Oh, those lovely moments between the conclusion of one season and the start of the next, when a young man or young woman’s mind turns to all types of delightful topics and a multiplicity of rumors that are “likely 100% true because I know a guy.”
I love this sport. I adore NSC. I really enjoy the entire community that’s blossomed around it. That said, there are some topics I could never hear again and be completely happy about the fact. Before I begin, this is personal opinion, not prescription; this is my personal list of topics I could happily never hear discussed again. (For the record, I realize that this is my “Old Man Shouts at Sky” essay. I can’t help. These are the things that make me scream). Do not confuse this with Davey Shepherd’s semi-periodical “Three Things I Love/ Three Things I Hate.” Outside of VAR, I don’t hate any of the items below. I just hate the discussion about them.
The NSC Stadium Deal rumors: I get it. There are bumps and lawsuits and screaming, angry people all over this topic. There are local television reporters who think they can build a career out of rehashing the same arguments and lawsuits far past their “dead by” date. But, honestly, unless it’s been verified AND unless there is some new (and actionable) information, I’m opting out. If you have some action you want to suggest that is needed to keep the effort moving or something that needs to be done to better set up our situation, get in touch with me, I want to help. But I’m fatigued by the stop and start, jump and fit pacing of rumors (hell, one twitter account has Colby Sledge being under investigation for taking bribes). I’m not telling you to stop hand wringing or shouting at the sky. Feel free. I’ve just gotten to the limits of discussing the same information repeatedly.
Jersey reveals: I don’t care whether or not you like the supposed “leaked” home, away or third kit designs for NSC. In fact, I don’t care whether or not you like the real ones. To each his own, of course, but the way in which sofa soccer fans become Vogue editors during jersey reveals is always baffling to me. Tell you what, after you’ve all done your runway critiques, show me where to buy whatever jersey the team puts out, and, as long as it has the NSC logo on it, I’m buying one. And I’m liking it.
VAR: I hate it. In the Premier League, it’s been far, far worse than I expected. Not only are games delayed for inordinate amounts of time while officials utilize machines designed to test high energy particle physics in order to see if a toe nail is off side, but no one I know feels like the officiating is better than before. VAR is interrupting the game AND, significantly, not leading to decisions that settle arguments. I’m done arguing about it. It’s a disaster in the Prem and a disaster in MLS. I will not talk about it.
New Player Rumors: I’ll talk about new players we’ve signed all day long. Rumors, especially rumors from twitter accounts with 15 followers? No, absolutely not. I don’t even like the “What if?” scenarios. I realize many people have more expertise than do I, but I doubt any of us have the expertise that those working for the team, who are watching and scouting players for a living. Also, my guess is that they, having met the players and talked to others who know them, have a much better sense than do I about how they will fit in to the team chemistry. So, honestly, if you talk to me about a player you hope we sign, or you want to discuss rumors, don’t be insulted if I get a slightly glazed, “looking off in the distance” expression. I just don’t care. I really don’t.
Promotion/Relegation in MLS: Nope. I have had this conversation too many times. I’m out. Of course, we all love pro/rel. Of course, we would all want it, but having a conversation about putting it into place right now is simply not feasible. No one who has paid $150 million for a franchise fee is going to be willing to risk relegation. Other leagues in other countries developed differently. I don’t know if Pro/Rel will ever be a possibility here, but I’m bored with the same old arguments over and over. Especially given that none of us can do anything about it, anyway. What do I think? Doesn’t matter. Not gonna happen.
I already miss looking forward to next week’s next NSC game. These topics just make it all worse. I’m going back to my cave now.