Improving and Improv-ing the Supporters Summit

I couldn’t attend today’s New England Revolution Supporter Summit event, but did follow the tweet stream quite closely. (Major props to The Bent Musket crew for an amazing Tweet-stream of the event.)

For full disclosure, as I start typing this (with the family finishing dinner in the other room) I am a member of TWO New England supporters groups. In fact, I’ve been a member of The Midnight Riders and The Rebellion since about 11AM today.  (Though after this post, I may be denied entry after all…)

Of course, I’ve been a Revolution supporter for much longer and a blogger/twitter/general-pain-in-the-backside for a couple years now. I hadn’t joined the groups earlier because I never wanted to leap over the fence of self-proclaimed distance-keeper to full-fledged fanboy. For some reason, I thought it would be hard to write unbiased thoughts if I was a “New England Till I Die” guy, but in the end, I felt the supporters groups deserved MY support. And I have no doubt I’ll continue to be a vocal and unbiased believer that it’s not above my local team’s reach to play the game in a way that enthralls.

Maybe it’s because I crossed that chasm today and needed a clear counter-balance, or maybe I just needed a release from the daily grind, but following the event on Twitter, I quickly realized that I couldn’t keep my ridiculous commentary to myself tonight, so now you, dear reader, are subject to it.

Note: I think the team does a great thing by bringing in the supporters and is trying to do its best to run the team the way they believe will be most successful. Honestly. The Front Office probably doesn’t deserve any of the below commentary, but I couldn’t help myself with having a bit of fun with them. I take that back, they might deserve SOME of it…

So as I saw the questions and answers go by, I wondered… What if Revolution Management ended up like Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar? What if there was absolutely no filter between management’s thoughts and their words? What if we all saw behind the curtain?

Are these the real answers we’d get? Nah, of course not. Well, maybe a couple of them are, but most are the delusional ranting of a soccer blogger who really needs to get out to a game soon.

But since I found them amusing, maybe you will too. I tried to capture them more-or-less the way they flew by on Twitter, often keying off a theme provided by the front office. Sometimes not doing that at all. Enjoy.

(By the way, I’d really stop here if you didn’t show up with a sense of humor…)

———–

Why don’t you seem to take US Open Cup seriously?

Are you kidding? Spend money, tire the ridiculously thin roster and travel to some god-awful place for a game that exactly 237 New Englanders know is happening? Please.

What’s the deal about the Soccer Specific Stadium we are all desperate for?

It’s all about feasibility. You know, how feasible that we can keep dangling this in front of you year after year the right times before you all just give up. Do you really think we’d leave our owner’s palace and let it sit idly until our football team comes back for pre-season training?

Have you ranked potential sites for the Soccer Specific Stadium?

Yes, currently Gillette Stadium occupies spots 1-3. The practice bubble is right behind though.

Will David Vaudreuil be replaced?

Who?

How will the partnership with the Rochester Rhinos actually work?

We have no idea at this point. That said, we figure it cannot be any less impactful than the reserve league has been, so what the heck, we’ll give it a whirl. We’ve strategically committed to a one year, long term development relationship.

What’s up with playing during US Qualifiers?

We are one of a bunch of teams that is OK for playing on those dates. We don’t ever lose any US players anyway, and nobody, anywhere, with a remote interest in soccer, wants more rainy, Wednesday-night games in the echo chamber. It actually kind of spooks the players.

Is it true you lost the chance to play at Harvard for the US Open Cup on a coin flip?

Yes, who knew our tried and true player acquisition decision system would backfire on us? We need new coins.

How’s Sainey Nyassi coming along?

Great. He’s getting a bit pricey for a water boy, but he’s super-fast.

How’s Saër Sène’s recovery coming along?

Pretty well. It’d be quicker if he didn’t have to walk everywhere, but if you’ve seen him drive you’d make him walk too.

Are you still trying to sign Chad Barret?

Yes, there are a number of fans in The Fort who still sing the YSA chant and deserve to get whacked in the head for their foul language by stray shots gone wide and high.  It’s cheaper than adding more TeamOps folks.

Do you plan on doing more to engage with the region’s Portuguese population?

Yes, that’s why we signed Goncalves. Oh, and we’re planning a Nacho night.

Why do you think Jerry Bengston will have a better year in 2013 with the Revolution?

After we traded the Spanish speakers he was distracted by, we figure he’ll be more focused. And, we bought him a Spanish-English dictionary. We may also shred his passport, but that move is not finalized.

What can be done to get the folks in the “morgue” to be louder?

You’re thinking of it the wrong way. We’ve decided to go with the fans, not against them. There are some plans to offer Retirement Home discounts in sections that are a comfortable distance from The Fort. We call it Community seating.

What about using the Jumbotron to get people involved?

We’ve considered hiding cameras in the restrooms and taking pictures of the quiet fans at inopportune moments and then threatening to show them on the screen if they didn’t start making some noise. It didn’t test well in our focus groups though. We don’t get it, we heard other stadiums are getting more interactive.

How about getting people to stand up for the last few minutes of the game?

Well, the stadium has installed tazers in the seats in certain sections, they’ve been working wonders on drunk Pats fans and we are very optimistic for the 2013 season on their implementation for the Revs. We call them, “The Awakeners.”

Why are Season Ticket Holder counts shrinking?

Have you watched the team the last two years? Next question…

Why can’t we find more Revolution merchandise?

It’s simple it if won’t sell Adidas has no reason to make it. We are working with other like-minded teams on an answer. In fact, we have asked Adidas to consider making reversible shirts with FC Dallas on the other side. Win/win.

When do you think the Revolution would look to employ a full time scout?

You mean other than YouTube?

What do you think of Grant Wahl’s assessment of how ambitious the team is?

We’ve never spoken to Grant Wahl or most other media. Besides, we are at least 17th in that regard, and everyone knows it.

Would you consider having Shalrie Joseph back at some point so he could retire as a Revolution player?

Well, we sent him to Chivas, that’s a bit like retirement already, no? I suppose we’d welcome him come back, but we figure he’d punch out Heaps, so it might need to wait a season until we give up on that experiment.

How involved are the Kraft’s with the Revolution?

They are very involved at the MLS level. So, in that way, yes they are aware they have a team. We run big decisions by them. You know, stuff like should we trade Shalrie? How low to cut the turf on game day. Where to order pizza for Jose Moreno. Big stuff. 

Do you think the team performed up to its full potential last year?

No, but we blame Vaudreuil. Heaps dresses too nicely to be part of the problem.

And this year?

We’re going to be better. We haven’t played a game yet, but until we do, we’re better. No doubts.

————

Well, that’s all folks. If I haven’t had my Supporters Group memberships revoked by next year’s event (or by the time this gets read), maybe I’ll attend the event and actually write something of use in 2014.

Until then, it’s sport.

Enjoy it.

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