This is a response to this NPR article, and its general 'tude.
My girlfriend sent this over to me to me today and asked what I thought. So I wrote a little song. And it goes a little something like this:
Frank Deford... of course MLS isn't popular ya dingus. You said it yourself - it's only 20 years old. Honestly, why wouldn't sports fans want to watch the best of the best of whatever sport they like? That's understandable. We MLS fans aren't hating. Go watch whatever league you want! Whatever makes you tick. We aren't thumping you with our bible of MLS allocation rules (the only thing that isn't censored is "blind draw").
Why did you write an article about it? Who writes an article on a super popular news site on the subject of something else being unpopular? No one would ever write an article about how yoyo's or razor scooters are no longer popular (or, I mean, they shouldn't, because that would be really dumb). It'd basically be an Onion article (and yes Onion, I will write for you). So I think you're capitalizing on some already strong opinions... You're doing a bit of trolling my friend. If that stupid ass Deadspin article from last year is a 10, you're riding around a 4. Which I'll admit, on NPR, is pretty respectable.
Clearly there are some pretty passionate fans out there. Your audiences for this piece are existing fans who are a little peeved at their passion being paved over or other people who are just nodding their heads. Come on, Frank. You're better than this.
You'll be surprised to learn that we don't watch MLS because it's the best league in the world (and I apologize for anybody who tries to say it is. Some trolls are better than others).
The appeal, and the reason that we love it, is that it's that it's local - it's OUR own local, homegrown league. Hardcore fans right now like the teams because its a community aspect. They GO to the games. We can identify with a club (for a reason other than liking them on FIFA). And by the way, the TV ratings are rising. Not that it really matters to us, other than that we want to pay the players more. I'm just letting you know.
There is no other American sport where the league isn't arguably the best (or best branded) in the world. Americans typically don't have a decision where they say "oh do I watch my local team or do I watch the best stuff in the world?" because their local team is already one of the best teams in the world, relatively speaking. So a lot of people never confront the issue of local versus quality. Because of that, all these critics don't see the quality they see elsewhere, and think it's not worth watching, at all, period. It's fine if you're just trying to watch ONLY the best soccer in the world, if that's ALL that entertains you. I totally get that. But it's at least a littttttle bandwagon-y (I CAN TROLL TOO FRANK).
I'm sure you enjoy a Bud Light now and again.
These teams and this league entertains us. Some people care a lot about it. And frankly, I get to watch way more soccer on the weekends.