, Cosmos second, league third, and American soccer nowhere.
What, exactly, are we trying to revive? Teams that folded after an average of two years? Crummy owners? Artificial turf? American soccer without Americans? American soccer reduced to a stupid, trendy fad?
Fine. This time let there be no doubt. Give them a bowl. Give them some water. Give them their little can of flakes. Sooner or later, they’re going to have to flush the goldfish down the toilet.
And then we can scrape these grifting incompetents off our shoes and get back to actually supporting the game.
Until then, here’s a little smattering of the Cosmos metaphorically, and literally, writing checks their swirlies couldn’t cash:
By joining the NASL, the Cosmos had what it sorely needed, a place from which they could execute their business strategy. That strategy, again, meant being a local team with a global presence. The team was excited by the NASL’s business model and felt it was more reflective of the systems throughout the professional soccer world. In addition to not having a salary cap, team ownership was decentralized, as opposed to the unique single-entity model employed by Major League Soccer. Because of the Cosmos’s rich history and strong brand name, the new team owners felt they would be sacrificing too much to the centralized MLS ownership structure, including the right to market and sell Cosmos’ business interests. Also, the expansion fee required for the Cosmos to join the NASL was orders of magnitude less than what was being discussed in MLS ($100 million). The team felt it would be better to use the saved money on putting together a strong collection of veteran and young players that could regularly compete for a league championship and in outside competitions.
Bill Peterson, commissioner of the NASL, described the league's relationship with MLS as "cordial."
"What [MLS] does doesn't affect us, and what we do doesn't affect them," Peterson said. "We don't make any of our decisions based on what they do."
The two leagues have publicly maintained their distance. Earlier this year, MLS announced a player development partnership with the Division III United Soccer League, which effectively created a funnel for talent that bypassed NASL.
"We have no desire to be anyone's minor league," Peterson said. "We definitely have no interest in developing players for other leagues."
Stover, who was formerly the managing director of the New York Red Bulls, said the Cosmos hold another advantage over MLS teams because of the NASL's lack of a salary cap. The team, he said, can sign short-term deals with international players and accept other stars on loan, which MLS teams can't always do because of commercial restrictions.
"Commercially, we can think like a global soccer club," Stover said. "We can do deals without a ton of restrictions."
Cosmos ownership is solid, well-financed and well-organized. The Cosmos refused to pay Don Garber’s premium MLS expansion fee of $100 million for a New York City entry, yet proposed their own $400 million stadium out at Belmont. It wasn’t the money that was the problem with MLS, so much as it was the idea of ceding control to a single entity system. The Cosmos are still the Cosmos, prideful to the point of arrogance.
But O’Brien, his Saudi partners and the NASL itself were over-extended and as the league teetered on the brink, he was looking to divest. The Cosmos had lost a reported $30 million. Their dream of a stadium and mixed-use development at Belmont Park had been strangled by red tape. Toward the end of last November, about two weeks after it defeated Indy Eleven in the NASL final, the club began furloughing front office staff and releasing players from their contracts. Employees who remained went unpaid. O’Brien was deep into negotiations with GF Capital Management, a New York private equity firm, and had to cut costs. GF Capital, meanwhile, had no interest in fielding a soccer team and wasn’t concerned with the future of the NASL. It was after that punch. It wanted the logo.
Furthermore, MLS didn’t really resemble his vision of New York soccer. It’s a city of bright lights, and it's home to the biggest stars. Those players aren't common in MLS.
“I haven’t been to an MLS or an NASL game at all,” Commisso said. “Largely because I’m one of those that understands who the best players in the world are, who the best leagues in the world are. When I want to watch a real soccer game, I wouldn’t go to watch New York City [FC]. I’ll watch Juventus. I’ll watch the Italian league. I’ll watch the Spanish league.”
Players like that once turned out for the Cosmos.
“Seventy-thousand people at Giants Stadium. Despite the fact we were playing on Astroturf, they were the greatest professional games I ever saw in America,” he said.
Commisso admitted that he didn’t see the original Cosmos play in person more than 10 times. But they left an impression that lasted 30 years. They represented American soccer’s possibility and remain its most compelling, surreal story. So when Commisso learned late last year that the reborn Cosmos were for sale and that their flesh-and-blood future was at stake, he realized he’d found a calling.
"I think it’s fair to say that the Cosmos had a chance to come into MLS several years ago and opted not to do that. We respected that decision and don’t see a scenario where they come into our league.”’