More About Socctober! (More about, um, DC*)

(* Anyone know where I can find a good Chicago Fire blog?  I mean apart from Luis Arroyave’s.  I haven’t seen The Fire Offside in forever.  I only ask that it runs through Bloglines all right.)

I was going to roll this into the Daily Sweeper thing I like doing, but I wanted to delay posting that till later today…and all this stuff was just sitting there…I dunno…just thought I’d get it over with.

First, an angry man named jon, who happens to post on the DC United Offside, reminded me of Rob Stone’s appalling intro segment, during which he hurt all our brains by coining the phrase “Socctober” (um…sp?  No, never mind…don’t dignify this) to celebrate Major League Soccer’s (MLS) post-season tournament.  Yes, this is incredibly stupid.  It’s also harmless.  Soccer fans spend a lot of time agonizing over the often shocking state of American televised commentary; even if jon doesn’t do this in his post, rants against the people foisted on us by ESPN, Fox Soccer, etc. get fair play on soccer blogs and message boards.  But the only thing that surprises me about all this any more is that fans continue to be surprised.  It’s par for the course, right?  These idiots are the norm.  I say revel in it.  Milk it for the “so-bad-it’s-good” humor.  And then you will actually enjoy listening to Max Bretos.  Trust me.

If you’re looking for the link to jon’s post, I held off because the stuff about Socctober doesn’t enter into beyond the title; the body of his comments look at what went wrong for DC last night and asks the question I had while watching last night: where was Bobby Boswell?

Naturally, there are many, many more posts and articles on last night’s games and I’ve got a modest collection of them below.  Enjoy.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco showed up in a couple commentaries.  In one rare stand-out article likely to blind DC fans with rage, Blanco plays the victim and talks of sending video to the refs to reveal the suffering he endured.  Maybe that’s why DC’s players are sufficiently pissed to air their (slightly sad) frustration as Marc Burch did to Yahoo! News’ Martin Rogers:

“It is far from over,” Burch said. “We are going back to our place and we are really good there. We are the best team in the league. We don’t back down. We don’t shy away from tackles. We may play the best football, but I want us to be the toughest team out there as well.”

Images of a slightly tipsy, very thin man being hauled out of a bar with a black eye and bloody nose come unbidden.

Turning to more substantive subjects, DC-philic bloggers weighed in with great commentary.  The DCenters first impression post called out DC’s defenders by name, eviscerating them over the course of a few short sentences, while their full debriefing went deeper still and links to more items than I have here (including me; thanks!).  Max J., jon’s partner-in-crime at the DC United Offside, faulted DC’s Coach, Tom Soehn, for playing poker with his cards lying face up on the table.  And, finally, The FullBack Files flagged the defensive miscues, faulted the refs, but still held on to hope for Leg #2 – appropriate under the circumstances.

More later today…though not on this subject.


4 Responses

  1. When Rob Stone used the “Socctober” phrase, I thought I had misheard him. When I saw the cheeky little grin on his face, I hoped I had misheard him. When I heard Eric Wynalda cynically refer to it, I knew my ears weren’t deceiving me. I have no problem with Rob Stone at all. But man… Socctober? Really?

    And speaking of commentators, I’m tired of all of the complaints about it. Really? Is it that brain-numbingly horrible? I know Stone probably isn’t anywhere near as good as whoever else everyone is comparing the ESPN commentators to, but seriously, give it a rest. I’d much rather listen to the ESPN commentators than the people who consistently bitch about it. You know what happens when you get ESPN to make a change? Dave O’Brien and Tommy Smyth. Sit down and shut the hell up, everyone. It can get worse.

    That said, Glenn Davis is awesome. I hope he stays in the booth. And I have no problem with Wynalda either. But I would love to see J.P. Dellacamera come back. That guy is the shit.

    And enough with comparing soccer to other American sports. We soccer fans want to do our thing and like it. Yeah, casual fans are good, but that’s the problem. They’re casual. They’ll tune in for a few minutes, they’ll be coaxed into going to a game with a friend, they’ll get their Beckham updates, but that’s it. If you really want to impress people, impress the soccer fans who clear their personal life schedules to watch or go to playoff games or who can recognise Andy Dorman if he was walking down the street or who will tune in to MLS games that don’t even involve their team or people who pay a lot of their good money on tickets, jerseys, and scarves for their team on a consistent basis.

    Holy shit, I’m angry.

    And no, I don’t really know of any good Fire blogs. There’s MondayMorning10Shirt, but the updates aren’t that often. And it’s more cynical commentary than news and facts. It’s like the Chicago version of The Offside Rules (which I’m a big fan of also).

  2. Hmm…I wonder if the fact I found “Socctober” to be one of those “so-bad-its-good” kind of things came across. If not, that was the intention.

    I’m with you, Fire_Juve10. I don’t get how people can get so bent out of shape about the commentary or why it’s so important we go to the English, one-dude model. Yeah, it’d probably be better, but the status quo doesn’t hurt me; it makes me giggle. For the most part, I enjoy it when they say something stupid – e.g. Socctober. It has the same delightful kitsch factor as MLS’s Year Two ad campaign, a high-water mark in advertising as far as I’m concerned…damn kids today ought to be studying its brilliance…

    And, yeah, I view Glenn Davis as an upgrade. I like Allen Hopkins (even if I frequently mis-type his name; is that right?). And, yes, I sincerely enjoy Max Bretos’ dim-twit antics. It’s just 100% hyperactive enthusiasm. What’s not to like?

    And I think I just got your point about the casual fans (not your fault; I’m a little thick today). Trying to explain the game to them by relating it to familiar aspects in other sports won’t get them to jump from, say, the NFL. They’ll either embrace it – and on some level is good enough; money is money – or they won’t. But to spend all that time translating soccer to them, no, that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  3. “Socctober” to me is like when a friend admits a really bad guilty pleasure and I just say, “wow, dude…. I’m just going to pretend like I didn’t hear you say that” and just move on.

    Oh yeah, I forgot about Allen Hopkins… I think he’s really good too. I remember him and Max Bretos doing commentary for LA and I was always learning something when Hopkins spoke. As for Bretos… well… he’s so-bad-it’s-good. He does get really excited and I’m all for that, it’s just that sometimes in his excitement a little bit of bias can show. I really don’t mind it too much and it’s nowhere near as noticeable as the regional broadcasters (I’m looking at you, Feldman).

    And yeah, you are getting my point about casual fans. I put the “soccer moms and kids” in that category too. You’re absolutely right… money is money. And maybe I’m expecting too much wanting to see the entire stadium jammed with hardcore supporters with flags and banners and smoke. However, if everyone is tripping all over themselves to say the Toronto fans are the greatest fans ever (how quickly we forget about all the other fan clubs), they need to take a look at what those fans consist of. Hardcore supporters. That’s how attendance and atmosphere is going to improve and attract more attention to the league. It’s great filling the seats with 15,000 nacho eating people. But look at how interesting it is to see 500 vocal supporters going crazy for the team they love. I guess it just comes down to money. Selling 15,000 tickets makes you more money than 500 tickets no matter the level of enthusiasm.

    One more thing. ESPN made those “you’re a fan, you just don’t know it yet” ads (those seemed to have disappeared) which were aimed towards sports fans more so than soccer fans. After thinking about it for a while, it seemed to make sense. MLS fans will watch so try to get other sports fans to watch also (same can be said for casual fans and soccer fans). But at the same time it reminds me of the new kid at school who trys too hard to fit in:

    “Yeah, I’m cool too! I can do the same thing the baseball boys do. I have the same interests the football boys do. Hey basketball fans, you like dribbling? Look at what I can do!”

    Be who you are. You’re soccer. You have qualities everyone can enjoy. Tell the sports fans something unique about yourself. Every goal is significant to the outcome of the game. Overly audacious tackles can make your team play a man short for the rest of the game. Fans come together in a community to support the team with all sorts of colourful displays. The tradition of the game runs for over 100 years and they can be a part of building a tradition in America. Tell them about that.

    I think we’re on the same page about all of this.

  4. […] Jeff placed an observative post today on More About Socctober! (More about, um, DC*).Here’s a quick excerpt:No, never mind…don’t dignify this) to celebrate Major League Soccer’s (MLS) post-season tournament. Yes, this is incredibly stupid. It’s also harmless. Soccer fans spend a lot of time agonizing over the often shocking state of American … […]

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