Sunday, January 12, 2014

What's the Root? And, Why is It Snowing In Here?

What? Huh? No way? That can’t be true, can it?

The deluge of news coming out of Major League Soccer in regards to TV deals...($70 million a year/8 years for just the English language rights!!), player signings galore (Bradley, Defoe, Gilberto (and that’s just Toronto FC!), Brazilian Samuel to the L.A.Galaxy, Gaston Fernandez to Portland Timbers), possible player signings (Xavi, Drogba), and new teams/stadiums (NYCFC, Orlando, DC United...well, maybe there, but we certainly hope so even though the rats living in RFK stadium will have to make new friends), possible new teams/stadiums (Miami, Atlanta, Minnesota) ...It’

But, what the hell, let’s take a stab at what it might mean.

Clearly, it signifies that Major League Soccer has more cash at its disposal; or, at the very least, the lever pullers know the magic television and sponsorship money faucet is about to be cranked wide open.

Most indubitably (Love that word) it screams “I’m a Major League Soccer owner, and I’m-a-gonna show you my thingy!” at least in regard to some of our beloved league’s big boys.

Underneath, though, where is all this craziness getting its sustenance? What’s comprises the nourishing root structure?

Maybe, just maybe, it implies that our fearless leaders couldn’t stand the pressure of having to step carefully through the dung-filled field that is the American Professional Sport’s Landscape. Maybe keeping their ego’s in check for most of eighteen years has driven them to the brink of their usual CEO/Psychopath selves. In other words, as I worried in my previous post, maybe they’re drawing sustenance from their own deep roots. This is a credible theory, especially given the success their patience and diligence has awarded them.

But owners acting like owners, finally, seems only to be a symptom of something more meaningful.

So, what is the essential element piercing, supporting and extending its stringy molecules throughout Major League Soccer and the beautiful game in these United States of America? What element has suddenly turned Major League Soccer and its owners into a bunch of horny frat boys, pockets stuffed with dollar bills, at Boom Boom’s Big Boomers Strip Club?

How about you, me and millions of other American and Canadian fans watching games, surfing random soccer blogs (instead of the usual, Blonde’s In Bob’s Bedroom, pron sites), buying our teams’ scarves and jerseys, and debating the merits of whether the United States will beat Germany this summer (I personally think we will lose that game, but will already have beaten Ghana and Portugal)?

It’s us. It really is us, all of us. We are the essential element.

In my previous post I hinted at the possible gaping ditches in that dung-filled sports landscape. These ditches and piles of steaming excrement are not going away anytime soon; because, those ditches and piles are often self-made.

Even if the boy’s club that is the SUM of MLS owners does everything right, they are going to step directly into a few of those stinky landmines. One or two teams will relocate over the next five or ten years, almost without a doubt. One team may even just fold-up shop; although, I doubt that will happen.

It’s amazing to watch what’s going on right now in our sport. For those of us who have followed along from the time of the NASL, it’s like looking at one of those old-fashioned paperweights, you shake it and little flecks of snow fill a winter wonderland. You want it to go on forever, but you know you have to keep shaking it occasionally. 

Hopefully Major League Soccer keeps picking up that bastard, and hopefully they shake themselves vigorously on a regular basis. If they don't or they can't, maybe, just maybe we will be able to do it for them.

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