07 March 2006

A House Divided Can Not Stand, But an Amoeba Divided is, Um... Two Amoebas

What is becoming more fascinating about the New Jersey Red Bull story is the strange divide that seems to have shown up in MLS fandom. Some days I feel like the Soccer Blog arena, and soccer fandom as a whole, is one giant echo chamber (we like single tables, the supporter's shield, promotion and relegation, and other stuff that isn't going to happen, etc...). The New Jersey Red Bull story nicely disproves of that idea. As I write this, there are 12 comments on my previous thoughts, which is an extraordinary amount for around here. And even more remarkable is the fact that MLS fandom is splitting on this issue, and fairly passionately at that.

Mr. Fish is unsettled by the idea. We Call Him "Free Beer" Joe also hates the idea. Maradawga, a friend of the Metros and New York resident, likes it. As do I, a DC United fan. Mike H. is... ambivalent. But it is an EXTREME sort of ambivalence. Very, very interesting. Anyways, go read other people's opinions. At this point, I stand by my original feeling: That this name change is not that huge a deal to the rest of MLS and that we shouldn't really feel strongly one way or the other about it (in other words, I may think it's stupid, but I don't view it as a travesty or suicidal.) New Jersey fans can, of course, make as big a deal as they want to about this. If it was my team, I'd probably be out rioting in the streets. As I've stated already, I think DC United's brand is too valuable a resource that any smart capitalist wouldn't rebrand the team. So I'm not yet convinced that this represents a "Grave Threat To Our MLS Way of Life" or that "There is a spectre haunting the Eastern Conference: the spectre of high energy supplement drinks." Of course, I've been known to be convinced otherwise.

Update: The Belly comes out in favor of the idea, and the Kin of Fish looks at the impending regime change and feels sick.


At 08 March, 2006 03:08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at the positives of this deal.

Somebody is willing to pay a lot of money for an MLS team.

How is that bad news...think back to 11 years ago when we didn't even have a league. No one would have paid 2 cents for a team in 95'.

At 08 March, 2006 10:04, Anonymous Oscar M. said...

I think DC United's brand is too valuable a resource that any smart capitalist wouldn't rebrand the team

I think so too but the risk I see is that some uninformed future owner will want to buy a team and rebrand it to suit their agenda. They may not be aware of the particular history of any MLS team. Of course, I also trust that Kevin Payne would never seriously consider such an offer, unless the viability of the league/team is at stake.

At 08 March, 2006 16:55, Anonymous Joer said...

I'm with Oscar on this... It's a slippery slope. Once you allow one corporate owner to do it -- even one with a better name than "MetroStars" -- there will be no practical way to deny future owners to do it.

Any assumptions that future owners would value other clubs' names and traditions -- even D.C. United's -- are unfounded.

At 09 March, 2006 04:20, Anonymous Matt said...

Again...the whining...give it up. Be happy that you all have a team.

What would you all prefer...no team in DC or NY or a team named DC or NY Red Bulls.

Hell...bring a team to Seattle and name them whatever the hell you want...I'll just be happy watching live soccer.


At 09 March, 2006 04:39, Anonymous Matt said...

For an additional posting on my viewpoint...GUYS....It's only a F..ing name...at least Enron didn't try and buy a team.

This is GREAT news for the MLS. Somebody wants to BUY a team!!!!! For A LOT of money!!!

Guys/Gals....the MLS isn't a government subsidy (although most sports are...)....and the owners didn't get rich by being idiots. Eventually the original investors will get tired of losing money and look to sell.

The league needs new money....HUGE thanks to the original guys who invested knowing that they would lose money.

Now Red Bull wants in...put a team in Seattle....PLEASE!! Hanneman is from here and already admits that he chugs Red Bull before games....instant commercial!!!

Guys...you all totally miss the point...without money there would be no MLS...forget the "history" that you all speak of...cut your hair and shave your beard...get a real job...and realize how the world works.

I respect the fire you all have for the history and protecting the brand name of the teams...your love of soccer.....but worry about that 10 years from now when the MLS is financially stable.

Right now...we are real lucky that a few great men believe in soccer enough to lose MILLIONS in the hopes of building a successful league.

Do any of you realize how MUCH a million dollars is? The owners didn't win the lottery...they worked for it...meaning they respect their money and don't like pissing it away.

GO DC...GO MLS (although the champions cup debacle was tough to take....)


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