Thursday, June 12, 2008

Good Riddance

News item: Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen plans to step down next summer. Read about it HERE.

Normally I wouldn't give a hoot about some college conference commissioner stepping down. But this is an exception. Hanson led the PAC-10 in its annoying, hypocritical fight against a college football playoff. In fact he was the #1 opponent of a playoff system --citing student academic concerns and the like. As if college football wasn't a multi-million dollar business. As if NCAA basketball and division II football (which does have a playoff) couldn't get around those concerns. No, this was about money. The money the PAC-10 made with TV tie-ins and bowl tie-ins. Total crap.

Hansen may have been a good commissioner, but his obstructionist tactics were unfair, given that the majority of college football officials wanted a playoff system. Good to see him go. Not a moment too soon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Say It Ain't So Steve!

Big Steve Nash fans here. Love the way he plays and love the fact that he's trying to get a soccer franchise.

But the dirty reports he acts like just another idiot athlete.
Read HERE.

Pro Soccer Comes To Phoenix

The Phoenix Metro Region ("Valley of the Sun") is very large --about 7 million people. Yet we have no pro soccer franchise. Part of that is the glut of pro teams around Phoenix, and another part is the crazy hot summers we have here. Basically MLS soccer would require some sort of dome or retractable roof --which is expensive and disfavored by MLS.

The good news is that Steve Nash is interested in getting involved in MLS. The trick is convincing him to bring the team to Phoenix. No doubt he is more interested in NYC or Canada, but he owes us, right?

Regardless, Phoenicians have two big soccer events to look forward to this month.

First, our local semi-pro team, the Arizona Sahuaros have qualified for the U.S. Open Cup. The Cup is the oldest American soccer tournament and is open to all pro and club teams. The fun is when one of the "AAA" teams beat MLS teams --which usually happens once a year or so. The Sahuaros play the USL's ("AAA" soccer) Seattle Sounders on June 10 at Grand Canyon University. Read the write-up HERE. This is a great opportunity for the Sahuaros to represent Phoenix soccer and to attract investors. Moreover, it will be a fun event. Read more on the Sahuaros intersting history HERE. Go Sahuaros!

An even bigger event was just announced as well. On June 25th, Chivas dG of the Mexican League will take on the New York Red Bulls of MLS at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Read the article HERE.

This is a huge opportunity for "Phoenix Rising" and others who want an MLS team for Phoenix, to demonstrate our passion and interest in high-level soccer. Phoenix Rising is organizing a supporters group for the game HERE. I doubt that Chivas will send their top side, but it is still Chivas, even though it is an exhibition game. It should be a blast.

Monday, June 2, 2008

MISL: Strike TWO!

The Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) announced it is folding effective May 31, 2008.
News Blurb:
Major Indoor Soccer League shuts down

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) -- The Major Indoor Soccer League has shut down after seven seasons, and is considering restructuring.

The league, which had been in operation since the 2001-02 season and had nine teams in the 2007-08 season, ceased operation last weekend. That came a few days after commissioner Steve Ryan resigned.

Former league chairman John Hantz, owner of the Detroit Ignition, said Monday that the league is considering restructuring that would allow longterm growth and expansion.

In addition to Detroit, the league had teams this season in Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Newark, N.J., Orlando, Fla., Stockton, Calif., and Monterrey, Mexico.

Here's the MISL's semi-believable promise to return "meaner and leaner" or something like that:
WESTPORT, Conn. (Monday, June 2, 2008) - The Management Committee of the Major Indoor Soccer League today announced the MISL ceased operations effective May 31, 2008. The MISL Management Committee has begun formal transition planning and restructuring as they consider moves, which they believe will help lower costs and attract additional owner/operators. A decision on the future structure of the League will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.

"We are considering structural changes that will bring us greater efficiencies, while also allowing long term growth and expansion of the League," said John Hantz, former Chairman of the MISL, and Owner/Operator of the Detroit Ignition.

This day marks the end of one era and the start of a new era for the sport of Professional Indoor Soccer.

This is actually the second time the MISL has folded. The original semi-successful MISL folded back in 1992. I remember attending games in the 1980s with huge crowds. There was no MLS back then, so indoor soccer was the only game in town. Plus indoor soccer is fun to play and fun to watch. A shame it couldn't keep the popularity going.

In a crazy-hot city like Phoenix, indoor soccer is probably our best bet for pro soccer --becuase its played indoors. God bless the Phoenix Inferno and Phoenix Pride for trying to make a go of indoor soccer back in the day. The only way Phoenix is getting MLS is if some big-bucks owner decides to build a soccer-specific stadium. Hey Steve Nash! Bring MLS to Phoenix.

Anyway, some sort of pro indoor soccer will be around next year. Long time team Philadelpha Kixx promise to be back.
Good luck re-forming MISL. But don't come back as the semi-pro outfit that was your most recent incarnation.