Deliver us not into the big time

Over the weekend I stopped into Callahan’s and Doug was trying to make polite conversation with me.

“So when will the Cosmos be going into the MSL?” asked Doug.

Almost every fiber of my being wanted to correct Doug, to say it’s “MLS”, Major League Soccer, not M-S-L, it’s not the Major Soccer League. Sheesh! But I bit my tongue knowing that a pendant isn’t welcome in his own bar.

“Thanks for asking, Doug,” I said. “I really appreciate your engaging me on a subject near and dear to my heart.”

“Your welcome,” said Doug toasting me with his shot glass. Or perhaps he was drawing attention to its emptiness.

I’d hoped that I diffused Doug’s line of questioning with my tactful and polite evasion. But it was early in the day and Doug still had his wits about him and so wasn’t going to be easily outsmarted by rhetorical feints.

Doug was waiting patiently for me to answer his question.

“I think the Cosmos are good in the NASL,” I said.

“That’s division two, right?” said Doug.

“You know your stuff, Doug. I’m impressed.”

“Don’t you think more people would go to the games if they were in the Show?” asked Doug. “I mean, the New York Cosmos used to be something. They were in the Big Time.”

“They were in the NASL back then,” I said.

“Yeah, but the MSL beat ’em out, right? Now they are the top dog. The Cosmos outta be in the top league,” said Doug.

“I’m glad you think so, Doug. But, personally, I kind of like the Cosmos where they are. The whole global-brand vision of the previous ownership had me a little worried. I’d prefer a local team, one with strong connections to the community rather than some powerful global corporate brand that couldn’t care less whether I showed up on Saturdays to watch the games or not.”

Doug thought about this for a moment. “When you put it that way…” he said.

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