01 November 2006

Act Locally, Think Globally

I'm working on trying to get a preview of this Sunday's game against New England up with the help of someone who can provide some rather unique insight, but a few things I wanted to touch on.

THE OFFICE POLITICS OF PIOTR NOWAK: The discussion of non-coach of the year Piotr Nowak two days ago is very interesting, and I encourage people to read the comments. Some excellent representative points from multiple views are written there. Along those lines, I want to float an idea which may or may not have any validity. We all know that Supporter's can pressure a front office to fire a head coach. But can a head coach use supporters to pressure a front office for a contract extension? I ask this because it seems that in recent post-game interviews over the past month, Piotr Nowak has gone out of his way to comment on the supporters and their contribution to the team. What is more interesting is the way in which he may be impying that support of the team = support of Nowak as head coach. Specifically, read this (emphasis added):

As a coach, you just enjoy seeing this kind of crowd. The moment we know if we haven't been good, or if we are having trouble, the crowd is still fantastic. They are behind me and behind the players.

Now, you can read this as "They are rallying the team for a win" but you can also read this as "The fans support me personally, and I support them." It's an interesting move, though I doubt most supporters think of it that way. They (and we) may sing "We are Nowak's army" but we all know that the team is bigger than one player, one coach, or one anything. I'm just wondering if Nowak is trying to establish, to some degree, a base of support to bolster his coaching position. Maybe not. But then again, maybe so. Of course, I was an English Major, so I'm prone to overreading.

ARE WE NOT PART OF THE WORLD: Slate's photo slide-show of the day is of "Soccer Around the World." What's upsetting is that the only US picture is of Marilyn Monroe tossing out a soccer ball in the 1950s. Couldn't they find something more representative of US soccer today? Are we not still part of the world game, even though NASCAR has higher ratings? Or is this some bit of subtle American Exceptionalism, where we are not part of the world unless a busty blonde is involved?