The last time that Don Garber talked about the Rapids at one of these conference calls was back in 2010 when the Rapids were on the verge of their first-ever title. Though you wouldn't know it by listening to the call, you'd think that FC Dallas were all but assured a title. In fact, you might remember this little gem from the 2010 conference.
Q. The question is do you do anything to encourage the sort of game that Dallas plays, the sort of attractive product that will bring in sponsors, that will push up television ratings? That will allow you to announce that you've got a great gala occasion and you can produce the goods to prove it? It comes down to coaches. I'm wondering why you don't bring in some sort of quota for bringing young American coaches into your league? Why you do not insist that every team has at least one young American coach, maybe an assistant or an assistant's assistant on their roster here? Two of them have proved to be the most exciting coaches over the season.
Oh Paul Gardner, you marvelous one-trick-pony.
But no, really. The Rapids didn't get mentioned at all. In fact, most of these conference calls can be summed up about two general topics.
One is DP's, specifically, David Beckham. 2011 had a lot about David Beckham. 2012 has a lot about David Beckham. But the main broken record that is in these Garber pressers is mention of the New York expansion. No really, he's been talking about this for years. I want to scream, honestly, when I hear about it. My thought on this is that it's not relevant until there's some real ground breaking, as of right now, as of the past several years, there has been nothing but whispers.
It would excite me more to hear about other markets like Indy and Minnesota getting some kind of franchise. Minnesota, to me, is the best candidate because they already have the NASL tradition (not a big one, but they have one) and there's the issue of what to do with the old Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. Would be a shame to just see it demolished.
And Wisconsin? Indy? What about aggressively going after those "small markets"?
I can tell you from experience: the Twin Cities are huge into soccer. Huge. There's a small contingent of die-hard football hooligans in the Minnesota Stars. There's also a lot of large immigrant communities in the Twin Cities, most of whom follow the Premier League. Too much focus on New York is dangerous.