More people than ever are watching soccer on TV in the US…time to cut newspaper coverage..what?

According to SI a huge number of people tuned into this past weekends Euro 2008 final and the DC United vs. Galaxy match that preceeded it. (3.76 million and 1.2 million viewers respectively.)

These are fantastic numbers for a sport that no one allegedly cares about. The numbers are even better when you consider that for the matinee game, half of the potential audience was still shaking the sleep out of their eyes at kickoff.

I was deeply critical of MLS for allowing a game to kick off at 9am PST when one of the teams playing is from California but the numbers were pretty good with that difficulty.

The numbers really jump out at you when you look at the Euro numbers. 3.76 million viewers is staggering. Keep this in mind when viewing the numbers. The network, The CW, normally gets 4 million or less viewers in PRIMETIME. That is to say nothing of some other networks getting similarly weak numbers in those same money slots. To pull 4 million viewers on a Sunday morning/afternoon is nothing short of fantastic.

Sure it’s not NFL 1pm/3pm game numbers, that would be a lot to expect, but it is similar to ABC’s feature college game of the week according to THESE numbers. Numbers like the ones from the Euro final Sunday can only help gain more exposure of soccer in America on TV and mean more money for the league and SUM since we all know the kind of money that is thrown at college football. If soccer got half that money it would explode in quality in this country. With all that good news and obvious interest that can only mean news editors around the country would be looking to exploit the sectors of their markets that are hungry for the most popular recreational and youth participation game in the country right?


Nick Green, Andrea Canales and Luis Bueno have been covering the withering newspaper coverage of soccer in Los Angeles for a while. This is positively crazy considering the popularity of the game in this city. Granted, much of the interest comes from the Spanish speaking audience of this city, but there is still a sizeable English language fanbase who are apparently being ignored if these cuts come to pass.

However, I wonder if it isn’t more indicative of the newspaper publishing business in general. First the struggling economy has to be considered as these papers are largely publicly held and need to keep revenue on an uptick and profits in the black. This is usually done with job cuts. Who better to cut than the people covering the least popular events?

Add to this the fact that sports in papers are silly. Newspaper in general have the ‘you are getting the news 24 hours later’ onus hung on them but it is especially true of sports where you are reading stories about games that are 1 or even 2 days old. With the speed of the internet, many of these stories are coming out in real time.

Add to this formula the sheer bulk of soccer related blogs and forums on the internet that probably exceeds any other sport in terms of sheer volume of potential news sources and you begin to see how newspapers would cut those jobs. Do yourself a favor and type in ‘football blog’ or ‘soccer blog’ in google or even at WordPress.com you will see hundreds upon hundreds of them.

Ultimately, newspaper brands won’t fold and go the way of the dinosaur. They will simply reinvent themselves. The online presence will be the place for news and updates since that is where most people go for such things as it is. (do you know anyone that doesn’t check BBC, CNN, Foxnews, NBC for news online?) They will keep the print edition in a slimmed down form with collectible pull outs and opinion pieces that aren’t dated material like sports scores are and also to cater to restaurant guides and coupons and the like. It is bound to happen and many publishers including Felix Dennis of Maxim fame told Alexis Glick as much on a recent episode of Money for Breakfast on Fox Business Channel.

So while it may seem counter intuitive to dump the coverage of a sport that is clearly on the rise in the papers, it seems more of an inevitability than a move made out of spite. It is simply incumbent upon people to re-invent themselves and make their niche in the online world. Ives Galarcep made the transition from the tiny newspaper he was writing for to the online realm and seems to be doing well according to his own proclamations. If he can do it, pretty much anyone currently employed by a newspaper can do it. It’s no secret that I find much of his reporting to be left wanting as he clearly never researches rules before commenting on them and his analyses are clearly coming from the mind of someone who has never actually played the game on a competitive level. (which he hasn’t by his own admission) More than a few of the ‘scoops’ he does get often come from Latin American/Spanish sources first.

I’m not trying to make it sound like I’m blasting the guy, really I’m not, but I think he is about average as far as reporters of soccer go; nothing great nothing terrible. If he can find success, there must be others who could make a similar successful transition to the online realm.

Internet ad revenue is starting to boom. I can attest to that. I have a modest website (see link in upper left of sidebar) that is 100% supported by AdBrite ads and it more than pays for the upkeep and leaves a little bit (not enough to live on) left over for some beers. If a tiny website with modest at best pageviews can be self sustaining someone with an audience and a voice on a subject (soccer) they love can certainly cut through the bits and bytes of the internet and succeed.

In short, it’s not time to lament the loss of newspaper column space for soccer, it’s a dying medium in that regard anyway, it’s time to look forward and take the step toward innovation or reinvention…or go take a job as a bag boy instead.

Be bold, or grow old wondering “what if?” for the remainder of your life. A lesson for soccer and a lesson for all of life. That used to be the American way. Let’s keep that going, shall we?

Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans.


site update

So I’ve decided to stop reporting stories since frankly I don’t have the time to make this my #1 blog to update and since it doesn’t pay me, well you know why it doesn’t win.

Instead I will focus more on opinion pieces like the wildly popular ‘cunts’ series.

I will still focus mainly on MLS and soccer in the US though.

That is all.

New article coming up.


US vs. Barbados results / thoughts

Here comes the score so if you TiVO’ed the game don’t continue reading if you don’t want to know the score. Of course if you are on a sports site looking for this sort of thing you are a moron for looking at it as you should expect to see a score, right?

Well the US began it’s World Cup qualifying campaign by blitzing Barbados 8-0..yeah, 8-0.

Reading that it probably sounds like everything is fine in Whoville but it’s not. Here is the line up we started with and tell me what is wrong with it:






Have you spotted the errors yet? I have. I’ll give you a few more minutes with that and also give you this article from Yanks-Abroad, a site I often disagree with but am finding myself agreeing with a whole lot more in THIS CASE.

I have been a Bob Bradley supporter. I think he is great at motivating people and getting the most out of them. However, watching this game it is clear he is a bit tactically retarded, or simply gun shy.

There is NO EXCUSE for playing a 4-4-2 (with 2 FUCKING d-mids AGAIN!!!) against Barbados. I’m sorry there isn’t.

Even if you want to start out this way and wait til you have a few goals to experiment I guess I’ll accept that, but it never happened.

A game like this is PRIME real estate for trying out new formations that you MIGHT need to use if you find yourself a goal down or understaffed etc. Basically what I’m saying is this game was BEGGING for a 3 back formation and yet, you are still sitting 5 behind the ball…against fucking Barbados…a team that had a website begging for players. Continue reading ‘US vs. Barbados results / thoughts’


MLS Week 12 thoughts

Well, the parity machine that I alluded to last week is full on back.

Columbus had been struggling for a few weeks and got back in the win column.

Chicago lost its second in a row for I believe the first time all year. Of course, both of their losses came to teams (DC and FC Dallas) who haven’t won in forever it seems. Oh and DC managed to win over RBNY who was allegedly championship material this year despite doing jack and shit all year and looking even worse lately with little help on the horizon now that Altidore is gone and Osorio’s promises of bringing in quality international talent has gone unfounded. (Osorio caught in a lie…how weird. Enjoy, RBNY fans. )

New England scored a win over the once seemingly resurgent Dynamo.

LA blasted the Quakes and TFC won against a Rapids team that until 2 weeks ago looked like a legit contender to win the West.

Oh and RSL beat Chivas USA for the first time in forever.

So as you can see the folly of trying to pick winners in MLS is a fools game. Sure there are teams that are better than others, but there really isn’t an elite once again this year it seems.

Some argue that is a bad thing, but I don’t think every team being able to legitimately beat any other team is a bad thing. There really isn’t nothing more boring that watching Bayern take on some tiny assed, bound for BL.2 side or Manchester United stomping on Derby.

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing Bayern win as much as possible, but there is little intrigue when it’s teams they are talking a walk in a park over.

Just my thoughts.

I wouldn’t even imagine doing a power rankings of MLS. Chicago was top for a while but with 2 losses in a row are looking less ‘powerful’ than they were looking. Of course, no one else has really distinguished themselves THAT much other than New England…what was POUNDED twice by Chicago.

That aside, I’d have to reluctantly put New England at the top of the heap for now…

…I’m sure that will change next week.


USMNT: USA vs. Barbados roster

The roster for the USA’s ‘monolithic tilt’ against Barbados has been released. It looks like this:

GOALKEEPERS: Dominic Cervi, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard.
DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra, Dan Califf, Steve Cherundolo, Jay DeMerit, Frankie Hejduk, Oguchi Onyewu, Heath Pearce.
MIDFIELDERS: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Eddie Lewis, Pablo Mastroeni.
FORWARDS: Brian Ching, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson.

Allow me to be the first to say that I should and everyone else should stop making wise cracks about Barbados. Sure we SHOULD win, but Barbados isn’t exactly San Marino, they play defense. Oh!

Beside, we only beat them 7-0 and 4-0 last time. Continue reading ‘USMNT: USA vs. Barbados roster’


US Open Cup: Chicago downs Columbus 3-2

So one of my favorite competitions kicked off for the Fire yesterday against Columbus in Peoria. Is it really all that surprising that it’s a favorite competition of mine as a Fire fan? They are thinking of naming it the ‘Fire trophy’ after all…OK not really.

I am happy to hear that unlike Dave “Shit Bird” Sarachan, Hamlett is taking it seriously this year. Luis also has a list of who started on the RED CARD as well.

I hope the Fire can bring in Open Cup number 5. I hope not only for the prestige of having yet another title for the trophy case, but also because winning the USOC is one of the US qualifiers for the newly launched CONCACAF Champions League along with the MLS CUP winner, Supporter’s Shield Winner (team with the most points in the single table) and the MLS CUP Runner Up.

So as you can see, this might be the first time in a while more MLS teams actually put more stock into the USOC since a place in the Champion’s League will mean a CONSIDERABLE bump up in pay for participating and an even bigger bump if you finish well.


MLS week 11 thoughts – lite edition

I am late again and this is kinda the throwaway time of year anyway with all the international action going on so this one will be brief.

Well here comes that parity again.

Not that I mind it, mind you. Chicago lose a heart breaker to DC United at the death. This after DC was rained out vs. Houston after 20 minutes or so. No make up date on that yet.

Can we please get McBride in there? Oh and perhaps play like we are at home while at home, Chicago? Thanks in advance.

New England continued a strong run of form to remain top of the class for a second week.

The Galaxy continue to show that the strategy this year will be to simply score 4+ goals a game and pray to got they don’t give up more than 3.

There are also rumors that Edgar Davids will be joining them. I’m not sure how they will afford him considering they can’t afford enough decent defenders but this is MLS with the phantom salary cap and mysterious rules.

Columbus continues their yearly tumble from grace losing to the Earthquakes. They are doing this despite not really losing anyone but Hejduk to international duty. Imagine what will happen once Bradley pulls his head out of his ass and starts calling Robbie Rogers in?

KC vs. RSL…ends in a 0-0 ‘thriller.’ Anyone really shocked by that? I am excited to see RSL’s new stadium though, the drawings looked fantastic.

Houston continues to look like they are finding form after delivering a pounding to TFC. At the same time, TFC looks like they are falling back to earth a bit. They still could have a shot at a play off spot though as I have little doubt that the West won’t get anymore than their 3 guaranteed spots this year.

RBNY continues to bore the living shit out of everyone. They beat a resurgent Chivas USA 1-0 on Thursday in a really shit game.

That’s all for now.

MLS ASG in DENVER- by eBatty