09 March 2006

Business Casual

Wanted to bring to your attention the viewpoint of two non-soccer bloggers that are none-the-less soccer friendly. First, Off Wing Opinion weighs in on Houston Dynamo. While the argument advanced by Eric is not a new one, it is interesting to see it as an emerging opinion on a blog:

But when you say that the name Houston 1836 is offensive, we're really only a half step away from saying that the name Houston itself -- which after all, honors the name of the man who helped lead the rebellion that created the Texas Republic in the first place -- is something to be ashamed of as well.

In a way, it's like somebody saying that Lexington and Concord 1775 is offensive. And if you don't think that 1836 is as important a date in U.S. history as well, then you're just fooling yourself.

Note that Off-Wing has a vaguely right-wing economic viewpoint. But there's trouble on the other side, as vaguely left-wing DC blogger (MattWDC) also pennies up, from a different perspective, and exploring some of the main themes relating to American Exceptionalism:

How do you think a typical American sports fan responds to all of this? Probably with some degree of bafflement and maybe with a little resentment as well. Whose country is this anyway? Do you love soccer because it's a great sport or because being a soccer fan makes you better than the fans of the big four sports? Do you love soccer because you really aren't sure whether you love America?

I find this passage fascinating, and wish Matt had explored it a bit more. Part of what made DC United work in the beginning were two things: It had a unique identity from the rest of MLS, and it was a winner (not necessarily in that order). However, as more teams have come in for Euro style names, because the DC United example worked so well, it seems like a euro-rebranding has become viewed as a panacea by marketers. Which isn't really the case. Also, I think there's a lot to think about in Matt's questions above. Certainly I'm going to keep it in the back of my mind...