I have to get this off my chest: on my DVR sits the New England Revolution game versus FC Dallas from this Saturday night, and I have no plans to watch it. Ever.
On Soccer Soap Box, I don’t attempt to capture news before other blogs. I don’t analyze every game and every touch. If you are looking for a scoop or play by play coverage, you are unlikely to get it here.
Despite all that though, it’s unlike me to skip a game altogether. Not “breaking” news is different usually than “not being in the know.” Even if just to motivate a commentary for the blog, I generally find the time to watch.
And while I don’t bring the die-hard fan credibility of a Midnight Rider or Rebellion member, let’s say I’ve been to more home games than I’ve missed, and it’s not my preference to have reason to complain.
Typically I’ll contort a normal schedule to find time to watch late night west coast games or run the DVR when the family is asleep.
But not this time.
What’s the point? We’ve seen this story before.
Lack of possession. Lack of goals. Lack of imagination. Lack of excitement.
This isn’t an indictment of the players. They are trying.
In fact, this time I don’t intend this as an indictment of anyone, though the usual suspects should all be getting grilled by their bosses.
Because we all know the Kraft Sports Group will settle for nothing but success, right?
Let’s hope so.
Because core Revolution fans are getting frustrated and nervous. Again.
It is interesting, but not shocking, that while I was in the middle of writing this, The Drug is Football delivered its own perspective on a season that seems to be
slipping away. It is worth a read.
So as I sit watching the Bruins restore their fans faith by winning their NHL game three playoff game by scoring so many goals a Revolution fan would expect it to be illegal, and have the memories of sixty four thousand soccer fans in Gillette Stadium this weekend, I see a reality check for the team.
Despite the handy-cam commercial that suggests Pride and Passion are alive and well, they are both on life support in Foxboro.
In fans’ eyes they need entertainment as well as sporting excellence. What is the draw? Where is the excitement? Where are the goals?
So Revolution brass, instead of asking why fans are staying away from Revolution games and feeling indifferent, it is high time ask yourself why they shouldn’t be.
It’s getting increasingly hard to answer that.
Let’s be honest folks. The curtain has finally been pulled back, even to those with rose-colored glasses.
There’s a “Patriots” side of the ledger and a “soccer” (not “Revs”) side of the ledger. The US/Spain friendly, the Man U friendly, and the Beckham game brought in (well, the Man U game will bring in) whatever magic number of people and money (most importantly) KSG sets as “successful” for the year. Revs operations will be set back on autopilot and we’ll see you all next season. We’ll get a nice “well we tried but we had injuries” post on the blog from Brian Bilello and an “aw shucks, well maybe next year” post from Jeff Lemieux (who’s a good guy in a bad situation) and that, folks, will be that.
They brought in a shirt sponsor and Benny Feilhaber, two things I honestly thought I’d never see but very little has been done to capitalize on that. You still can barely find their gear in the city, the TV ads (amateurish anyway) don’t air except during games, their broadcast partners still ignore them, and the only thing we hear on that is that we the fans have to do more work.
The front office is staffed by people who are either first-timers or part-timers. The COO, as everyone knows, runs the Patriots Pro Shop. The marketing director hasn’t held a position like this before in any professional sports setting. Mike Burns couldn’t be the director of soccer operations for a USL PRO team. The Rev Girls head (who is also apparently in charge of “grassroots marketing”) seems to just a glorified party planner. You get what you pay for.
If serious reinforcements in the form of DPs and (not or, and) other proven professionals without horrific injury histories are not brought in during the transfer window then that, to me, will speak volumes.