Dec 30, 2012, 9:05 AM EDT
Every now and then, this terrible idea of professional soccer in the United States adopting the FIFA soccer calendar sneaks out of the closet.
And we have to round up the darn thing and sweep it back in there. We’ll use the occasion of Sepp Blatter’s silly remarks to fight this fight yet again.
Ironically, about the time Blatter’s comments about MLS aligning itself with the international soccer calendar where going public, there was a college football bowl game going on at Yankee Stadium.
Maybe you saw a play or two. It was snowing and the weather was fairly awful. It makes for pretty TV pictures, but who really wants to be sitting in (or driving in) that stuff?
That happened to be a Saturday night, a.k.a. prime time for MLS kickoffs.
So what do you think the crowd might have looked like at Red Bull Arena during the big winter storm of December 2012? Or down in Boston, perhaps? Not great, I would imagine.
So, yes, the weather is a major impediment. Not the only one, mind you, but an impediment for sure.
The FIFA calendar advocates, as I have said before, have presumably not spent a winter in Chicago, Columbus, New York, Boston, Toronto or a couple of other spots where nasty weather happens fairly regularly.
Yes, yes, I can hear it now: “They play NFL football during the winter in those cities!”
But that is such a silly argument. American football survives in cold-weather markets because they play just 8-10 dates a year. So, first, the number of truly bad weather games is limited.
Second, as they play so infrequently, fans will man-up, layer-up and go take the weather beating. It’s the land’s most popular sport, where fans wait for years on season ticket lists, and where they plan their lives in some cases around two or three dates on the calendar. They put up with it because a game in December or January is important; it’s worth the stretch.
If it’s just a regular season game against Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Chicago, etc., they’ll just take a pass, thank you very much. And we’ll all look at the empty seats, or consider the questions of re-scheduling and say, “Why in the world did they move to the winter schedule?”
In short, what works in the NFL won’t necessarily work in MLS. Perhaps you’ve noticed: the NFL is a radically different beast than MLS.
Jun 19, 2013, 7:45 AM EDT
The 24-year-old American has found a new team, after spending 5 seasons at Villa Park.
Jun 19, 2013, 7:08 AM EDT
The Premier League has released its fixture list for the 2013/2014 season in its entirety. Find out the opening fixtures plus your favorite team’s derby here!
Jun 19, 2013, 2:00 AM EDT
Feel free to ask yourself at this point: where would the United States be in World Cup qualifying without its young, in-form striker:
Jun 18, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
Jozy Altidore was the hero for the United States, cooly slotting a left-footed shot to hand the Stars & Stripes a 1-0 victory over Honduras.
Jun 18, 2013, 8:33 PM EDT
The LA Galaxy coach has taken aging players and made them useful parts of the roster before:
Jun 18, 2013, 7:14 PM EDT
Everyone loves “The Pope”
Jun 18, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Our weekly re-ordering of Major League Soccer teams, following 16 rounds of play:
Jun 18, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT
Some of the best U.S. success in the past has come when the United States was backed into a corner. Tonight looks much different:
Jun 18, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
There are a few choices to be made ahead of Tuesday’s match in Utah:
Jun 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Unsaid in this narrative is this: most U.S. sites are bright and alive these days.
Jun 18, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT
Stuart Pearce has been relieved of his duties as manager of England’s U-21 squad.
Jun 18, 2013, 9:34 AM EDT
Australia join Brazil and Japan as nations that already have booked their place in next summer’s World Cup.
Jun 18, 2013, 7:56 AM EDT
Hearts have put the entire squad up for sale to raise the reported £500,000 needed to get the club to the start of the season.
Jun 18, 2013, 12:10 AM EDT
Brazil has infrastructure concerns. They’ve also spent $3.3 billion on soccer stadia. No surprise, people aren’t happy.
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