Monday, June 9, 2008
Why is the MLS so Damn Dirty?
Fellow North Americans! (Europeans, feel free to read on and laugh as I'm sure you already have been up to this point.) Take a moment if you can to walk away from Euro 2008 with its picturesque landscapes, hordes of Croatian supporters, and attractive football pitches actually designed for football, and step back into the hell that is the MLS.
Now MLS, I don't like you and you don't like me, but since my hometown has a professional club inside of you I have to learn to accept you for who you really are. I'm willing to take the substandard quality of play, the empty stadiums, the 'football pitches' that are either faded gridirons or shag carpets manufactured in a lab. But why, why so many dirty tackles, challenges and fouls? If you wait long enough in this league, the opposing player will find a way to give you the ball without you having to lift a finger (don't because that's hand ball), so why can't you learn to be a little more patient?
I don't even know where to begin. I'm sure I could troll through Youtube and find some compilation videos to prove my point, but I'm bigger than that. I would be better off directing you to the Official MLS website so you can watch the highlights yourselves. I guarantee there will be on average one wince-inducing challenge per highlight reel. Does this 'style' of 'play' reflect the sort of crowd the MLS hopes to pull in? If it is, it's not working, unless those empty seats are filled with ghosts or beings made of pure energy who enjoy a few career-threatening tackles now and again.
I can guarantee the person who forked over half of his or her savings to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship is not going to want to come and watch a sport beloved by Europeans for its subtlety, physical expressiveness, and deftness of touch, so why market to that guy? Everyone in my country knows that bone-crunching hits and bloody brawling play no part in hockey's popularity *ahem*, so why can't the USA learn to be a-okay with the thrills of fair play?