Wednesday, September 17, 2003

GOOD LITTLE WUSA CHAT: With Brian Straus of the Washington Post. Straus is a smart-ass, so don't let that trip you up too bad. Here's a good comment (not from Straus):

The WUSA was a failed business model. Not so unusual especially is these bad economic times. What women's soccer should do is go back to the drawing board learn from the mistakes and forge on. To this end by 2004-5 a new league should be formed that will be regionalized in two or more divisions that will play games only within the geographic region until the championship game or short playoff series -- Piggyback on existing A-league or MLS teams. Play games as part of double headers to keep expenses down. Emphasize building a fan base that attends games as opposed to scoring lucrative television contracts. Have players train and then work at other jobs during the rest of the day along the lines of what home depot does for Olympic athletes. Sometimes you have to think initially small to make your eventual breakthrough. That's the reality of sports that actually succeed in the U.S.

Here's the "benvolent conspiracy theory" angle:

Washington, D.C.: Talk about doom and gloom! You guys are totally wrong. The reality is just the opposite of how you paint it. The announcement was timed perfectly, just before tens of thousands will attend and hundreds of thousands will watch the World Cup action. They needed more sponsors and more will crop up when they see the potential for advertising. It will all turn out okay before the drop dead date. Guaranteed.

Brian Straus: We'll see. Perhaps that's what the league is banking on - a sudden surge of support in light of the WWC and the announcement's timing. Huge gamble - compete with college and pro football, mlb playoff races, start of nhl season, end of mls season, and hope sports editors aren't turned off by the sudden irrelevance of women's pro soccer. It's a huge, huge gamble.

Via SportsFilter.

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