I'm sure most of you noticed that last week's edited version of Fire owner Andrew Hauptman's letter to fans stirred up quite a bit of controversy on this site. Well, it got people inside the Fire front office talking too and I'm happy to say that Hauptman got involved, writing back to me via VP of Communications Becky Carroll. I've decided to post his response in full on the site for all of you to see. Check it out after the jump.
For the record, I think Sam's edit of my letter is pretty good, actually, and I have no real problem with it. It's important to have someone like Sam reporting on the club and I thank him for his efforts. Though I don't know what Sam's studying, I suspect that his classes are helping him hone his word choices and, as a result, critique others including mine. I'm all for it, so long as it's accompanied by complete information and some context, which always helps.
In all seriousness, regarding club issues, I prefer to elaborate not for the sake of elaborating, but rather when we have something valuable to say or when I emotionally want to share something that I feel (which was the case with my letter). My letter to supporters of our club was mostly connected to what had just transpired over the past week rather than contemplating every aspect of the Chicago Fire's plans in a public notice.
In the end of the day, my "less is more" approach, though not always perfect or welcome, is based on my belief that our supporters are intelligent and soccer savvy. Our supporters understand the challenges we face and are aware of the issues on the horizon. They know who is on our roster and who may not be going forward. So I didn't spell it all out though I give Sam credit for doing a good enough job on my behalf.
What I will spell out is that we will fight day and night to make choices that are in the best interests of the club, and that I expect the entire Fire organization to work in a collaborative manner and challenge ourselves and each other to get to those right choices.
I would just like to say a couple of things about Andrew's response. Firstly, I want to thank him. I think it says a great deal about the owner of any organization when they personally respond to an issue like the one brought up by my post. Frankly, it's refreshing to see and not only am I really glad to see his response, but I also think it shows a great deal about how much he cares about the Fire as a whole.
Secondly, I think it's good that he clarified his "'less is more' approach" to things like this. As you may remember, I called the lack of mention of any of the impending offseason issues in his letter "sugarcoating" and now that he has had a chance to clarify his take on things, I realize I may have been a bit harsh in that regards.
Finally, it's nice to see that he ended the message with his expectations for the future of the club. I'm glad to hear that he expects nothing but the best from the "entire Fire organization" to make the "right choices" in this offseason and beyond.
But I'm more interested in what you guys take away from this new letter from Hauptman. It's pretty clear that your comments/interest in the previous post had quite the impact on him (and the entire Fire organization) so consider this your chance to let them all know how you think they are doing - both with this letter and overall.
And on a completely unrelated note...
As of 6 p.m. yesterday, Denis Hamlett and the Fire higher-ups had yet to sit down for their meeting that looked like it would be taking place last week. Not sure the significance of the fact that the meeting has yet to take place (if there is any at all...) but I'll try and figure out when it is scheduled for.