Friday Funblast: A Very Long Engagement
Friday Funblast, February 26th Edition
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We're reaching the finale of this endless offseason; kits are dropping, media types are stadium touring, and the soccer universe finally feels like it is beginning to heal. So, without further ado...
THEY HATE US ‘CAUSE THEY ANUS
If your local ambulance chaser attorney is a little harder to get ahold of this week, it’s because an entire fanbase developed a case of whiplash over a seven-day span. If there was one consistent this week, it was the complete and utter inconsistency of the NATIONAL SOCCER MEDIA™ on their FC Cincinnati takes. We started the week getting fucking sideswiped by Matt Doyle (and RT’d Taylor “Discount Stephen A. Smith” Twellman) over the poor play of Siem de Jong last season as opposed to this one. Twellman’s follow up act (after deleting a tweet attacking The Post Cincy contributor Max Ellerbe) was to fawn over the West End Stadium, both on twitter and on ESPN TV. The good vibes were short lived, as the Athletic assigned not one, not two, but THREE goddamn writers to fact check a goddamn hype video about the Brenner signing.
Grayson did a good job breaking down the idiocy of the Athletic “investigation” (a term I use begrudgingly, since this isn’t exactly fucking Spotlight exposing overly-touchy priests), and I agree with every single word in his piece. The idea that a goddamn meme tweet resulted in three authors doing actual journalistic legwork is the kind of absurdity you’d expect to find in a bad newsroom sitcom (or an actual episode of “The Newsroom,” the show where Aaron Sorkin finally answered the question “How much further up my own asshole can I go before I hit bone?”). Yet, the goddamn Athletic still felt that THIS was the content worthy of making people cough up $5 per month. Praise be to our venture capital overlords – actually wait, I shouldn’t say “praise” in anything that mentions Pablo Mauer or he might come after me for using Christian Imagery in my writing.
Look, I get it: FC Cincinnati = pageviews. We’ve got an incredibly engaged fanbase online with a voracious appetite for two things and two things only: 1.) News about FC Cincinnati and 2.) The ability to pounce, instantaneously and without regard to life or common sense, on anyone who criticizes FCC or the city. There’s nothing this fanbase likes more than being pointed to a shitty take online and being told to have at it. It’s gotten to the point where we probably need some kind of code word to order the fanbase around like they used in Game of Thrones whenever the dragons were coming to wreck shit (sadly, being CGI, the dragons couldn’t be turned on the stupid fucking showrunners at the conclusion of the final season). I think knowledge of this has gotten around, and now the various nobodies toiling away in NATIONAL SOCCER MEDIA™ have learned that the easiest way to spike your view counts is just to troll the FCC Fanbase and wait for the story / take to be signal boosted by the various content creators in the community.
The obvious solution here is to stop responding to these people when they attack, but I’m going to take the opposite tact here and say that we should actually be attacking these people with MORE intensity. Signal boosting soccer journos can only help the industry grow and if they need those sweet, sweet Orange & Blue clicks to get more money, more content freedom, and a bigger platform I’m completely here for it. Being a soccer fan looking for content used to fucking suck back in the day. You were pretty much limited to state-run MLS media and the occasional sanctimonious take from Sentient-Thumb-Turned-Journalist Grant Wahl. Now? It’s veritable buffet (the only kind of buffet that’s gonna survive this fucking pandemic, RIP in Peace to the Grand Buffet in P-Ridge) of takes, thinkpieces, and breaking news. And we can help cultivate that by roasting these motherfuckers savagely and quote-tweeting their shit to the moon every time the word “Cincinnati” hits their keyboard. It’s almost our duty, at this point.
They can thank us later.
KITS OUT FOR HARAMBE
The FC went and dropped their new 2021 home kit on Thursday. It’s fine? I fucking refuse to use the word “clean” here, just because it seems like that’s the only description people are capable of using when it comes to new soccer jersey releases. It’s a nice look, and at least the complaints this go around are the usual bitching about shade of blue and lack of orange as opposed to “who the fuck designed these hideous shoulder stripes” that we got last year.
While we’re on the subject of last year’s kit, I absolutely advise everyone to go to the team shop and buy one on deep discount. Spend the extra ten clams and get the authentic. Trust me on this one. The 2020 kit is destined to live in franchise infamy – never worn in front of fans, a reminder of the shitty pandemic year, a second straight wooden spoon squad, and, to quote my man Jim Ross, just “bowling shoe ugly.” Or, putting it another way: a fucking collector’s item. If you look around the sports world, it’s always the ugliest fucking jerseys that people remember fondly and keep asking to have come back. People in Tampa constantly clamor for the return of the infamous Buccaneers “creamsicle” jerseys (complete with the oddly sexual winking pirate logo). Those rainbow Astros uniforms or Denver Nuggets tops? Constantly top sellers on the retro merch sites. Hell, the Pittsburgh Steelers wear those fucking hideous bumblebee uniforms all the goddamn time. Nothing gets fans nostalgic like ugly as shit throwback jerseys. And, when that nostalgia hits the FCC fanbase in 15-20 years, you’re gonna wish you had that two-toned bad boy to pull out of the closet and impress your friends. Maybe buy a size up though – at the rate society is going, we’re all gonna be in bigger clothing from the alcohol consumption alone.
Also, if you’ll allow me to get sentimental for a second – the reveal video done by the FC was fantastic. Seeing the firefighter, the doctor and all the “essential workers” do the Superman to reveal the jersey hit a little different this after the past 11 months. Job well fucking done.
PROBLEMS WITH CHARLOTTE FLARE
The (as best I can tell) “main” Supporters Group for Charlotte FC finally decided to release a statement about the fucking scam of a pricing structure planned for the expansion side. The Mint City Collective, who you might remember from last season where their President publicly kicked out a member of their group for having the audacity to disagree with a decision of the SG, took to twitter to say (in not so many words) that they really aren’t going to take a stand on this issue. It was a shockingly tepid take for a fanbase that is getting absolutely assfucked on ticket costs. It makes sense though, since we also learned that the club was imposing a $50 “supporters fee” on all tickets in their supporters section to fund the cost of the section. Neat, and in no way gross.
This shit isn’t hard. “Personal Seat Licenses” are a fucking scam. Full stop. They were designed as a method to pass more of the cost of building stadiums onto the backs of paying fans (on top of the tax money already being pilfered for these corrupt motherfuckers). Here, it’s even worse because THE STADIUM IS ALREADY FUCKING BUILT. They’re literally just using the PSLs to recoup the cost of buying the franchise from MLS – which, OK, but if the fans are paying your franchise fee then the fans should own the goddamn team. This is also the part where we remind everyone that the owner of Charlotte FC is a dickhead hedge fund manager worth THIRTEEN BILLION DOLLARS. He also has a forehead large enough to do outdoor movie screenings on, which is proof that money still can’t solve every problem. Coming out against this motherfucker’s pocket-padding move to sell PSLs should have been the easiest fucking decision in SG history. But, if we’ve learned one thing about Charlotte’s SGs, it’s that they’re gonna find a way to make “L” the most important letter in CLT.
I can’t wait for this shitshow of a franchise to start playing matches and see exactly what $50 per fucking person buys for their Supporters Section. We struggle to get people to pay $20 in this city for an SG membership, and they send you a goddamn scarf as part of that cost. To put this in perspective, $50 per Bailey STH would give you a supporters budget of $155,000 dollars. PER FUCKING SEASON. I mean, we’re talking a Brewster’s Millions situation here where I genuinely wonder if it would even be possible to spend that much money on soccer shit. You could outfit the Knights with new drums, buy gold-plated megaphones for the capos, do a tifo for every match, and still have enough cash left over to buy a Papa John’s franchise. What the actual fuck are they gonna do with that much money? I’m dying to know.
THEY MADE A MOVIE ABOUT LUCIANO ACOSTA
It’s called “A Very Long Engagement.”
Alright, that’s all for the week. Rise Together. PSLs Never. See you motherfuckers in the Thunderdome.