Wednesday, December 17, 2008

If At First You Fail... Fail, Fail Again

It's probably the highest compliment to the now defunct Fire Joe Morgan that their blog name spawned a verb. Now, when we receive something epically dumb, someone around here usually offers to FJM it.

So yes, our theft of their schtick is pure flattery.

Anyway today we're going to talk MLS expansion. The collective UF is fairly ambivalent on most the cities up for a team. We like some places more than others, but we don't think there is any bid that should be trashed straightaway.

So with that in mind we give you this piece from the Orlando Sentinel on Miami's bid for a second MLS franchise.

Play along after the jump as we deconstruct Uncle Ed. And not that's not a euphemism (but it's also not a stone as I am well aware that I blog under the moniker of Precious Roy).

No matter where I go it seems every news article, blog or discussion board has a large group of haters just waiting to comment with something negative about a Major League Soccer team being awarded to Miami... and I wonder why?

Dude, that's so true. That shit also happens to me no matter where I go. Just today I was taking my morning poo, when suddenly a blog post that was full of negativity about soccer in Miami appeared out of nowhere. Blogs, articles, message boards, I can't get away from them. They're like Jehovah's Witnesses.

I'm guessing the author doesn't go anyplace besides the Internet.

Did someone from Miami treat them bad? Maybe their vacation in Miami was that terrible? Perhaps it was an ex-girlfriend from Miami?

This is either attempted humor, or the silliest list of motivations for writing about pro sports expansion ever put together. I've actually spent time thinking about it and I can't decide which it is.

Whatever the case I'm here to Finally confront these mere pathetic mortals with a little reality!

Are there immortals writing about MLS expansion? Anyway, most of the stuff I've come across has been deferential to the Miami bid, and almost solely because it has ties to FC Barcelona. The only thing I've read that raised concerns was a piece in SI. Here, this one. Now, granted my sample versus your sample isn't very intellectually compelling, but the onus is on you here. If you're arguing against the "haters" then you should probably establish that a) they exist and b) they are the majority of people commenting on the possible MLS bid in Miami. You didn't do either.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Folks, I'm sorry most of you live in Cold places

Where is Cold? I'm going to guess North Dakota. I bet that whole fucking state in under ice like 72% of the year.

If you turn "cold" from a proper noun back into an improper noun, then that statement is not relevant. It might also be false. The population shift in the US over the last 40 years is away from cold weather climes to warm ones.

Also, where can I get a random proper noun generator?

I'm sorry our women are beautiful

Also not relevant.

I'm sorry that one of the two new teams that will be part of Major League Soccer will be a team out of Miami.

Apologizing for things that have yet to happen? If this is something you will regret, but it hasn't happened, then shouldn't you instead work to make it not happen? That way you could avoid having to apologize.

Sucks to be you but thats just the way the cookie crumbles!

Boom! Scoreboard. You. Sucks to be us. Man, there is no recovering from that one. We're just going to stop right here. We've lost. And that cookies crumbles bit? You sir are like Shakespeare and Hunter Thompson, only combined into one person.

Sure, go ahead and comment about how the last team in Miami failed (It was actually in Ft Lauderdale)

The New York Giants play in New Jersey and sell out every game. The L.A. Galaxy play in Carson and lead the league in attendance. What's your point? That people won't go someplace to see a team that's different from the city that the team has in its name? My point is that I came up with two counterexamples without having to think about it.

go ahead and cry about how the fans didn't show up (In the last year of the Miami Fusion; attendance went up almost 50%),

Finally, now we've got data, or rather datum. But he's got a number to help back up his claim, and even better, it's accurate. The average attendance at Fusion games indeed jumped 50%. It went from two fans to three.

In 2000, the Fusion drew an average of 7460 fans. That was dead last—12th out of 12—in attendance, and the lowest number in the (admittedly brief) league history. The next season, when the Fusion had the best regular season record in the league, attendance jumped to 11,177. While a nice jump in absolute terms (and yes almost a 50% increase) it was still only good for 9th best in the league, and just slightly better than half of what league leaders D.C. United averaged in attendance (21,518).

Just for the sake of completeness, here are the Fusion attendance numbers (with the rank in parenthesis).

• 1998: 10,284 - (11th of 12)
• 1999: 8,689 - (11th of 12)
• 2000: 7,460 - (12th of 12)
• 2001: 11,177 - (9th of 12)

So the Fusion were last or next to last in attendance every year of their existence save one. That one year, they were pretty good. That more people come out to support a winner isn't the least bit surprising.

The two years they finished next to last, the only team below them was Kansas City. So Miami, a city with a metro area population of about 5.4 million people barely outdrew a city about 35% of its size (Kansas City is about 1.9 million people).

complain about the weather (I got nothing on that except it doesn't snow here and thats still great!).

Actually, it does snow in Miami.

No Stadium to play in? FIU's brand new stadium is there, regulation Fifa size and everything! Why all the complaining? Jealous people my friends, because when it gets down to it.... Where do most people want to go?

Because when it comes down to it... insert an ellipsis.

God I'm so envious of Miami with it's hurricanes and plastic surgery-addled population. Wait, I know how I'll get back at them, I'll write that they don't deserve an MLS team. By helping to keep a sport out of the area that nobody ever attended the first time it was there I'll have my revenge. Bwa ha ha ha.

That works best if you envision me screaming it with a Herbert Lom as Chief Inspector Dreyfus eye twitch. Anyway I certainly hope the author is kidding because that's one of the three dumbest arguments I've ever heard in my life.

Let me see some hands...who wants to go to Canada?

Let's play along... I do. Vancouver is absolutely beautiful. One of the better cities in North America.

Anyone for St Louis?

Eh, I've spent a few nights in St. Louis. Not a preferred destination, but I can think of worse places to be exiled.


Another great city. Totally livable. Good people. If you gave me a good job in Portland, I'd move there tomorrow.


I'll pass. I'm not too big on sprawl. But if hot babes is central to your argument, Atlanta grades out well in that department.

Ok, ok, Miami, Florida anyone.

Been there twice. It was okay. But if I never went back it wouldn't bother me in the least bit. Plenty of places have nice weather and hot babes. Miami is not particularly special in this regard.

The argument here seems to be: I like Miami, so they should have an MLS team. Me? I like Sydney. So they should have an MLS team. I also like Reykjavik. Can we put one there?

So why will it be different this time? Deep pockets! Miami Fusions last owner didn't have them and wasn't willing to stick it out

Miami's last owner was a guy named Ken Horowitz. He was an early investor in the wireless industry. He co-founded Cellular One and purchased cell phone licenses for central New York. He then sold 1.3 million potential customers to Southwestern Bell. For his troubles, he pocketed $250 million according to this article here.

I'm not sure about any of Horowitz's other investments, or how much he made in all of his wireless business, but a quarter of a billion dollars seems like plenty deep pockets for MLS in the late 90s.

so it wasn't the fans that failed the team, the fans were there.

No they weren't. Back up a couple of sections if you missed that.

If the MLS could take it back I'm sure they would have kept Miami because of Location, location, location. Thats why they always wanted to come back.

So nobody was really going to games, and the Fusion (or the Fusion's share in the league as the league owns all the teams) were probably hemorrhaging cash because of it, so they folded up shop. But that was actually a mistake because, hey what nice weather, and check out that cans on that bimbo.

The difference today is that Barcelona of Spain is one of the investors.

Not to be confused with Barcelona of Utah. I'm assuming he means F.C. Barcelona as I don't think the municipality of Barcelona will be investing in MLS.

It probably does make a difference that FCB, as opposed to some wireless tycoon—oh wait, that's the co-investor this time around—wants to get in to the league, especially from the league standpoint. In fact that alone might be enough for MLS to want to go back to Miami. How can they pass up the opportunity to have FC Barcelona invested in the league? But what, beyond the name, is Barca really going to provide? I don't mean that rhetorically. What have they committed to that will make this substantially more appealing both to the league and to the fans? Despite having an enormous fan base in Southern California, Chivas de Guadalajara providing the name as part of their ownership in MLS hasn't been a boon to popularity for the American side as Chivas USA is 8th (of 14) in average attendance (see the SI article linked above). That lags about 11,000 fans per game behind their cross-venue rivals, the Galaxy. Certainly some of that difference can be attributed to the presence of David Beckham, but it's still eighth.

The difference today is that Soccer in this town is being played more then ever! In every park, empty lot, back yard, kids, adults, animals, you name it! They are all playing the game.

People are playing soccer (sorry, Soccer) in kids? Okay, parallel structure issues aside, if you can quantify the purchasing power of pets in Miami, and give me an estimate of how much of that is likely to be spent on MLS, I'd be interested in hearing that.

We have a large support group in the Miami Ultras Fan Club, (Go and join!) We have Soccer academys from Homestead to the Palm Beaches! Things are better organized.

That doesn't mean people will go to games. It might help things be better if the MLS goes back, but better is relative. Will they jump from next-to-last to next-to-next-to-last in attendance?

When the news comes in January; I'll be very surprised if Miami doesn't get a team. Shocked is the word.

I thought "Grease" is the word. Okay, I'll flagellate myself for that. In any event, if it's going to shock you then MLS certainly must give it to Miami. Best argument I've heard yet. Sarcasm.

At the end of the day Miami is where its going to be.

That sentence makes me want to stab you. And I'm a pacifist.

Because if you ask any player in the world, where would you want to play if given a choice in the USA? It would be Miami.

I'm resisting going back to sic this thing up. I'm thinking that if I asked any player in the world where they'd want to play in the USA very few of them would say Miami, primarily because Miami doesn't have a team. Even if it did, I'd wager a good percentage of players would say New York or L.A. Shit, you pay a player enough, you can make them want to go anywhere, even Columbus.

If you haven't already Go to the Miami FCB website and check it out! Become a fan, reserve your seats!

So the argument never got more sophisticated than: I like Miami, ergo MLS should put a team in Miami. Oh, and reserve your seats. So that makes this either the least logically compelling thing I've read this calendar year or the worst piece of thinly veiled public relations propaganda I have ever read. And I worked in the music industry, which is overpopulated with the illiterate. So, it's a tough choice.


ΓΌ75 said...

I always thought the word was Thunderbird, and its price was forty twice.

I wonder how much he got paid to write this crap, and how I get in on that racket. I could use a new job.

Spectator said...

Wow, you'd think that this dude was talking about Detroit given his strawman argument that everyone in the world hates Miami.

Andrew said...

The logic is terrible, the syntax is awful, and you really can't dance to it.

I give it a 1 out of 10.

Adam said...

Why would soccer succeed in Miami when a team that won a world series a few years ago draws 500 people? The argument about how everyone would want to play in miami is dumb, if I could pick a job in Miami or Ohio, of course I'd take Miami but that doesn't mean anything in terms of people actually showing up.

These need their own name, Fire Tommy Smyth? Fire Julie Foudy? You could probably find even more of these to break down than what FJM had, since there's so many morons writing about soccer in the US.

Lingering Bursitis said...

For some reason, soccer brings out all the wackos in the journalism world over here, mainly because they can rag on it and wax lyrical without worrying about any reader ever calling them out on their errors.

Hopefully we're going to help change that!

Precious Roy said...

Adam... largely agree. Teams in Miami draw well when they are vying for championships. Otherwise, meh. The Marlins are particularly embarrassing when you consider that they were in the race for the NL East until the last month of the season and were drawing in the few hundreds.

So if you could convince me that Miami would be atop their half the league and into at least the semis every season, then sure, pick Miami.

Of course in a league with a $2.2 million salary cap, that's a ridiculous guarantee to make. Even without the cap it's ridiculous (although just slightly less so).

Goat said...

Adam--What if the hypothetical job was at Miami University (in Oxford, Ohio)? Did I just blow your mind?

Adam said...

So this Miami of Ohio you speak of, it has beaches and beautiful latin women right?

I'm so confused right now!!!

Uncle Ed said...

"The logic is terrible, the syntax is awful, and you really can't dance to it."
Awww schucks man, it wasn't that illogical... Even the "deconstructor" found some coherent episodes so I don't think Mr. Spock is going to invite you to Vulcan either. The grammar does suck but what do you expect from a blogger? ...and the truth is I can't dance so yes, no rhythm, you got me on 2 out of the 3!

megha said...

I always thought the word was Thunderbird, and its price was forty twice.

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