Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The First Visit of Thrice

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber was in lil' ol' Columbus today. Free lunch at our new downtown park; Columbus Commons. Ol' Don made a special visit to tell this town something without saying it.

From the Columbus Dispatch:
"The Crew is doing fine," Garber said. "But fine is not good enough when you have expansion teams selling out every game. The bar has been raised. The Columbus Crew want to be part of that great story. This is a good city that has proven it loves the game. We're just trying to figure out a way to reconnect the dots."

Mr. Garber's visit was not one of showing respect or thanks. It was that of warning. If you don't believe me then imagine Mr. Garber's words as if you heard them in a performance review. Not getting it?

John, you are doing fine, but fine is not good enough when David over there is nailing it everyday. The bar has been raised. I know you want to be part of that great story. You are part of a team that has proven itself. We're just trying to figure out a way to reconnect the dots.

I don't know if he has been out here before but I do know that if things don't improve he will be out here a couple more times. I've learnt this 3 visit rule over the many years of me life in performance based business.

If things don't improve, the next visit will be one that attempts to eradicate issues he (the league) deems as underlying issues. This is, by nature, a failure point because their grasp on the local issues and heartache is usually wrong.

The 3rd visit will be to deliver the bad news. Grave news.

This means that Crew president and general manager Mark McCullers and his administrative staff need to find solutions now. Not tomorrow. NOW.

It also means that the Crew Supporter Groups need to actually support their club. I've heard way too much bitching and complaining over the past year. Add in an embarrassing shutdown of a supporters bar and a parking lot death and I really, really hope they read the bloody messages on the wall. As in: They are more of the problem then the solution right now.

Now's not the time to point fingers and hate the person that hates the same team you hate. Don Garber isn't here to visit the beautiful city of Columbus. He is here to tell the city to get things in gear... or else.

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