I’ve been know as being pretty stiff-necked under normal circumstances but today the description is particularly apt. Yesterday afternoon my dermatologist took three pre-cancerous lesions off my skin – two on my neck and one on my back. This is both better and worse than it sounds: better because it’s cheap insurance against a worse outcome and minimal surgery; worse because it’s right on the border of “carry on” and “better slow down” wounds. For example, my start-stop attempts at steady workouts are fixed on “stop” for the next two weeks. It feels like a stiff neck…until I move. Only then do I get a rather painful reminder of the larger magnitude of work that has been done. This is in contrast to my last mis-adventure: the thoracotomy. There the combination of lack of lung capacity and large wounds in my side were a persistent reminder of my unwell physical state.

State of the League event at Crew Stadium

State of the League event at Crew Stadium

Yesterday was the “State of the League” event at Crew Stadium with the MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Columbus Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers, and Columbus Crew Owner Clark Hunt. I was invited by virtue of my season ticket which, it turn, I have by virtue of my wife (who knows me all too well). Each person gave a short talk that was surprisingly informative. Then came the “Question and Answer” period; were these questions penalty kicks they would have floated over the goal. They didn’t come close to answering my questions but, to be honest, I didn’t expect them to be that bold.

My Questions

  • Did the MLS front office have any involvement in arranging Brian Ching’s return to Houston?
  • Did they “facilitate” at all the return of Eddie Johnson prior to Dec 23, 2011?
  • How is MLS – SUM relationship playing out? Do you think this will be a long term arrangement or will MLS bring marketing “in house” sometime in the foreseeable future?
  • When choosing an expansion location is it more important that the market be large even if soccer hasn’t been particularly successful (e.g. Minneapolis, Phoenix) or is it more important that the soccer team is successful even if it’s a smaller market (e.g. Charleston, Orlando).
  • Do you think oblique hints of the Crew leaving Columbus hinder marketing the club?

Again, I don’t blame them for not answering these questions. Hell, even the press doesn’t ask questions these sharp. Speaking of which, there were some pointed tweets about the press not being invited. I suspect that had something to do with there being only one table of free food.

Our Hero?

Upon reflection, this is the second time medical mayhem has been followed by a Crew event. The first official outing after my stay in hospital last year was to a taping of “Crew Xtra“. Both then and yesterday I was in pain and not myself; I shouldn’t wonder if my fellow Crew fans are beginning to think of me like Colin from “The Brittas Empire”.