Say you owned a professional sports franchise — or, like MASL Florida Tropics, Andrew Haines, owned 30 of them (NOTE: If you ever meet the man, Haines will eagerly crow that he owned most before his 29th birthday. Do the math, and you might question that supposed success rate).
Haines apparently collects fringe-sport franchises like some old ladies collect porcelain kitties. You can never have too many.
In 2004-2005-ish, another St. Lou indoor legend, Wally Smerconish, signed a steaming paper of potential pro-pooh, and found that there was a lot to consider. Team logo. Team colors. Team name. Team breakfast menu. And, maybe, who knows, a team boat?
As if to say, “Ah, f#*k that. What does a Steamer have to do with a boat anyway? And powder blue? Balls to that. We’re going with orange. Nothing says Gateway City like the color of a traffic cone.”
Under a microscope
The pressure of the launch required that Wally surround himself with a high-ranking committee of shrewd advisors. A team cabinet that could guide him properly through difficult waters. He needed a marketing director with grit. An operations director with guile. A facility director that didn’t smell like an Arabian horse. And interns. Lots and lots of desperate college interns. Willing to do anything for no cash…and…a free t-shirt.
As the experience soon illustrated, owning a successful pro indoor soccer club demanded a great deal of ‘bid’ness accumen and stressful, bothersome homework. Each decision was critical.
Even for the most savvy of businessmen, the sports game can be tricky, tricky, tricky. Just ask Robert Kraft of the Patriots, Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks or Teddy Fivebellies of the defunct Double-X-FFL Etna Scorpions, who have all stated that they learned a thing or two in their early years as owners. Like — “just coz a guy’s got a whistle, that don’t make him a head coach.”
Owners will testify — success in the boardroom doesn’t guarantee wins on the field. Being an owner isn’t all fun and games and late-night showers with the towel boy.
What made a man like Smerconish so jazzed to own the Out-of-Steamers? Why was he willing to pay a millions, perhaps even thousands, of dollars for the once-proud Checkerdomers?
Answering why anyone would buy a team in the first place turns out to be a bit of a poser. One can’t unlock the complexities of pro franchise ownership. We can only guess.
As the video link below reveals, once owners like Wally indulge their childhood fantasy of buying a team, they have to switch to adult mode and start viewing the team as a serious business.
And if they really get in a twist?
No probs — they just ask their cute kids.
Here now is Chapter 2 of St. Louis Steamers, Red Card — the sad beginning toward the tragic end of indoor soccer (ROLL TAPE).
‘AINT LOUIE, MO — It was the mid-oughts. Xenophobia, sexism and ownership hubris was in full bloom. Two hard-drinking, skirt-chasing, venture-capitalist stumbled into the haggered world of (“meh”) Major Professional Indoor Soccer.
Their collective task?
To save the fractured St Louis Steamers franchise with their deep pockets and ample egos.
Join us now as we trace the demise of serious ricochet-rabbit arena round-ball action.
Introducing Wally and Michael. Sources insist: “they’re on the ‘come’.”
ST. PETERS, MO –– Blasting the group’s “absolutely pathetic” knowledge of local semi-professional St. Louis soccer offerings, friends and family of Michael Burdduke beat the ‘livin’-crap’ out of him prior to the kickoff of Sunday’s NFL Super Bowl.
Party host Douglas Gullet reportedly flew into a wild rage, screaming at guests and ordering them to ‘kick the skin-pizzle’ out of the warbling soccer snob.
“I had had enough,” bitched the one-team Sumner High School debate champion. “I told everyone in my living room to bludgeon the little lugloafer. And I insisted that they do it with some intensity.”
“I mean, c’mon. We were 10 minutes into the first half of the Super Bowl XLII between the Pats and Eagles. I had waited all year for this, fer farkin’ sakes!” said the agitated Gullet.
Sources confirmed that Douglas had angrily punched a 2-inch hole in bathroom dry wall just after the Burdduke criticized the pace of the gridiron sport and lack of support club scarves.
“Who gives a flea’s butt whether the St. Louis Whambush are playing Milwaukee Melon Farmers? This is Super Sunday! It’s sacroscant goddamnit! I don’t care if it’s correct to say ‘MLS’ or ‘THE’ MLS, okay!? I say, bite me! Sit down and eat your cheese balls, Landicakes Doorstop!”
At press time, Burdduke was nursing his injuries and posting selfies on his Facebook account. He hopes to crowd-source some sympathy and much-needed funding for medical bills.
Leeds United have a new club logo that works for acid indigestion and heartburn.
On Wednesday afternoon, English Championship side, Leeds unveiled their new crest to mark the team’s centenary in 2019.
According to a club statement, the new badge follows “six months” of rigorous research; consulting with “more than 10,000 people connected to the squad.”
“Billy Bremner would be soiling his tighty-whities were he with us, bless his cotton socks,” said Bertie Binliner from No-where-Near, England.
“What happened to the smiley-face one? It was so adorbs.”
Crest controversies are nothing new, of course. Manwhoisits United, Junkventus, Eeeeverton, Tot-ting-hamsandwich Spurs and our own St. Louis Spambush and St. Spewligans have all faced the wrath of supporters for rebranding their badges in recent years.
But the new Leeds shield has split the faithful in half and most have reported experiencing serious stomach upset.
“It looks like a Gaviscon ad,” sneered RAF defender Mike Vetzenarian and longtime West Yorkshire supporter. “Ya know what they should do? They should put the RAF marketing and graphics crew on project…they’ll reshape that thing to resemble a guy sleeping in a hammock!”
ITHACA, NY — Pronounced I-THACK-ka, is bound to have quite a celebration this week. The 1987 Cornell University Women’s Soccer Team is about to mark the occasion this weekend with much merry-making, sudsy-sud-sud consumption and varioius Tom (and perhaps) Dick-foolery.
Notable will be the inclusion of RAF journeyman defender, Kenny Rockman. Hard to believe we know, but Rockman playing an integral part in the championship. It’s true (SEE VID BELOW). He was the team’s pre-game comb-detangler and assistant sock-fluffer.
Well done, Rockman. Well done.