Monday, February 19, 2007

Death of a WebSite, which a few years ago was one of the influential soccer sites in the US is shutting down on March 31.

Not only was it the official host site for the Columbus Crew, before MLS consoplidated all club sites for marketing purposes, it continued to be host for the official Crew messageboard, as well as hosting numerous other 'unofficial' MLS and USL fan oriented forums and news sites. Most of those will find new hosting resources and continue on, but it wont be easy, anymore, for fans to just click a dropdown and see what fans of the 'other sides' were saying.

But it's the forums which were the 'canaries in the mine' on this. When you see partipation on a messageboard go from hundred of posts a day, and upwards of 20 or so members and lurkers, down to 1 or 2 at a time and maybe a couple posts a day, the writing is on the wall.
No matter there is a nice layout, and occasionally good articles, it's the daily conversation that makes a website, or a happy-hour bar, for that matter.

For such a sport site is a 'community' and when the residents drift away there is no more need for the structure where the community gathers. the reason for the vacancies are legion, perhaps, and never as easy as you might think. I used to argue my politics on there, against the typical 'lib-meme' advocates who never had an answer for any of the hard questions of history. there were one or two who saw things differently, they could post reasoned responses, but it was the 'role-playing' on there which caused me to throw up my hands and quit.
I left to argue my politics on Another soccer site. and found this time I was alone... this time I didnt have 'CrewArsenal' occasionally watching my back. But, while I had to argue against the dark side on my own, at least I dont have the tantrum-throwing infants responding with various cute 'smilies' dredged in from somewhere else.. where words and reason are discarded in favor of 'attitude'.

Sooner or later, though, 'attitude' wins out. All they need do is keep on throwing their tantrums and adults leave for more serene surroundings. Which is somewhat ironic, as the only choice left for the Crew fan seems to be 'BigSoccer' which is the archtype of the restrictive, market driven site. A case where there was a product before there was a site.

Such is life, though.. and something always comes up to replace that which you love. Just waiting.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl Entertainment Committee for '08... Get Weird Al!

Like most occasional music fans, who NOW watch halftime mainly to see how bad the entertainment is.. no, not to see if someone's boob flops out.. I have to say that Prince's effort was among the recent best And I never much liked him. Ummm,never mind the 'Purple Rain' rendition; what a 'walk-through'!

But the PRODUCTION still sucks! The whole concept of 'filling the field with kids and air-pressure props and marching bands and light shows and smoke machines' has become a parody of itself.

And since that isnt likely to change much as the Half-Time committee seems to think any performance has to be dumbed down for us older/hick plebes, I have an great idea.

Let's go whole hog and embrace the nuttiness.

And there is no one better at that than Weird Al Yankovic. It would be a snap for him, he can take on elements of ALL the past mediocrity of the show and make us like it so much he'll get a standing ovation.

And it fits in well with the drift of the Super Bowl Commercials over the past ten years... gone are the 'break-through ads' like Apple's famous '1984'; now all the best are keyed on either irony or whimsy, or parodies of themselves.

What's even better is that Al has a great voice and an excellent music and production staff and those who didnt get the humor {or listen to the lyrics} would think they saw a really good musical performance.

And I guarantee that the day-after water cooler talk would be great.