Outside the Boroughs: My First Soccer Rant of 2013 

COSMOS!If there was ever a motivator to get this blog back online and working, it was and IS football season. I am not sure if it’s the new NASL contest to prove you are good enough to write thousands of words about soccer (nope, not applying) or the fact that the first selected applicant just HAD to throw in the standard MLS obesiance that actually makes me grit my beard hair in my teeth (that almost made me apply).

I am not sure if it’s the fact that while some Cosmos fans are busy arranging things like soccer bars for the fall season, a few others are busy complaining with their hands crossed about it not being in MLS. (I’m not busy at all; it’s still Great Lent for me, so it’s not even like I can make a massive batch of chicken wings for me for two more weeks. And I am too broke to afford my season ticket yet. Sorry Cosmos sales guys. I really am not jerking your chain.)

If you are wondering about the title, no, I am not dissing on the Borough Boys. I am actually outside the Boroughs. (I live just 20 miles out, in mighty Yonkers, hence the title of the blog.)

At this point we should all be screaming “Cosmos” from the housetops. I have actually taken to refusing to watch the MLS season, focusing solely on my three American games a week for now, to keep my focus sharp. (Ok, so maybe I was going to do that anyway, because the Red Bulls are horrible. I hear they keep losing games. Oh, wait, no that was last season and the one before that. They’re all a blur.)  Edmonton is moving forward with commercials. Two of last week’s three games were on TV. A lot is happening.

At the same time, a lot isn’t. We can capitalize on the online TV market. And we can promote the daylights out of some of our teams, some of which have a history older than me! We need to use nostalgia dynamically; we can’t see the league as a museum– we need to bridge the past to the future. I can’t hold the league really responsible for that– the truth is we won’t even have 8 operational teams until Clausura. It could be worse.  But with basically three months left to the Cosmos season opener, the support base has very little time to grow itself. And we have to. Mushroom. NOW.

And most importantly (this is controversial so I understand if friends and readers wish to pop me in the face) we need to drop the fiction that US Soccer is creating with D-1 and D-2 and D-3. The reality: D1 is MLS and it’s based on nothing but money– not talent. D3 is basically becoming an MLS reserve league to see if they can force NASL to do the same out of spite. Basically NASL’s D-2 is the best hope to make soccer in America work because they seem disinterested in the politics. But here’s the kicker– there is no logical move from D-1 to D-2. Since there is no promotion from one to the other or vice versa, they are simply two distinct leagues choosing, for the sake of kindness, to occasionally work together.

If that’s the case, I’ll just ignore one D-1 for another 1. 🙂

I get the MLS apologists and their TV arguments. The problem is that they are weak arguments. The fact that MLS is on cable is increasingly meaningless. Why? Because cable numbers are dropping really quickly in relation to new TV purchases. I don’t watch cable. Unless I pay $60 to watch everything but the Red Bulls (insert laugh track) I’m not watching any MLS legally. (Yes, I do have regular TV as well as Internet TV. Actually, Aereo DVR.) By contrast I watch all the NASL games on my TV right now, with my handy Roku box.

So from my perspective there is no reason to believe MLS has a real advantage even TV-wise unless they decide to shell out billions to buy Arsenal and move them to, say, Chicago. Between the regular NASL seasons and the US Open Cup, I have more than enough domestic football to watch on TV without MLS. Unfortunately, I don’t have a New York team to watch– yet. However, I am comforted with the knowledge that I haven’t had that for a few years anyway.

And with that, my first rant ends.