Rapids/Crew, Splitting My Posts/Personality

Um, hey.

So, slight change in plans to how I’ll be handling the project of clocking the real or imagined revival of the Columbus Crew versus the Colorado Rapids. I received an invitation to cover the Rapids for The Offside – and (sucker!) I have accepted.

The upshot of this is pretty simple. I’ll just be posting any thoughts I have on the Rapids over there (e.g. on The Colorado Rapids Offside) and everything I have to say on the Crew over here (e.g. on Center Holds It). This won’t change the overall project or thesis, but will pose some challenges to linking the two projects. Tentatively, I think the plan will basically involve linking to anything I have written about the Rapids on The Offside when I post about the Crew – or, failing that, I’ll go with my original plan of linking to all the Rapids stuff I’m posting at least once per week.

Perhaps a little awkward, maybe a little unwieldy? We’ll see. But I do like the separate space arrangement. I’ll have to see how deeply I can divide my personality – perhaps even split my psyche into two different, mutually antagonistic selves in order to liven up the project. Stranger things have happened….and online no less. (WARNING: This link shouldn’t be NSFW. Too weird. But, in reality, it probably is. Just scroll down…and recoil in horror.)

OK, real Crew news to follow shortly here. And real Rapids news to follow shortly over there – or, at the very least, an introduction to The Offside’s readers (here that is…remarkably long).

All I know is I frickin’ hate that asshole from the Rapids’ Offside…

My Semi-Annual, Semi-Existential Post: Death to the Sweeper

Here’s to hoping no one either saw or remembered the last post of this sort (posted September 17, for the curious). But this being a slow Friday, it feels like a good day to get an editorial issue off my chest.

There’s some searching going on out there of, at very least, intentions. In what was likely the most prominent piece out there, J Hutcherson from USSoccerplayers.com posted a low-simmer indictment of soccer reporting in the States. It’s worth reading (and short…so get to it), but the key segment comes with this:

“Ask a basic question: on its best day, what is professional American soccer writing? I’m pretty sure it’s not journalists relying on early press release material as exclusive sources, working as the mouthpiece of an agent, or simply pulling the now tired blogging trick of letting other people do the actual work while the writer links and comments.”

I’m seeing a lot of what Hutcherson is seeing…hell, I’ve done a lot of what Hutcherson describes (“now tired blogging trick…” ahem….hey! Look over there!). But that’s only part of what I’m doing here…and that has to do with, 1) that old, September 17 post, and 2) the Daily Sweeper feature. A part of that involves applying the same spirit that Hutcherson applies to soccer writing to the work I do here.

So, to resubmit the questions I asked on September 17, who am I? What am I doing here? I hinted at some answers the first time around. Here, I’ll be answering those (pretty) directly.

First of all, let the record show that I view myself as a blogger, not a reporter; since I don’t live in an MLS market, actual reporting isn’t on the horizon and I don’t see doing that from a blogging platform, anyway (I need cash money to talk to strangers). As such, the “now-tired blogging tricks” are essentially my bread and butter and I’m aware of their limitations. That reality aside, I still want to do original analysis, to actually observe and think about soccer and things related thereto. The bulk of the content will be about games; I’m really in this to watch and discuss games. My interest in players pretty much stops the moment they leave the field, or get on it for another team – and I’m a whore for rumors – so don’t expect a lot of discussion of what nice boys these players are. My hope is that I’ll approach it all with something at least subtly different – whether in terms of voice or style of analysis – and bring enough original thinking as I write to make visits worthwhile. Otherwise, why should someone bother to stop by?

And that’s why the Daily Sweeper must, once again, die. It’s not that it’s a bad feature; indeed, the inspiration for the segment came from wanting to provide something approaching “total coverage” (but, du Nord does that already, right? Yep) and, no less significantly, to flag other bloggers’ and pundits’ good work. While both goals are laudable, I typically linked to the “heavies” (e.g. Goff, Galarcep, Carlisle, Bradley, Wahl, Lalas…the sane one, etc.) – e.g. stuff that people reading this site had quite probably have read before they came to read me. In the end, this not only makes for redundancy, but it’s also fairly time-consuming. So, yeah, adieu Dear Sweeper….though, the record does show that thing has more lives than three freakin’ cats.

That’s only part one, really. And feel free to stop reading here, because it only gets more indulgent. I haven’t yet answered a couple related questions – and they’re big ones. Here, in no particular order, are those: Continue reading