Steven Goff started the crusade. I'm going to take it further.
Jaime Moreno's last match as a member of D.C. United will not be televised. It's a travesty. It's borderline hypocrisy. At the very least, it's a damn shame.
Comcast Sportsnet is only carrying 15 United matches this season, and next Saturday's finale against Toronto FC isn't one of them. Goff gives an excuse for CSN that they didn't know it would be Moreno's last match when they announced their broadcast schedule before the season, but didn't most of us figure that 2010 would be Moreno's final season anyway? And the past two seasons, United was fighting for the final playoff spot on the last match of the season. Shouldn't all parties involved do the best they can to make sure that match is on television every year?
And this comes after the team already forced Moreno to leave sooner than he had intended. "It's time" was the quote from Kevin Payne.
Where is the uproar?
And where is the promotion for this match?
This should be one of the grandest events in D.C. sports this year, and I haven't yet seen a single advertisement for it. Sure, the team is promoting it heavily on their own website, but not anywhere else. How are the casual sports fans supposed to know about it? There must be plenty of folks who have been to a United match or two in the past, but don't follow the team closely, and want the chance to see Jaime Moreno for a final time in person.
DCU should be doing so much more. Read on as I dive deeper into the hypocrisy after the break.
Want to really have fun with this story? Let's travel back to March 9, 2010 when United and Comcast Sportsnet announced their "unsurpassed coverage" via press release.
"United fans may again look forward to a full slate of regionally televised games courtesy of our friends at Comcast SportsNet," said United President and CEO Kevin Payne. "We feel that our club is headed for a great season ahead and no one will bring you closer to the action than our long-term television broadcast partners."
Hmm... 15 games sounds a bit short of a "full slate" to me. It's almost as if the team and their "long-term television broadcast partner" haven't made much of an effort to increase their coverage over the previous years. Other teams in the league work with their broadcast partners to ensure every single match is televised. Is this yet another category where D.C. is falling behind the rest of the league?
"We are proud to serve as the official television home of United, one of the most-storied franchises in the region, and look forward to delivering comprehensive coverage of their upcoming season on our network," said Comcast SportsNet Senior Vice President and General Manager Rebecca Schulte.
Comprehensive. Definition: including all, including everything, so as to be complete.
Ok then. Ms. Schulte continues...
"Our partnership with United, which has an incredibly loyal and far-reaching fan base, highlights our dedication to providing area fans with the most extensive and compelling sports programming available."
What could possibly be more compelling than the greatest player in league history playing his final match, with the local team, in front of tens of thousands of fans. The tributes from the supporters' groups alone will be incredibly compelling. CSN is broadcasting a regular season Capitals game next Saturday night. I love the Caps too, and I totally understand the urge to broadcast a Caps game over a United game for ratings reasons. So perhaps a better description would be "our dedication to providing area fans with the coverage that earns us the most money."
This is an ugly situation. Fortunately, we've got a week and a half to correct it.
D.C. United needs to give fans who cannot attend in person a way to watch this match. The organization owes it to Jaime, and they owe it to his fans. If there are no other television options, show it on dcunited.com.
Other teams in this league have given their fans refunds after a poor home performance. And yet D.C. United can have the worst season in its history, and still force its fans to pay money to see the best player in its history play his final match ever for the team he helped build.