So the Munich trip came and went with barely a mention by either Big Media (tm) or the Fire-centric media. Shout out to FloSports/the Fire/Bayern Munich for making the game as difficult to watch as possible.
Nothing really happened, though. Bayern won 4-0, Bastian Schweinsteiger scored against the Fire, and then everyone went home. Now the team has a three-week break to get it together for the end of the season. That means we have a lot of downtime before the next kickoff. So let me save you some trouble real quick and answer some of your pressing. questions ahead of time:
Orange juice is yellow. A hot dog is a sandwich. Chili is a stew, not a soup.
And now for this week’s Mailbag questions. You can send me questions every week on Twitter using the hashtag #AskHotTime.
#AskHotTime I'm very concerned about #cf97 moving in the near future. Our metrics are worse than CBUS in many ways, and we know that Hauptman has no affinity to the fans or the city. People talk about how important Chicago is to MLS, but clearly it's not. Thoughts?— Chris May (@chrismayCF97) August 31, 2018
We’re very concerned here as well. It’s come up a few times in our Roundtables and internal discussions. The only thing that makes sense with what’s going on with the club is that Andrew Hauptman and co are planning to move the club, or are planning to sell it. A point in favor of an outright sell is the minority sell off of 49% ownership to Joe Mansueto, a Chicago local. AH wants out of Chicago, that much seems obvious. Whether or not it’s with or without the team all depends on the mood at MLS HQ in New York.
However, if the team does move, I expect it would be more a Earthquakes/Dynamo situation, rather than a Columbus one. All that talk about how Chicago is important to MLS, it’s true. They need a team in the third largest media market in the United States. They see what happens to TV numbers when a Chicago team in a popular but still niche sport gets proper support and starts winning. The Blackhawks getting good in 2007/2008 helped jump start the NHL after a long post lockout apathy. MLS needs the Fire to be relevant, and they know it.
Short Answer: Irrelevance. They’ll go quietly into that good night.
Slightly longer answer: They’ll maybe win a game or two, but keep on making the same defensive mistakes that have cost them points all season. Veljko Paunovic will be out of a job, N-Rod will have another chance to screw up the offseason, and we’ll all concentrate on something else until January when we do this all over again. So it goes.