Monday, March 20, 2006
That was fast ...
It appears that the Red Bulls plan to bring their fans with them went swimmingly.

Apparently over 600 people took los Toros Rojo up on their offer of a free bus trip and a free game ticket. The team was expecting around 150 or so people to sign up and actually got that in the first 45 minutes.

I figured, including $15 tickets, this trip will probably cost RBNY about $20,000. Chump change for the organization but a huge publicity and good-will program for the fans.

Kudos.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Top o' the Mornin'
As has been widely reported, the Red Bulls will be shipping "pretty much" as many fans as want to go to D.C. for the opening game of the season versus United.

The catch? Well, it's not really a catch, I guess. It's free.

Fans have to go to the team's website, newyorkredbulls.com, on Monday at noon to sign up. It's a $25 deposit which is refunded if you get on the bus. Don't get on the bus? You forfit your $25.

Sounds simple to me.

Now, there are some people on the BS Red Bulls board decrying this as a blatant attempt to pander to the hardcore Metro fans and to get them to get over the greivances.

Well, duh.

Who cares what the reason is? Red Bull bought the team in order to improve the Red Bull image in the New York market place. Owning the team is primarily a marketing tool for them ... a way to make money on their primary product. Know what? Welcome to sports in the 21st century. If it makes your team better, and there's no way Red Bull's going to allow the team to suck for long, then do as Teh Belly says and enjoy it and have fun.

If not, go find another team.
Monday, March 13, 2006
SNL's not really that funny ...
But, still, when the TFKATM (team formerly known as the MetroStars) are featured in a segment of Weekend Update (video is here »), well, that's more publicity than the team has received since 1996.

Still happy with the sale.

(Hattip: FirstRowIdiots)
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Home sweet home ...
So, construction appears ready to start on the Harrison Stadium for the Red Bulls and the update includes one interesting tidbit I hadn't heard before.
Plans for the 20,000-seat stadium, which will also be designed to host concerts and other special events, may change slightly to include a retractable roof, McDonough added.
Someone tell me again how having Red Bull as an owner in the league is a bad thing?
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Upside of Anger
First things first: the League, the AEG corporation, soccer and, most importantly, his wife and son are worse off for Doug Hamilton's passing late Wednesday night. Not only is it a shock because it's not something I would have seen coming for a man who ostensibly was in great shape, but it's a huge loss for the league. He was someone who really understood how the system worked and how to grow the sport in America. He will be missed.

On to less important issues:

Yoda had it right: fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. Suffering leads to watching golf on television. Or maybe it's the other way around.

Still, the people who are seething over the MetroStars name change and decrying it as something shameful for this act of including a product in the name of a professional sporting unit (see BigSoccer, The) are entirely missing the boat.

It's never been about the name.

So, get over it. And welcome to the 21st freakin' century. It's the best thing to happen to MLS, well, probably ever, and sometimes when you have the brass cojones to make big decisions (see Garberhino, Donald) you're gonna have the lesser balled taking potshots at you.

No one loves a sports franchise, be it collegiate or professional, because of the name of the team. Never have, never will. I love the University of Georgia because I spent five years in the greatest college town on Earth (four studying, one internship) and I gave blood, sweat and tears to that place. I grew up with it and became an adult within its confines. It's in my blood. Doesn't matter if it's a Georgia or a Nebraska or a Akron State ... the passion that a sports fan develops comes from being raised to appreciate a particular institution, a college or an athlete.

It's about discussing boxscores with your mom or dad, sleeping outside in the cold for playoff tickets or planning your weekend around the game. It's learning to love players, to love colors or to love the stadium atmosphere.

And you're saying, "Well, Perro, you're shooting holes in your own argument. If the Metros were still around, there'd still be that tradition, that love that we've built over the last ten years."

To you I say, "Yeah, you're probably right. But the players haven't changed. The stadium's still the same. You're now going to get what's probably the best stadium in MLS and you might actually see your team being marketed."

The Metros weren't going anywhere. Not sentenced to a quick rip, like taking off a band-aid like the fans of San Jose, but of being left to whither on the vine, ignored until it was too late.

Frankly, you should be happy that someone said, "I see potential there. I see opportunity. I see a club that I want to save."

You were going to lose your club. At least it's not a permanent loss. Now you have a chance to build up that love again and this time without worrying if it will be here for the long haul. New York Red Bull, and by extension MLS, is here to stay. And if they want to call the team Red Bull, it's just something you get to learn to love.

Here's a Vodka Red Bull to toast Mr. Hamilton. May he rest in peace.