I didn’t want to get into this. There are so many things in the world worth doing and writing at this moment, but here we are.
Alex Schieferdecker wrote the most comprehensive NASL punk I’ve seen, and you should read it if you haven’t. I’m grateful that people like him, more informed on this mess than I am, have examined the subject so closely, so I wouldn’t have to. I despise the whole thing.
But one aspect stood out to me, and the fact that the dramedy continues to attract the likes of Sports Illustrated prompted me to act.
I have three kids. Their decisions defy logic on the regular. But they’re kids, and I accept their decisions with as much patience as I can.
When my boys shoot Nerf missiles at each other, and one blames the other for his temporary blindness, I’m sorry, but they’re both at fault. As adults, we recognize this as fact. You consider the potential pitfalls of your decisions before you make them.
Blaming another for the natural consequences of your actions will earn you many criticisms, but I choose simply to call it childish. I’m guilty of doing it, of course, but in my stronger moments, I keep that ridiculousness to myself.
When some rich dudes (Rocco Commisso and Riccardo Silva) buy into a struggling league (the NASL) which is beholden to a set of rules put forth by a governing body (USSF), the adult thing to do is to succeed or fail within those rules. The childish thing to do is to sue that body.
I can’t succeed in this structure and that’s YOUR fault!
We can go round and round about whether that’s true. I’m no lawyer, and the can of worms opened by the subject has unleashed a stink that’s harshing my mellow all the way out here in Arizona. I have neither the knowledge nor the time to examine federation structure today, or ever.
The point is, Commisso and Silva, the guys leading this charge, weren’t even part of the league when it started to tank. Their money and influence have been like so many band-aids on bullet wounds the league inflicted on itself year after head-scratching year since going it alone in 2011.
You don’t drop millions of dollars to join a members-only society, and then tell the bosses they’re doing it wrong. At least, not publicly, and by force.
One more time, with feeling: Don’t complain, guys. You knew what you were walking into.
I don’t want to be redundant, but I’m having legitimate difficulty believing that adults (successful in business, no less!) are making such a public stink about something they were not forced to invest in. Heaven knows there are far better investments out there, or equally bad ones that fail quietly. Why then, is all of this happening?
Perhaps this is a very expensive, very tedious publicity stunt. I doubt it, if only because celebrity lawyer Jeffrey Kessler isn’t likely to muddy his wingtips in anything so ugly.
More likely, these guys really think they can move the needle on how things are done in this country. (If you believe they can, I have some beachfront property in Yuma that you should have a look at.)
Whether the NASL receives any compensation for their injuries, real or imagined, is anyone’s guess. I’ll be watching, but it will be a lot like seeing the movie adaptation of a really good novel. I know it will be awful, but I kinda want to see how they do it.
Meantime, I’ll use this as a cautionary tale to my kids. “See how adults are ridiculed when they make stupid decisions in public?”