Friday, March 10, 2017

Who Is It Good For?

So I haven’t found too much in the past week to lift my spirits about a year passing by without the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

We had the MLS opening weekend however and I tried to watch as much as I could possibly watch. I had other obligations - Tae Kwan Do practice, summer camp tours, Chinese Lantern Festival. It’s the joys of parenthood. Luckily I was able to finish the weekend playing soccer with my 5-year old son and 6-year old nephew.

Back to MLS, it was an awesome weekend. It would have been even better if we had a game down here for sure, but for now, it’s a pleasure watching this game take shape in the US. Seeing it covered as much as it is. It gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling you know. That feeling, however, was quickly diminished when I heard sports talk radio trying to come to grips with Barcelona defeating PSG in Champions League.

So for a brief moment I wasn’t lamenting the loss of the Strikers, I was instead embarrassed and extremely angered that sports media still acts ignorant to our sport and laughs at how little they know. I scanned 4 separate sport talks shows right after the game. Each of them made mention of the result. Then each of them got confused on how aggregate scoring works. Then each of them laughed at how little they know about it.

Is that where we are right now? Do we still need to explain why regular season games end in a tie? Do we to explain what the Champions League is every year? It’s a insult. I wanted to live in this moment where the game completely restored my faith. I wanted this moment to be enjoyed. Instead, radio hosts were baffled at all the twitter noise and then stumbled over the scoresheet. No excuses sports media.

So that’s out of the way. Now back to Strikers talk. Not much to report really. And that’s it.

But I’m not going to stop there. So the next thing is google. I’m a big believer in building stadiums. Lockhart needs to refresh. OKC Energy has done something similar with their building, Taft Stadium. Check it out, it’s nice. A lot of teams, also, are dressing up their rented facilities, which is nice. But having your own space is special. The MLS model has afforded this. Not many team below that threshold can say they same.

But Lockhart was going to be rebuilt remember? Schlitterbahn, a water park was going to put a park in that area and have a lazy river run through Lockhart. They were going to upgrade the stadium and put in 4 more soccer fields. Initially the plan stalled because the city had to but the land from the airport and a hefty price. But guess what? They did it, they bought it. Plans were made and Schlitterbahn was about to become a reality. So why hasn’t it been done? Rapids Water Park. A water park in Palm Beach County has brought the City of Fort Lauderdale to court for not allowing competing bids for the space.

For that reason the rebuild is at a halt. It’s truly unbelievable. But that is the real reason that South Florida gets a bad rap. It’s not the players, it’s not the teams, it’s not the fans. It’s the greed. Look at Beckham’s deal. He’s on his third stadium location because of local business greed. First it was the cruise lines, then it was the Marlins. Everyone wants to benefit monetarily so it makes it hard to move the mountain.

A new question arises now. Since the Strikers are incognito, does the stadium plan fall to pieces? How is this resolved? So many questions. So little answers. Everyone says they’re committed, but no one wants to work each other. Every one out for themselves. Good for their business bad for soccer in South Florida.

No comments: