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Friday Mailbag and Open Thread: Purely Speculative

Positions of need, Ricketts, false equivalencies, and more

MLS: Chicago Fire at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Hey y’all, I’m filling in for Ruben this week. He’ll back with you next Friday. Be sure to hit us up with your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #AskHotTime.

Let’s do this thing.

So last November I had the chance to talk with Nelson Rodriguez. The conversation was pretty wide-ranging but we did chat about positional needs for 2018. Here’s a relevant bit from that interview:

We still feel like we could use a, what I would call a creative, dynamic attacking force. Everyone will call that a #10, it doesn’t have to be. [Ignacio] Piatti wears a #10 shirt, he doesn’t play like a #10, but he’s certainly that type of player. So, another creative force in attack.

I thought it was interesting that he mostly talked in broad and abstract terms about what kind of players he was looking for, except at this part when he name-checked Piatti. But I tried not to read too much into it at the time.

So now that we might actually have a shot at signing Piatti, I’m decidedly on board that hype train. That’s my answer. I’m down with almost any creative attacker, but I’d love to get Piatti. Even if we only get a year or two out of him, I’m down.

I’m undecided on the question of the Ricketts family buying the Fire. I also think the rumors of that being a possibility sound a bit dubious. So, I’m in wait-and-see mode.

I think Chicago is big enough for three professional teams. Especially since the Fire and Chicago USL wouldn’t be in the same division. I think they can all co-exist. For my part, I’m excited about the USL team, because I love Chicago Soccer and I want to see it grow.

The lease situation with Toyota Park (soon-to-be SeatGeek) is complicated and beyond the scope of this post. We’re working on putting together something of an explainer on the lease situation, but it’s taking a while because we want to get all our ducks in a row. This is something we really want to get right.

So I’m going to address the second part of the tweet first.

“Hypocrite” isn’t a generic insult you call someone you don’t like. It has a specific meaning. Per Merriam-Webster:

1. a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

2. a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

While self-assessments obviously need to be taken with a grain of salt, I would say that I have not been a hypocrite. I’ve been pretty clear and consistent in my stance on Alan Gordon, as has Hot Time In Old Town’s editorial stance as a whole. Ruben and Sean have been beating that drum long before I even joined staff as the Red Stars correspondent back in 2015. I would go so far as to say I’ve been more consistent than a number of Fire fans, who were perfectly happy to shit on Alan Gordon over the years right up until he put on a red Valspar shirt. Not that I’m calling y’all hypocrites or anything. I’m just saying I’ve been steady in my feelings about Alan Gordon.

Now let’s talk about the “bigot” part.

I challenge your characterization of me as a “bigot” because, based on contextual and subtextual clues, you seem to be attempting to cast my speaking out against Alan Gordon’s homophobic act as itself a form of bigotry. To say that, by calling out intolerance, I am, in an ironic twist, being intolerant. This, I think, comes from a similar place as white folks describing Black Lives Matter protestors as The Real Racists. Karl Popper had something to say about this back in 1945.

Dismantling this idea, like explaining the Bridgeview Lease situation, is beyond the scope of this post. But for now, let’s go through a short list of what things could and could not be reasonably considered “bigotry.”

Not Bigotry:

  • Accurately reporting that a soccer player called an opponent a homophobic slur during a game.
  • Saying that said player did not sufficiently make amends for aforementioned transgression.
  • Criticizing fans for insisting that calling someone a homophobic slur is not a homophobic act while defending their ersatz new favorite player.
  • Calling out instances of said fans engaging in homophobic and transphobic speech while defending their ersatz new favorite player.
  • Having opinions about your favorite sports team that you don’t like.
  • Refusing to take time out of my day to debate you.
  • Blocking you on Twitter.


  • Calling someone a homophobic slur.
  • Referring to an AMAB transgender person as “he” or “it” because you don’t like them or their opinions about your favorite sports team.
  • This:

Hope this helps!

And as to the first part of your question: I will not be stepping down from Hot Time In Old Town for the foreseeable future.

Friendly reminder that our Pride Month Fundraiser continues! All goals scored by the Red Stars against Washington and by the Fire against San Jose this weekend will count towards our goal of $1000 for Center On Halsted. Click HERE to help support the LGBTQ community in Chicago.