Now that 2010 is nearly behind us and the New Year will signify opportunities via the opening of the international transfer window it's time to start thinking about Fire Confidential in 2011. My initial goal in writing this blog was to provide a platform for the type of Fire/soccer discussion and coverage that was largely absent in Chicago's local media landscape. The Fire are still virtually ignored in print and radio although the team's less than mediocre 2010 hardly merited any increased attention but the fact remains that there is a fairly substantial local fan base that is just as passionate about the Fire as any other team in the city. Comcast's broadcasts during the past season were an improvement over the my50 broadcasts of the previous season but the promoted "half hour" post game shows quickly deteriorated into 10-15 minute recaps while trying to rustle up an on-field interview in between commercials. It was an improvement but hardly the in depth look that Bulls and Blackhawks telecasts are afforded.
One of the things I'd like to accomplish in 2011 is expanding the podcasts beyond the coach's post game press conference and locker room sound bites. The absence of any media coverage of the post game press conference has always been puzzling to me since it doesn't take much more than a microphone or a camera during the "post game show" to provide the audience with some insight into the coach's thoughts on a particular match. It's easy programming and Comcast seems to have no problem airing Lovie Smith, Joel Quenville, Tom Thibodeaux, Ozzie Guillen, or Mike Quade in the midst of addressing media queries. Anyway, the post game coverage for homegames will continue in 2011 but I'd like to expand the podcast idea into a live internet radio call in program but I need some feedback from you.
Of course the podcast would include more than just my rambling. I'll try to feature Fire related guests, media members, and listener phone ins. If this is something Fire Confidential readers are interested in I'll certainly move forward with it but I'd like to hear what you think. What are the best days and times for the program? On game day? The day after? During the week?
If there is enough interest and feedback it should provide another avenue for the voice of the Fire/soccer fan to be heard. Initially it would probably be a monthly or bi weekly half hour webcast/podcast until the season gets rolling.
Other features I'd like to implement in addition to continuing the post game recaps and daily discussion of 2010 include:
- "Have Your Say" posts from Fire Confidential readers. If you've got a burning desire to sound off on a Fire/soccer related topic let me know and I'll post it here. I know there are some interesting opinions out there based on the comments section of each post.
- Yes, I will update the Fire Confidential banner at some point this off season. My biggest challenge with the banner update is that ChicagoNow requires an odd size (980x200). If anyone out there can help with this I'd greatly appreciate it.
- Sam will chip in occasionally with an upcoming series on "attractive, attacking" soccer.
- I did a few soccer book reviews last season and I've got a few more coming up.
- If time permits (this blog does take up a considerable amount of time if you can believe it) I'd like to expand into more MLS general discussion-particularly focusing on upcoming Fire opponents.
The transfer window opens in January, the MLS combine takes place from January 8-11, the SuperDraft is on January 13, the US takes on Chile in a friendly on January 22 with Sean Johnson possibly on the final roster, and the Fire need to fill 13 of a possible 30 roster spots.
January should be a very interesting month and I didn't even mention a new shirt sponsor, assistant coaching vacancies, and how the team's marketing perspective has changed under a new team president.
Feel free to post your thoughts here, email me firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on twitter @fireconf.