19 May 2006

Correctional Facility

From time to time, I daydream. I walk through a indirectly lit matte black corridor. The walls are lined, floor to ceiling, with TVs. In my hands are remote controls. My index fingers fly across their surface, changing channels across the TVs that flank me. Each channel change from one monitor or the other is accompanied by a shock of static until it starts humming with the images of a great moment of soccer. I progress down the hall in this manner, changing each of the channels. Two thirds of the way down the corridor I toss the remote controls to the ground, John Woo style, and pull out two more, finishing the walk. As I turn back, I see that DC United and the USA are well represented in the screens I am watching. It feels right.

I have no idea why I am sharing that with you, since it is perfectly ridiculous. Then again, I'm perfectly ridiculous. There's plenty to get to today, a preview for Columbus to write, but I'd like to start today by responding to some other writers.

FOR GOODNESS SAKES MAN, WE'RE PROFESSIONALS: Dave Lifton evaluates the decorum in Columbus, and finds it wanting. This is a fascinating point, and one that I think explains my discomfort with Alexi Lalas. When you work for a team in MLS or for MLS itself, you are supposed to be a professional. You conduct yourself accordingly. The DCenters is a fan site, which means I am free to spout off about whatever. But if I were writing analysis for a US Soccer Media site, or for DC United, I wouldn't behave like a fan. No, I'd want to behave as an analyst. Sure, it is less fun and cathartic, but the gravitas you must employ as a matter of course is used for respect. You have to be able to switch these things on and off.

To put it another way, I love DC United and I love our fans. Part of what makes being a fan enjoyable is the shared emotional experience. Emotion. Fans are emotional beings, and what I want in my team officials is professional logic and classy behavior. I do not want them to act like drunken fans. There's nothing wrong with drunken fans, I frequently am one. But what a drunken fan does well is create an atmosphere in a game, not run a team to success. When your GM starts acting like a fan and not a professional, it does not bode well.

HE SUCKS - DON'T FIRE HIM: An actual LA fan articulates a similar position to the DCenters on Steve Sampson. Good to know.

"BECKHAM" +10 AVERAGES OUT: Over at Record As I Am, Oscar has some good, common-sense insight into the proposed Beckham rule and its implications. The cliche that seems to be operative when considering these things is "A rising tide carries all boats" and cliches are cliches frequently because they have some truth to them. But Oscar does point out that the Beckham rule, even if implemented, really isn't going to wreck what parity there is in the league. He backs it up with historical examples.

CORRECTIONS: In the interest of truth:

  1. The DCenters in its Kansas City preview said that its expectations to reality level was 103%. The actual number was 114%. The DCenters regrets the error.
  2. The DCenters picked the New York Red Bulls to finish third in the Eastern Conference this year. The DCenters regrets the error.

Finally, wouldn't this be cool? Yeah, I'm not counting on it either.


At 19 May, 2006 10:47, Anonymous K said...

Re being professional, this is one of my beefs with the sainted Peter Wilt. The fans, especially the Sec 8 people there, love him because he is their buddy and literally hangs out with them after games at bars (and they hang on his every word, it's a bit creepy in a David Koresh kind of way). Not to be snarky, but I honestly feel if he spent a little less time on bigsoccer and more running the club maybe he could have saved his job.

My interaction with K. Payne for the Screaming Eagles has always been on a professional level (and honestly most of my dealings for SE business is with the other DCU staff people who handle what I'm looking for). The only time I want to drink with K.P. is at an MLS Cup celebration party!



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