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March of the Elephants

Drogba and the Coasters roll over the dreadful Squirrels of Benin. Video highlights below, but first.....

*Link to today's DCU print-edition story.

*A USSF podcast with Michael Bradley.

*The U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame has unveiled the list of veteran candidates for possible induction (players who did not get elected on the regular ballot after a certain number of years). Who would you vote for?

*Lyle Yorks, who starred at UVA and was briefly with D.C. United before becoming one of American soccer's most influential player agents, and former MetroStar Mickey Kydes were among eight individuals inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame today.

On to the video.....

By Steve Goff  |  January 26, 2008; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  World  
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Comments

I'm reposting this link from the previous thread, as it seems more appropriate here:

http://www.nysun.com/article/69946

Nigeria had better hope that Benin continues to be dreadful. Even still, Mali could eliminate them with a draw against the Cote D'Ivoire.

Posted by: 22201 | January 26, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The Nigeria draw with Mali was awful, no way can a team with that much talent play so badly. Heads are really going to start rolling in Nigerian Football.


Posted by: Southeasterner | January 26, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Best and Perez for sure.

Posted by: Chico | January 26, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Go Redskins!!!

I am personally inviting all of you guys to come out and root, root, root for the home team, The Redskins, as we work our way towards the Super Bowl next year.

Hail to the Redskins.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 26, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I am personally inviting all of you guys to come out and root, root, root for the home team, The Redskins, as we work our way towards the Super Bowl next year.

_________________________________________

How's that coaching search working out for you guys?

Posted by: Section 130 | January 26, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Kerr, Murray

Linda Hamilton

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The redwhats? Oh, you mean the wealthiest franchise in the country, know for drastically overpaying coaches, who still can't find a coach? The one where the hall of fame legend coach gleefully walked away from $5million+ just to get away? That one?

Anyway, does anyone know how Benin ended up as the squirrels? Did they pick last or something?

Posted by: northzax | January 26, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Mr. P McP:

Kindly change your name when posting here. It's inappropriate.

Thanks,
SG

Posted by: Goff | January 26, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Best should be in every Hall of Fame everywhere. Got to go to the George Best Museum in Belfast last year, very cool.

Posted by: dtd | January 26, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

That last goal by the elephants was a thing of beauty. I would also like to find out the whereabouts of the nickname the squirrels. Does the Benin team harvest nuts in the fall and sell them as a fundraiser or something?

Posted by: drogba for governor | January 26, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Almost all of these Hall of Fame candidates look pretty deserving. Bob Rigby was the first footballer to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, way back in 1973. That should count for something. I'm also partial to his Atoms teammmate, Barry Barto. People like them raised the amount of playing time for Americans on NASL sides above token levels, without which none of the advances in the American game in the subsequent 35 years would have happened, at least not nearly so quickly.

Posted by: 22201 | January 26, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

We should really have a US Soccer Hall of Washed up but Nonetheless Famous in Other Countries. It'd be perfect for Matthaeus, Stoitchkov, Abel Xavier, and all of those laughable NASLers.

Posted by: franz goffka | January 26, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The list doesn't have anyone on it who doesn't belong. Good players; good memories. (Ok, ok, I don't actually remember seeing McPherson and O'Connell play.) If there are a limited number of nominations, I'd start with the "most experienced" players first and work forward. McPherson and O'Connell. The others will have their turns.

Posted by: Curious | January 26, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I would also like to find out the whereabouts of the nickname the squirrels. Does the Benin team harvest nuts in the fall and sell them as a fundraiser or something?

Posted by: drogba for governor | January 26, 2008 01:18 PM
----------------------------------------------

That's a good question... I just emailed the Beninoise FA with it. We'll see what they say...

Posted by: edgeonyou | January 26, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Bradley's done scored again.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/match?id=232558&cc=5901

I hate that he is a month older than I am...

Posted by: DCUinBoston | January 26, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

A) The Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame????? WTF? Hysterical. That's got to be a huge moment in any Connecticut soccer player's career.
B) Why do DCU fans hate the Redskins so much? I love both teams. Yes the Redskins are a mess right now. But you know what? SO IS DC UNITED. We have about the same level of stability as the Skins do. Half of our line up isn't coming back. We don't have a stadium and aren't even close to making one happen. DCU fans that criticize the Redskins need to take a look at our own organization.

Posted by: Duke | January 26, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps a less sweeping and more accurate question would have been 'Why do some DCU fans hate the Redskins so much?"

Or maybe, more exactly, 'Why do northzax and Section 130 seem to hate the Redskins?'

But not 'all'.

Please.

Posted by: seahawkdad | January 26, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Why do DCU fans hate the Redskins so much?"

Excessive press coverage (even in the off-season/DCU regular season) for underachievement is probably my reason for hating the NFL team.

"We don't have a stadium and aren't even close to making one happen."

Yeah, because the city has been so supportive of the effort to get a new one done.

"DCU fans that criticize the Redskins need to take a look at our own organization."

You're right on that count, both DCU and the NFL team are on their fifth HC since '97 also. Wait, scratch that...

Posted by: Section 130 | January 26, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The Dreaded Squrrels of Benin?

Does that make the Galaxy the Dreaded Squrrels of Carson?

Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | January 26, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Kerr and Murray have Washington-area connections, don't they? Is there anyone else on the list with such connections?

Posted by: 22201 | January 26, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Kerr and Murray are indeed local boys. Kerr played his high school ball in NoVa, and Murray played for Churchill in MoCo, MD. (Murray's dad was the golf pro at the World Bank CC on River Road.) They played together on a VA club team (Braddock Road?) that was very successful.

But a name I'm pleased to see on the list is Kyle Rote (jr.). Back when pro soccer in the US was an oddity, he became well known not just as the son of a legendary gridiron player but as the unknown who won the "Superstars" made-for-tv competition three out of the four times he entered, beating well known football stars in the process.

Posted by: Hedbal | January 26, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

DCU fans don't hate skins; they're just not attracted by NFL or gridball in general and they don't want to do anything with them.

Posted by: football | January 26, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

TWO more goals for Bradley today!? What the hell are they feeding him over there? Who needs Marcello Gallardo or Christian Gomez, use that DP spot on superman Michael Bradley!

Posted by: G-Dub | January 26, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Fox Football Fonein mentioned the other night that Bradley could be most expensive (something like six mill euros) player sold if Hamburg were indeed buying him.
I think his style fits well in the BundesLigas.

Posted by: td | January 26, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Have you heard anything about a Romanian midfielder called Bănel Nicoliţă joining DC from Steaua Bucharest?

Posted by: Mark | January 26, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Kyle Rote won Superstars, but he sucked.

Maybe he, Ethan Zohn, and Nationally Ranked Conor can go into the US Soccer Hall of Made for TV Fame.

Posted by: franz goffka | January 26, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Mickey!!!

Posted by: Tim F. | January 26, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I realize that CI - Benin was on people's minds because of the EPL contingent on the team, but the Mali - Nigeria match was really, really scintillating. It was played at an absolutely furious pace.

It's a pity there wasn't a goal so more people could see that Mali plays quality ball and more than held their own against Nigeria, in fact nearly took the game in the last few minutes with a thundering strike off the crossbar.

Posted by: Modibo | January 26, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

We don't hate the 'skins. Just hate when they clog up our blog.

Posted by: ML | January 26, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Kyle Rote won Superstars, but he sucked.

Maybe he, Ethan Zohn, and Nationally Ranked Conor can go into the US Soccer Hall of Made for TV Fame.

Posted by: franz goffka | January 26, 2008 05:10 PM
------------------------------------------

Rote was several cuts above the other people you mention. I'm surprised you didn't add Andrew Shue to your list.

Posted by: 22201 | January 26, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Shue ... good one, how could I forget? :-)

So, who would I really take?

Bruce Murray -- no-nonsense striker who scored 21 international goals, more than twice as many as any previous American ... and unlike recent forwards, he didn't run up his numbers against patsies. Although his production in World Cup qualifying was pretty weak, he did score in the 90 World Cup finals and twice in the 91 Confed Cup.

Hugo Perez -- if you saw the US play in the 80s, you don't need to be told about his impact. His skill and creativity transformed a team that far too often resorted to kick-and-chase tactics. Before Paul Caligiuri's Shot Heard Round the World, Perez had provided big game-winners in qualifying against Jamaica and El Salvador. At the time when he tore his ACL and missed the 1990 Cup, he was considered our best player. Although he was never quite the same after that injury, he was still good enough to make our 1994 team.

Murray and Perez were among the best in their generation and made important contributions to kick-starting the modern national team era. Compared with the other names on that list, I think they accomplished distinctly more.

Posted by: franz goffka | January 26, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Played against Kerr Jr. in the NVSL. Also remember a good time at Summers watching Newcastle v ManU with him, his dad and George Lidster amongst others. Always thought it was kind of weird that his dad worked for the NFL PA and was part of the lawsuit against Single Entity.

Posted by: owendylan | January 26, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Murray break the barrier for Americans in England's first division when he played at Millwall?

That alone should get him in.

Posted by: Erick | January 26, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

indeed, who hayes the skins? I don't go to jlc's place and talk united, I get bored when they come here and act all dumb. That's all.

Posted by: northzax | January 26, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins were valued last year at $1.1 billion, the most valuable sports franchise in the country.

The NFL's revenue was over $6 billion in 2007.

In eight regular season games, the Redskins drew 704,722 spectators, paying an average of $80 a ticket. Redskins games on television attract around 180 times the viewership of televised DC United games.

With almost twice as many regular season games, DC United drew a third as many spectators, paying a quarter as much money for a ticket. Their revenues, and MLS league revenues, are a tiny percentage of NFL revenues. DC United sold a year ago for 3% of the value Forbes put on the Redskins.

Considering the relative popularity and the money involved, DC United gets a disproportionately large share of coverage from the Post.

Any United fan who thinks any differently is completely disconnected from reality.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | January 26, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Mastodon Juan -- maybe United gets the coverage because they actually win championships? Just a thought.

Posted by: Curious | January 26, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh! And before I forget,

53 days to the next home match!

Posted by: Curious | January 26, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

A BBC commentator on Benin's "Squirrels" nickname:" I am reliably informed that Benin's nickname of the Squirrels was given to them by their FA president in the 1960's - see 2003. Apparently he wanted something to represent a small team that can climb high."

Posted by: edgeonyou | January 26, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

My oldest son played against Kerr and Murray in club soccer, then with Kerr at Duke. He played with Kerr again just last year, when Duke and Harvard alumni recreated a NCAA semifinal match from about '87 or thereabouts. Even though John was then coaching Harvard, he played for the Dukies, as he had back in '87. And Bruce Murray was always around, as his dad worked near Bethesda. Nice guys, both, and they still have game.

Posted by: Hedbal | January 26, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

"United gets the coverage because they actually win championships"

Well, if you're comparing apples to apples, the only "championship" in MLS that has an NFL equivalent is the MLS Cup winner, equivalent to the Super Bowl winner. The United won the 2004 MLS Cup, but before that, you would have to go back to 1999. Ancient history. Certainly a single championship in recent years isn't enough to justify coverage disproportionate to the FACT that the Uniteds attract a fraction of the interest and money of the Skins.

The Skins have won five NFL championships, including three Super Bowls, to the United's four MLS Cups. They're a truly storied team with a seventy-five year history, and names like Marshall, Jurgensen, Baugh, Allen, Theismann, Turk Edwards, Taylor, Riggins, and Monk are known to a lot more Washingtonians than, say, Etcheverry or Moreno or even A.J. Wood.

I know fans of the DC franchise of MLS truly believe that the entire universe of sports orbits their team, but one championship of a league that, while still a work in progress, is in reality fairly insignificant to both the world soccer scene and the US professional sports scene, in fan interest, player quality, and financial importance is NOT meaningful enough to justify anything CLOSE to parity with even a struggling Redskins operation.

Understand this: as excellent a journalist Steve Goff is, and as critical to soccer reporting in the USA as Goff is, if DC United were actually as interesting to readers as many United fans think, the Post would be covering United with several reporters and columnists because it would be in their financial interest to do so. Covering the Redskins-- a mature, popular, and storied football team in one of the most important professional sports leagues in the world-- IS actually valuable to the Post's bottom line, as opposed to DC United who are essentially a charity case.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | January 27, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Not a charity case, Juan, an investment. I don't think anyone believes DCU will ever eclipse the Redskins, but they -- and MLS -- are becoming far more important with each season. If you had said MLS would be more important than the NHL 10 years ago, people would have hooted. Yet...MLS is now more important than the NHL. So, my sights aren't on the Redskins, they are on the Nationals. Given that so few kids today play baseball and that the stadium is filled only with corporate ticket purchases, baseball's true fan base dwindles every time a senior citizen passes away. So twenty years from now I'm guessing it will be clear that Hizzoner bet on the wrong sport when supporting a new stadium.

Posted by: Troy | January 27, 2008 3:17 AM | Report abuse

"Considering the relative popularity and the money involved, DC United gets a disproportionately large share of coverage from the Post."

I don't agree with that premise, but for the sake of argument: by that reasoning the Post, and by logical extension the media in general, should proportion their coverage to topics that are a) the most popular and b) the most profitable.

This would completely do away with the idea that the media serves the public interest at least as much as it serves its own corporate bottom line.

And if that ever happens, and unfortunately it's a developing trend in a lot of outlets, it would be a societal tragedy.

When I say I don't agree with the premise: Steven Goff is the only reporter who ever writes anything about DC United; the Redskins are covered ad nauseum by several different columnists and a beat writer. Just going by the print and online editions today, iirc there were several articles about Greg Williams and how he was or wasn't slighted, and what he did or didn't deserve, but you won't see anything about DC United despite all the interesting things that are happening with the major signings recently. If the coverage was really diproportionate there would be more than a two-paragraph "just the facts" blurb when DC makes a major signing. There were probably less words (not counting insider posts by Goff) total devoted to the last three major signings and the Jaime/Gomez contract negotiations than in one op-ed column on Greg Williams today.

Not saying that DC should be covered more, we've already got the best columnist, but I'd hardly say we're overexposed. ;)

Posted by: uranderson | January 27, 2008 3:46 AM | Report abuse

As to coverage in the print edition, I recall the following Simpsons quote from just a short while ago:

Nelson: "Your medium is dying! Ha ha!"

Posted by: Troy | January 27, 2008 4:05 AM | Report abuse

This insane comment by "Section 130" is what I was responding to:

"Excessive press coverage (even in the off-season/DCU regular season) for underachievement is probably my reason for hating the NFL team."

Hell, when I feel there's impending soccer news, I buy the dead-wood Post largely to read Goff's take while I'm riding the Metro. But there are a hell of a lot more people out there looking for info on the Redskins' contract negotiation with a fourth-round draft pick than pay attention to United.

The comic strut of triumph of some DC fans, who imply that DC United's assortment of trophies should be reflected in allocation of column inches in the Post, is the kind of delusion that gives soccer fans in the US as arrogant crazies. If the NFL handed out trophies like the Pope hands out wafers (United is theoretically eligible for, I believe, SEVEN championship trophies this year), DC might have some competition. But to claim that whatever Cracker Jack prize the team picked up in a given year not only is the most important trophy in US soccer, but also trumps all the truly major sports teams in Washingtonia is the unintentional source for amazing hilarity for basically everyone who pays any attention to both DC United and any other local team.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | January 27, 2008 4:35 AM | Report abuse

This insane comment by "Section 130" is what I was responding to:

"Excessive press coverage (even in the off-season/DCU regular season) for underachievement is probably my reason for hating the NFL team."

Hell, when I feel there's impending soccer news, I buy the dead-wood Post largely to read Goff's take while I'm riding the Metro. But there are a hell of a lot more people out there looking for info on the Redskins' contract negotiation with a fourth-round draft pick than pay attention to United.

The comic strut of triumph of some DC fans, who imply that DC United's assortment of trophies should be reflected in allocation of column inches in the Post, is the kind of delusion that gives soccer fans in the US as arrogant crazies. If the NFL handed out trophies like the Pope hands out wafers (United is theoretically eligible for, I believe, SEVEN championship trophies this year), DC might have some competition. But to claim that whatever Cracker Jack prize the team picked up in a given year not only is the most important trophy in US soccer, but also trumps all the truly major sports teams in Washingtonia is the unintentional source for amazing hilarity for basically everyone who pays any attention to both DC United and any other local team.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | January 27, 2008 4:37 AM | Report abuse

This insane comment by "Section 130" is what I was responding to:

"Excessive press coverage (even in the off-season/DCU regular season) for underachievement is probably my reason for hating the NFL team."

Hell, when I feel there's impending soccer news, I buy the dead-wood Post largely to read Goff's take while I'm riding the Metro. But there are a hell of a lot more people out there looking for info on the Redskins' contract negotiation with a fourth-round draft pick than pay attention to United.

The comic strut of triumph of some DC fans, who imply that DC United's assortment of trophies should be reflected in allocation of column inches in the Post, is the kind of delusion that gives soccer fans in the US as arrogant crazies. If the NFL handed out trophies like the Pope hands out wafers (United is theoretically eligible for, I believe, SEVEN championship trophies this year), DC might have some competition. But to claim that whatever Cracker Jack prize the team picked up in a given year not only is the most important trophy in US soccer, but also trumps all the truly major sports teams in Washingtonia is the unintentional source for amazing hilarity for basically everyone who pays any attention to both DC United and any other local team.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | January 27, 2008 4:42 AM | Report abuse

Erick -- No, Murray never played in England's top flight. By today's standards, neither he nor Perez had much of a club resume, so the case in their favor is relative to other Americans back then.

Posted by: franz goffka | January 27, 2008 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Mastadon, this is a DC United blog. Please go back to the NFL blog sites with the other "mensa" members. Come back in 65 years and then we can compare notes about MLS, the Redskins and # of championships.
BTW as you stated "The Skins have won five NFL championships, including three Super Bowls, " So after 75 years, the Redskins have ONLY 5 Championships(You can't add any more to your first 75 years, so your total is now fixed at 5). That means DC United only has to win 2 MLS Cups (Only comparing MLS Cup to Super Bowl trophies, not including international triophies) in the next 63 years to surpass the "mighty Redskins" using your logic of reasoning. I'll take that bet. So we'll meet here on Jan 26th, 2070, to compare, deal?

Posted by: boda united | January 27, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Sunday morning reading would be more enjoyable if all Mastodons were extinct. But alas, every now and then one emerges from the tarpit, The good news is that even when one does emerge, we know it will end up in a museum somewhere so future generations can look back at how things once were -- and how far we have come.

Posted by: MR Caretaker | January 27, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Boda United said:

"Mastadon, this is a DC United blog. Please go back to the NFL blog sites with the other "mensa" members. Come back in 65 years and then we can compare notes about MLS, the Redskins and # of championships.
BTW as you stated "The Skins have won five NFL championships, including three Super Bowls, " So after 75 years, the Redskins have ONLY 5 Championships(You can't add any more to your first 75 years, so your total is now fixed at 5). That means DC United only has to win 2 MLS Cups (Only comparing MLS Cup to Super Bowl trophies, not including international triophies) in the next 63 years to surpass the "mighty Redskins" using your logic of reasoning. I'll take that bet. So we'll meet here on Jan 26th, 2070, to compare, deal?"

I love United. Otherwise I wouldn't be on this blog. I think that reflects the reality of the situation. We are part of the relatively small number of people, in comparison to people who religiously follow the Skins, who actually cares about each and every move that DC United makes.

It isn't about championships. United has been great in their short history. It is all about revenue. Not only are the Redskins the second most valuable NFL franchise, they play in an established league that grosses billions of dollars a year. We can say what we want about the Redskins, but the money back them up. Sadly that is what American sports are all about. Someone else's comment about 'excessive media coverage' hits this point; the Skins coverage isn't excessive because there is a large audience who reads into it. Why are MLS fans so bitter about that fact that we don't get the coverage that established multi-billion dollar leagues get? I just don't see why we care so much about what the other guy is doing. They certainly could care less about us.

Posted by: dcfan | January 27, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Mastodon is just a demagogue and a sometime (when it's not too embarrassing) Metrostars fan. Always has been.

He loves to create strawmen (i.e., someone said DC should get more coverage than the Redskins) and then knock them down (i.e., no, you idiots, the redskins really are more popular).

The fact is that the Redskins DO get way too much coverage even for an NFL team, and especially one with a miserable a record as theirs over the past few years. The fact is that this IS a soccer blog and we have a right to tell skins fans to bugger off when they blunder in making idiotic posts. The fact is that this IS a soccer blog devoted largely to United and that Juan REALLY WISHES that SOMEONE would cover his beloved Metrostars. The fact is that the Metrostars are defunct, never were any good, and will eventually fold under the weight of their own suckitude.

Until then, they have Mastodon Juan around to criticize United contra Metro, and then, when he can no longer do that, criticize soccer contra whatever crap he can pull out of his @ss.

Posted by: viv | January 27, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I love the conversation regarding "who deserves more coverage" going on here. But I think 99% of you are ignoring the most vital piece of information.

What is going to sell more deadtree editions at the end of the day? The Redskins coaching search, or the signing of South American players that only 1 in XXX million people in the DC area have heard of?

I know, an over exaggeration, but it's to illustrate a point. I love DC United and I love it every time they get more coverage. But the thing is, until we see three year olds in Alexandria or Gaithersburg walking around the streets in Diaz jerseys instead of Monk jerseys, the coverage you see now is what you're going to get.

It's not about who deserves what. It's about who is going to get your publication more money.

Posted by: James | January 27, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

When can we start talking about the beloved Baltimore Orioles in here?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 27, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

When can we start talking about the beloved Baltimore Orioles in here?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop

Never. Now go play with your toys.

Posted by: viv | January 27, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Juan, even though I don't often agree with your posts, I'm glad you write them. Not your fault no one is covering the pink cows ;-)

I notice that the sponsored ads accompanying this blog are focused on meeting "mature soccer moms" so the Post is obviously making some money off of Goff's dedication...

Posted by: Troy | January 27, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I used to think there was nothing more boring than watching an NFL game. But I was wrong. It is much more boring to read other people's opinions of the NFL in a soccer blog.

Posted by: ff | January 27, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Amen to that ff. And it wouldn't have come up but for a wandering NFL faithful, who lost his way to the 'Skins forum.

The only reason I turn on my TV anymore is to watch soccer. And Spinal Tap. Because it was on last night.

Posted by: viv | January 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"If you had said MLS would be more important than the NHL 10 years ago, people would have hooted. Yet...MLS is now more important than the NHL."

How is MLS more important than the NHL? Surely you aren't comparing the attendance numbers of an indoor arena sport with an outdoor stadium sport...that would be a ridiculous thing to do. You can't be comparing revenue, merchandise sales, or television ratings...because the NHL is still pretty far ahead in all of these categories.

"Sunday morning reading would be more enjoyable if all Mastodons were extinct. But alas, every now and then one emerges from the tarpit, The good news is that even when one does emerge, we know it will end up in a museum somewhere so future generations can look back at how things once were -- and how far we have come."

This is why the much maligned American soccer fan is so hated amongst other American sports fans. There is this surreal sense of entitlement and arrogance about so many of us. As if you were somehow smarter and better for liking the game that the rest of the world likes. It's so silly. I love the sport, and love DCU, but this is the conclusion I have come to. A whole lot of soccer fans were dorks in high school. Soccer made them feel good because the better American athletes were off playing other sports, so the lesser athletes could succeed in American soccer at an amateur level. They hate other sports, especially football, because it is the sport of the people they hate the most. The cool kids. So, fastforward to adulthood, and you exercise your inferiority complex by telling everyone how much smarter and better you are than them because you watch soccer. People like you used to grow up to be cops, now you grow up to be American soccer fans.

Posted by: Duke | January 27, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Duke, your entire "soccer fan is a hated used to be dork" post is a joke. Soccer players at my high school way back when and the one's I have coached recently were/are the most sought after young men in the school. It's now baseball that is the laughingstock of the school . . . and that holds true for most of the other schools in our conference. Football is always competitive, but the football players attitudes turns a lot of young people off.

You should hire someone with a clue.

Posted by: delantero | January 27, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

So by extension then, Duke, you are a dork with major envy problems and an inferiority complex, and you freely admit to being arrogant and with a surreal sense of entitlement. Strange, sounds either like a serial welfare recipient or a fan of the NHL. Oh,that's right, you were trying to defend that former "Big 4" sport earlier in your post. Well, I'll make you a deal. When a single game of the NHL final matches the ratings for any MLS playoff game, then you can come back and try to vent those feelings of inferiority. Until then, please go back to searching for porn on the Internet and being one of the 13000 fans locally who actually care about the results of hockey games.

Posted by: Throwin | January 27, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I am not naive enough to think MLS rivals any U.S. sport (NHL,NFL,NBA,MLB)......yet. Media coverage follows the money, and yet that same media coverage promotes more money. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe that IF soccer got more POSITIVE media attention, then that would attract more fans causing more coverage, etc. (i.e. ESPN shows a KS vs Crew match hi-lights and pokes fun at the 5,000 fans and all the empty seats. Yet almost every baseball game has more empty seats than fans until the play-offs, and not a word is said.)
I could really care less if one of the Redskins player's car breaks down, or one of the asst. coaches buys a new pool and yet the media covers it. I fully realize that the sport I adore will not be given an even playing feild in the media until the youth of today who are growing playing soccer and watching MLS are the sportswriters of the future. I begrudge no one. DC United Forever!

P.S. You think we have it bad media wise, my brother is into Professional Disc Golf.

Posted by: boda united | January 27, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"So by extension then, Duke, you are a dork with major envy problems and an inferiority complex, and you freely admit to being arrogant and with a surreal sense of entitlement."

No, I'm a normal sports fan. I love soccer, and (gasp) I also love football, ice hockey, and other sports...the people I was referring to above are the "soccer is the only sport" people. There are people like that in every sport crowd, however, they seem to really thrive in American soccer. I remember, not that long ago, when it appeared ice hockey was overtaking the NBA and quickly catching baseball in popularity. It's only been ten years or so. A lot of hockey fans got that sense or arrogance and inevitability about them too. Funny how circumstances change. Without getting into a whole demographic discussion here, soccer hasn't really gotten THAT much more popular among mainstream America in the last ten years. The growth in popularity (tv ratings, attendance, etc.) can mostly be attributed to the influx of immigrants (legal and illegal) from the 3rd world.
Regardless, I know I'm not going to change anyone's minds here. In the mean time I guess I will be one of the minority soccer fans that loves all of our local teams.

Posted by: Duke | January 27, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"This insane comment by "Section 130" is what I was responding to:"

Yeah, comment, singular. As in not using the copy and paste functions and posting the same thing over and over. In the meantime, head back on over to JLC's blog and commiserate with everyone else.

Posted by: Section 130 | January 27, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"The comic strut of triumph of some DC fans,"
--Mastadon Juan

Amidst the flurry of punches and counter-punches, you missed the most revealing point of his post. Mastadon Juan wrote "some DC fans." He is not painting us with the same flame brush.

I think we've made a real breakthrough today.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 27, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough, Duke. Thank you for the clarification. It makes your argument much more concise than the broad net you threw with your earlier comments. While I disagree with some of your stances (for example, the growth of soccer, IMHO, has a great deal more than immigration as an explanation - this would entirely ignore the impact of the NASL, the 1994 World Cup here in the US, the formation and viability of MLS, the proliferation of the sport on television, the growth of our youth systems in the 80's and 90's, etc.), I can certainly agree to disagree on those topics, while agreeing that one can support more than one local team/sport. So now I will go and prepare to go watch the Wizards play tonight, and hope you enjoy your All-Star game.

Posted by: Throwin | January 27, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

Where did you hear any news of Nicolita coming to DC?

Posted by: rt | January 27, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Please please don't bore me with Pig skin ball, I already made the mistake in inviting friends over to watch the super bowl. gonna be 4 boring hours waisted on sunday, unless of course I can sneak in a soccer video game.

Posted by: dcFAN | January 27, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

If you really love Goff:

*Subscribe to the Post, don't just freeload the blog. You think the blog pays the bills?

* Don't encourage Mastodon to go away. He drives up the post count, and he isn't as far off the mark as some of the faithful think, loyalties notwithstanding. He usually marshals a few interesting facts when he's baiting DCU fans, which is good for the thread.

Posted by: WNT fan | January 27, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Here's an update on today's action in Ghana:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_African_Cup_Of_Nations#Group_D

Do you think that maybe Angola and Tunisia will take a knee on Thursday (in chess, it is known as a "grandmaster draw"), making the 1982 Austria-Germany match look like a barnburner by comparison? And it doesn't look good for South Africa to do nothing in this tournament, when they are two years away from a free pass into the WC.

Posted by: 22201 | January 27, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

WNT, you contradicted yourself. First you said subscribe to TWP, don't freeload, the blog doesnt pay the bills. Then you said don't drive Mastadon away, he drives up the post count. If it doesnt pay the bills, why does it matter.
Visiting the blog DOES pay some bills or there wouldnt be advertisers on the blog-site.

Posted by: boda united | January 27, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I hate the Redskins!!! I confess. It's true.

When I grew up in the early 70's we played soccer in Junior High School and High School. Friends played for the German-Americans and I cheered the Atoms.

When it came to American football, I cheered the Eagles and, sometimes, the Cowboys. I hated the Redskins.

When I moved here, I learned to love the Dips and even, briefly, Team America. Now I have United.

But I still hate the Redskins!

Posted by: Curious | January 27, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

P McP has been over on the Redskins Insider exhorting them to watch United, telling them great stories of watching United play at RFK, and the reaction there was more muted...mostly he gets ignored.

He's an equal opportunity blog clogger :)

Posted by: mmok | January 27, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

You couldn't PAY me to go away. I get too much pleasure out of this. And I love the Insider: I must check it five times a day even when I'm not winding you boys up.

I know the NFL is suffocatingly ubiquitous, but it's really a great league, and there's nothing intrinsically better about soccer. I even like the long commercial breaks and useless fourth quarter timeouts. I almost wish I were a Giants fan instead of a Jets fan so I could go after the Skins fans on the other blog. In any case, and the marketing guys at MLS make this point, the sport in the US has matured so that demand for soccer is inelastic. The NFL's existence doesn't threaten DC United. I know the Poplar Point mess has a lot of you feeling persecuted, but the money and fans are there. It's just going to take the right approach to getting the correctly scaled deal to build a stadium.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | January 27, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey, MJ, good post.

Keep it up.

Posted by: viv | January 27, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

...except for the blatant trolling part.

Posted by: viv | January 27, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

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