I know I was pretty excited to hear about this so called, "major announcement" that the MLS would be revealing yesterday morning at 10AM EST. A few of us on this site had even kicked ideas back and forth on what could be announced. Maybe a new TV contract? Maybe announcement of the long rumored New York Cosmos re-invention (you know, so they could actually pay the people they have already hired for working on a real, non-imaginary team)? In fact, it was even joked about that they were going to announce that every MLS game would be played at Qwest field to further enhance the supremacy of Seattle fans.
Other thoughts ranged from announcing the site of the All-Star game to some sort of other non-major "major" announcement. I thought to myself, "the MLS wouldn't label a potentially groundbreaking opportunity for the league as "major" unless that's what it was." Well, color me embarrassed for assuming I know what runs through the league's collective head at times. Sadly it was like Groundhog Day all over. Follow me after the break for a little more insight into these events.
I found yesterday's announcement to be one of the most anti-climactic things the MLS could have announced. Is having an All Star game in Red Bull Arena really THAT important of an announcement? Even if I lived in New York, I wouldn't have considered it a major announcement. I think it looks bad when the MLS puts word out on something like this, and then ends up using the opportunity to name your next All-Star venue instead of something truly groundbreaking. Seriously, I would assume other sports and major media outlets took note of this press release. Now, obviously if the MLS didn't have a new TV deal in place, then they couldn't announce that, but why call it a major announcement in the first place? I don't get that. Do you really need Thierry Henry AND Landon Donovan on hand to help Garber with this announcement?
Would they really have called it a major announcement if it was going to be at Toyota Park? No, they wouldn't have. It's New York though so they expect everyone to care. I can see that New Yorkers are probably more excited than I am, but again, I can't see them calling it a "major" announcement next year if the game were to take place at Pizza Hut Park, Texas' finest establishment for sporting events.
I guess it's just the MLS fan in me being let down over what I expected to be so much more. I would have rather had them announce live streaming of games for all teams under a unified system. C'mon, if the Major Indoor Soccer League can manage it, I think the MLS can (MISL does a fine job with it too). I would have also accepted the full regular season schedule even though that is not 'major', simply standard. There is a certain irony too in the All-Star game coming out before the full schedule, just what are the league's priorities here? Hell, I would have even taken the announcement of an actual team store at Toyota Park, rather than the Chicagosoccer.com shops set up. Don't get me wrong, they do a fine job at their own stores, but the fact that we don't have a dedicated souvenir shop at our stadium is ludicrous. EVERY sporting event I have been to has a souvenir shop of some kind.
In the end, I think MLS really dropped the ball here. Yes, I am sure the All-Star game will be exciting in Red Bull Arena, but if you are going to bring in two of the biggest stars in the league, along with the commissioner, you need to have something more major than that. Can you see Bud Selig (who I hate with a passion), Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols holding a "major" announcement to let us know the next All Star Game will be played in PNC Park? It's a beautiful park from what I hear, but I would expect a bit more from such leaders.
Alas, this disappointment is nothing like what I experienced the other day, when Andy Carroll stabbed my beloved Newcastle United in the back (he was the icon of the team, like a C.J. Brown), and the worst owner in sports history (Mike Ashley) didn't even fill the huge hole Andy left by signing anyone before the transfer deadline came to a close. See Fire fans, it could always be worse!