First of all I'd like to thank Sam for the effort, information, and enthusiasm which he provided here for the last eleven months. I think you can all agree that the posts Sam provided (particularly recently) were extremely helpful for Fire fans who are routinely deprived of any real media attention and information in terms of breaking news or actual coverage and analysis of Fire related stories. As he mentioned earlier, Sam may be back occasionally with news and other Fire related goodies and I wish him the very best with mlssoccer.
I will be providing a bit of a different perspective with a wider range of Fire/MLS related topics being opened for discussion. I'd like to present things from a fan's point of view and will attempt to shed some light (or at least provide Fire fans with an avenue to be heard) on topics like media coverage, the long forgotten Bridgeview/Toyota Park development, Fire Marketing and Public Relations, Season Ticket Services, and parking among others. Of course, I will also post match previews and team analysis which I'm sure will be roundly debunked and picked apart in the comments section below. But that is what this blog is all about. It should be a virtual place where those of us who are passionate and care about the team can come to discuss a breaking story, debate differing opinions and make our voices heard.
Like the rest of you, I would love see a day when the major media outlets in Chicago realize that soccer fandom is a large untapped customer base that can't be ignored. I'd love to see the Fire covered by regular, full time, local beat writers. I'd jump for joy to hear an actual intelligent Fire based program on local sports radio. Heck, I'd even be happy with a host who would entertain a phone call without cutting the conversation to 5 seconds. Local sports radio coverage is a topic that I'm taking aim at in the very near future.
There are many things I'd like to see change now. How about a recap of a road game on Sunday morning that's not written by the AP? Will we ever have post game press conferences available to us (and I don't mean video posted 5 days later on the team site)? English radio game coverage anyone?
I realize that the media by and large feels that there isn't a market out there for making the investment in presenting this information viable. The fact that this blog and others like it exist is beginning to disprove that tired story. The only way to change it is to make our voices heard. Let them know you want Fire coverage. Take a second to send an email, fill out a comment, or pick up the phone and contact an offending media outlet. They'll have to take notice sooner or later!
Since I am a self confessed MLS junkie, this blog is something I will approach with enthusiasm and pride. (Yes, I'm the guy that will sit and watch FC Dallas take on San Jose on a Sunday afternoon) I'm also looking forward to entertaining any and all thoughts, comments and suggestions.
Oh....and Go Fire!