Photo Credit: Christine Wise… Thanks Christine!
Another guest writer for you today… “why?” you ask… Because some people asked to be heard. And that’s what we are all about here at The Section 108!
So here is a view from a fellow Los Angeles Galaxy fan… We’d love to hear your comments…
Evan Garcia – Los Angeles
2010 in soccer has been the Year of Twitter, especially for American fans. The social networking site with the infamously rickety server (how it didn’t self-implode and create a black hole during the World Cup final, swallowing the earth and leaving only the Fail Whale floating in space, I’ll never know) has brought American soccer fans together like nothing else has before . We can immediately find out what game everyone is watching, and find out their thoughts. We also find out the interests of the people we are following, creating new friendships in the process when you find out what people are doing when they aren’t watching soccer (yes, it does sometimes happen).
So consider my surprise when last night I visited Twitter and found that almost every single one of the soccer people that I follow were tweeting about the MLS All-Star Game. I mean, I know it’s soccer, but come on—it’s the All-Star Game. I have a bias and consider American soccer fans to be intelligent people, for the most part, and I would assume that everyone would have better ways to spend their time.
I’m not a sore loser, and I’m not just pooh-poohing the All-Star Game because MLS got clobbered in Houston, honest. I find every single all-star game in all sports to be a monumental waste of time. I love the NBA—hate the all-star game. Baseball tries to force fans to consider their ASG relevant by declaring that the league who wins the game will have home field advantage in the World Series. In the NFL, not even the players selected to the Pro Bowl want to play in it. Hockey? Moving on…
Since 2003, MLS has tried to gain recognition for the quality of the league, and well, just plain recognition by anyone not already a MLS fan, by having one team of MLS all stars against a foreign club (except in 2004, when Real Madrid had to qualify for the Champions League and stood MLS up…and let’s forget about that weird MLS vs. USA game in 2002). But let’s look at some of the teams that have spent part of their summer in the US, and whose players will no doubt regale their grand-kids with stories of playing against the likes of Juan Toja, Simo Valakari, and Michael Parkhurst—Everton, Fulham, West Ham, and Celtic. Undoubtedly big names to soccer fans, but they don’t get the non-die hard soccer fan’s pulse racing. Alright, so we also played and beat Chivas and Chelsea. But when it comes down to it, these games are meaningless for fans.
I’m sure that for the players it’s a bit of a thrill. But I don’t think it goes beyond that—these games (and the increasing number of mid-season friendlies against the European clubs who are more than happy to come over here, warm up a bit, and go back home with some nice money) don’t have any lasting impact on MLS. It’s a bit embarrassing to see MLS bend over backwards in bringing European clubs while trying to win over new fans—while our own season is going on and players run the risk of injury or simple exhaustion—and the bottom line is that they’re naked displays of commercialism and cheap ploys to get people to pay much more than the cost of a regular MLS game for a friendly. I’m sure you’ve read this argument countless times before, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Sure, games like a friendly against Real Madrid, or an all-star game against Manchester United are just a bit of fun. Just don’t tell me that they mean anything more than that.
To follow Evan here is his twitter tag (@erg79)