Just a video link
Anyways, here's a link to my Cobi Jones video.
It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak
What the hell does that have to do with anything? I hear you cry. Well, it seems to me that people are continuously arguing about soccer vs. baseball. While there are obvious reasons for this—the “National Pastime” is the major summer sport in the
Well I’m here to say that it is time to stop. I like baseball. I tried for years not to; to be a good soccer fan and show nothing but disdain for most American sports with their stop-start action and constant commercial breaks. While those things still annoy me, (I’ve found that baseball on a TiVo is a wonderful thing) they don’t take away from the feeling of excitement when my beloved Twins are doing well. Honestly, I wasn’t as interested with the team when we were forced to watch the likes of Marty Cordova and Denny Hocking. Who could be? But of course, the Twins aren’t exactly lighting up the league this year either, but I’ve say through extra innings losses to the Indians and pretty damn awful performances to the Royals this year.
The newest MLS commercials are a good example of what I’m driving at here. They take sports that we all know and presumably the general population loves, like baseball, football and basketball and points out the similar features in soccer – “You’re already a fan, you just don’t know it” is the tag.
Now, I’m going to point out something that seems obvious, but I want set as a premise. I go to games to watch the games. I know it seems obvious, but it seems to me that many or most people do not. For example, the last Twins game I went to was a student ID discount night (so the upper deck was about twice as full as the lower deck, but I digress.) The masses of people in the ‘dome were cheering and booing at random times that had nothing to do with the game itself. I’d become distracted from the game and look to see what was going on—a beach ball being confiscated by security. A fight in section 245. A streaker (well maybe not.) Even more than that, sitting on the end of a row, I lost count of the number of times I had to get up to let people out of the row by the fourth inning (fifteen by then.) These people aren’t there to watch the game, they’re there because it’s a place to be. To meet with people and talk, and spent $7 on a shitty beer. The game itself is immaterial; it’s just a byproduct of the mingling event.
I think this is part of what turned me off on the game. I don’t like paying money to do something and then not do what I’ve paid for the privilege of doing. But that is the difference between the person who is a ‘sports fan’ and a person who is a fan of the game. I would argue that the vast majority of the hard-core soccer fans in this country are fans of the game. They like to watch the game, and that is where the disconnect is happening with the casual sports fan.
A casual fan of baseball can sit in the upper deck, flirting with the drunk 19 year old college freshman with her fake ID sitting next to him and still manage to cheer at the appropriate time because of the nature of baseball. There is often music or an announcement. In soccer, it’s harder to cheer at appropriate times if you’re not paying attention. There is no music played (hopefully) for a good defensive tackle or header back to your goalkeeper. It takes more to be an active fan at a soccer game.
But I still enjoy watching the game of baseball. There is skill and athleticism involved, and once you learn the rules, it’s quite easy to get drawn into the strategy. No rule is more complicated than the offsides rule, so don’t be intimidated. Even the much hyped infield fly rule is pretty easy when you start to think about it.
So stop bashing one sport just because you love another. Don’t be a soccer geek, be a fan.
The fact of the matter is that Americans will never understand the importance of the US Open Cup. The way that American sports are set up with a meaningless regular season leading up to a play-off cup championship is not going to change, and as long as it’s there, there will never be a meaningful second cup tournament in the
Sure, we could run MLS like that. We could eliminate the playoffs and simply have a single table and a separate cup, but as long as MLS strives to be the ‘fifth major,’ it can’t just stroll to the beat of a different drum. The public at large will not accept it, or will not make the effort to understand it.
It would be nice, but I feel as long as both the USL and MLS have a play-off format, the average fan will not value the US Open Cup. The die-hards who watch the foreign leagues and also the
When soccer makes it in this country, it won’t be because the average sports fan is watching the English Premier League or Serie A or the Primiera Division. It will be when the average sports fan watches MLS and the World Cup and roots for the
At that point, maybe the USSF could consider making a switch to a ‘pure’ league championship. However the way in which American sports are marketed practically require an ultimate SUPER MEGA ULTRA Bowl where one team wins and another loses. The awarding of a CONCACAF Champions cup place to the MLS regular season champions is a very big step in the right direction, but as long as MLS Cup exists, the US Open cup will remain an afterthought.
And is that really such a bad thing? In reality, the
Beyond that, the US Open Cup will just have to live in continued obscurity until such a point as the underlying format of US Soccer (or even