Haven’t done a random, non-scripted piece in awhile…but I have a bunch of things in my mind and maybe they start some productive conversations in the comments section:
• While blogs show pictures of Donovan supporters and folks revel in the chants of ” USA, USA, USA” I can’t help, but wonder if Clinton Drew Dempsey were a bit more charismatic if the heaps of praise lavished on Landon would have already been earmarked some time ago for Deuce….especially overseas. Seems, I don’t know, just odd to me, the fanfare around Donovan when Demps has been doing it for awhile and was really coming on this year.
• I’ve mentioned it before and maybe I’m putting too much stock in well-delivered answers, but I’m looking for Sacha Kljestan to be a contributor. You have to think that Kljestan is on the cusp of the South African team…but if he gets his form he could challenge for a role with Stuie on the right side if Clint is up top as is now expected.
• I am giddy like an….like an…I don’t know NBA 1st round pick in a strip joint after the draft about our beer piece dropping tomorrow…just an excellent panel of experts helped us out. Thank you in advance.
• It’s been nearly 100 days since the Charlie Davies 9th minute salute…and where do we stand on strikers? CD9 is flicking a ball (“Push It, Charlie…we need you!), according to the aforementioned Kljestan.
From Group 1 of our “With Davies In Repair, Who Strikes?” piece, we almost lost Dempsey to injury and Altidore is starting sporadically with the mercurial Amr Zaki arriving on the scene.
From Group 2, Conor Casey looks like a lock for the team and has a shot at starting. Group 3 inclusions, Kenny Cooper and Brian Ching, seem semi-permanently and permanently out of the picture.
Group 4…holy smokes I just realized I forgot a Group 4. Sorry guys.
Group 5 has seen Bob Bradley kick the tires of Eddie Johnson and Robbie Findley with more expected of Findley. Rolfe and Adu, also included in the group have not factored and may never. My money is on Rolfe over Adu for those that have not shown.
Group 6 was all Jeff Cunningham …and…he…is… slowly…making…his…case.
Group 7 included Marcus Tracy, a camp injury casualty and Preston Zimmerman…not summoned.
More feedback as we get closer here.
Part III is one of my favorite pieces I’ve written….wait, did I say that out loud?
• Shout out to Rico Clark….without spoiling a forthcoming World Cup piece….we owe you some pub. A big move over to the Bundesliga, message boards lit up overseas with your praises, and the Germans even labeling you Rambo. More shortly Rico…TSG owes you some love. (Thanks Evan for the link.)
• And from the Wild Idea for a Wednesday Files (do we have those?): Does the Africa Cup of Nations present a new model for sports coverage? Look at the games….virtually no one is attending, not to mention the personal security threats that one has to endure psychologically in attending. What if the games were presented with phenomenal HD coverage, but no fan attendance? Would the experience improve?
Okay, we have to have fans there–what if they held Cup of Nations game both in Africa but also in locations where there were a lot of African emigres? Maybe they could hold the group stage overseas? Before you condemn, you’ve got to be pretty wealthy and motivated already to attend these games.
Probably all of this is ridiculously not possible, but what I do know is there is a ton of media coverage of the event, no one in the stands, and a bottle of water, because of supply and demand, is like $8. My lone attention the Cup of Nations is what I hear on World Football Daily and occassionally tune into. Seems like this could be so much more.
• Finally, I wrote this in the comments section of a Stu Holden piece on December 15th, 2009 and while I’m getting worried about my analysis, I’m going to stand by it…..for now.
I just don’t see how the players and owners don’t strike an agreement before a striking date….don’t see it.
Here were my sentiments through a little role-playing:
Tongue-in-cheek, here’s how I think the labor discussion went between Stu and Don:
Stu: What about the labor situation.
Don: There is no labor situation; we’re playing.’
Stu: Yeah, but Jimmy…Eddie…those guys are serious over there.
Don: I know, I know…the most foolish thing this league could do *as a whole is to delay the start of a season during a time when the World Cup is coming that summer and the World Cup bid is being assembled…we’d miss all the free promotion.
Stu, you don’t strike as a league like us…it would be curtains. What you are hearing now is a little bit of rhetoric. Look I grew up in marketing and I saw what happened with NFL Europe…the lack of continuity would kill this league.
Won’t don’t it. Can’t do it. Mike Singletary style….
Stu (protesting): ….yeah…but…my salary….you know the guarantee and all…
Don: Again, we’re not the NFL…this not about millions of dollars at stake and agents pushing coddled clients…
This is about players making a fair wage…Look at you, star of our league at $35K…that’s not going to fly going forward. What we need to do is make it equitable for fans, owners, and players alike.
We need a little bit more visibility into how 2009 was and what 2010 sponsorship and growth look like. Look, Jimmy over there is not going to get everything the player’s want…we need to make it attractive for owners to come in to leagues…
But we know there are much better alternatives for pay elsewhere.
It will happen…or I’ll take a hike.
I’d love everyone’s opinion on any of the above….not that I need to ask for it by now…wink…