Superliga, Beckham and Getting TV Right (bonus: Clavijo Rumors)

A couple weeks back, the Powers That Be – I don’t know, at Soccer United Marketing (SUM) or in Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Halls of Power – decided to air the Los Angeles Galaxy’s visit to Toronto FC’s BMO Field on the tiniest of chances that David Beckham would manage his league debut. We all know how that panned out: a decimated TFC squad fought a bland, confused, and Beckham-less Galaxy to a draw – e.g. a mediocre game at best aired nationally.

Moreover, showing that game came at the cost of giving ESPN2 the night off from broadcasting what would have been tonight’s Soccer Thursday broadcast featuring the New England Revolution versus the Colorado Rapids. Now, I’m not about to argue tonight’s game will top the TFC v. LA affair for quality – hell, I’m expecting at least a half-dozen blown sitters out of Taylor Twellman and an own-goal to decide the game – but that’s not the issue. The issue is that the sum of these various decisions amount to swapping one mediocre game for another; add to that the break-even publicity garnered from airing that first game (more people tuned in, but to a lousy game) plus disappointing the expectation that New England v. Colorado will air as planned tonight on ESPN2 (as evidenced by the language used in a post on MLS Rumors that Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo could (finally) get canned if his team doesn’t win this “nationally televised game“) and you have a situation where you lost more than you gained.

Moreover, wouldn’t it just suck if Clavijo lived to coach another day based on the technicality of this game not being televised nationally?

With that error in the past, it’s time to correct another one on its way down the pike. As Who Ate All the Cupcakes so eloquently put it, albeit in service of a totally different point: “Pony up for the rights to the SuperLiga ESPN, don’t complain afterwards” (and it’s a good post by the way; though it doesn’t hold a candle to this one posted on the same site).

On the back of Beckham’s superbly-timed and narratively-sublime goal and with the following factors coming together – a decent likelihood of Beckham actually being available for the game, the general success of the Superliga both at the gate (in the semis, especially) and among the American soccer community, the Galaxy being in the final of said competition, the lucky coincidence this final will pit them against, not just any Mexican club, but the best of them – I can’t think of a better candidate for prominent, national broadcast outside MLS Cup (which no one watches anyway).

My issues (and the post*) with the breaks in Superliga play aside, it’s getting some good love out here in the Web (* I hereby retract my opinions about killed buzzes; I enjoyed both semis; I do still think they should create a break in the schedule and play Superliga within it). Whether it’s other voices correctly attaching the word “shame” to the decision to forgo English-language broadcasts, rock-solid ideas for re-branding the event, or good, random chatter (about halfway down the page under the header, “The Man Makes Some Solid Points”; hat-tip, du Nord), the right people took an interest in this event – and in spite of some serious handicaps. So, next year, let’s stuff the “World Series of Football” back up the disgusting hole from whence it came and make Superliga the highlight event it ought to be.

But, in the here and now, here’s my essential plea: don’t make me watch the final over a piece-of-shit on-line feed. You pricks.


2 Responses

  1. If you liked that from the folks in the bakery at Who Ate All The Cupcakes, check out this archived post. They don’t always hate on Lanny, and this one’s almost as funny. It’s from after he hit that hat trick for the USMNT earlier this season.
    if you type Hello I’m in to thier site search, there’s more commedy sprinkles “from” Wynalda and a few other leading lights in the soccer community.


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