Jaap Stam is Here to Stay, Whether You Like It or Not
Guest Contributor Jason (@JaseofBase513), the artist formerly known as Real Snark Lake
You’ve seen it on the internet, you’ve heard it on the Cincinnati Podcast Warz, you’ve probably ranted about it to your wife (who couldn’t care less) on the way to dinner. No other topic has captivated the mind of FC Cincinnati fans as much as the debate over whether or not Jaap Stam is the right person to helm the SS Gary. Some are firmly in the #JaapOut camp while others take any criticism of the coach as an attack on the team itself, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter. Stam will be the manager of FC Cincinnati until the end of the season at least.
Let’s get something straight from the beginning. No one wants Stam to fail. Those who are critical of the Gaffer of Garys want nothing more than to be proven wrong. Being wrong would mean that FC Cincy has found a way to be competitive week in and week out. Changing your mind when presented with new information is something that should be lauded not criticized. Hell, we’d be a lot better off as a society if people would change their minds more often.
Should Stam be fired? I’m critical of the coach but I’m also a realist. Is the team better than before? Yes. Is it a marked improvement? Some stats say yes, while others say no. Are the club’s struggles solely on the coach? Certainly not. But I’m not here to debate on whether Stam should go, I’m here to tell you why he won’t.
As someone who’s worked in PR, mostly in sports, there are times where FC Cincy has made me grit my teeth. The club has made a few big PR blunders in its short life. Some forced but some unforced. Since the club entered the big leagues they’ve fired one manager less than a third into the season, waited nearly a full season to hire his replacement only to fire said replacement for racist behavior. All the while the club has stayed so Dutch that the team’s mascot should be fitted with a pair of wooden clogs. FCC has become the butt of many jokes around the league and didn’t endear itself to others around the league when it was moving up.
The last thing FCC wants to have happen is to be the club that has fired yet another manager. This is especially true of a manager who has arguably been the best manager in the team’s MLS history. I know, that bar is so low that a toddler can clear it but still.
If Stam leaves it’ll be because The FC doesn’t renew his contract or because he resigns. He has plenty of time to prove that he deserves that contract renewal but in the meantime, #JaapOut is going to ring hollow.