A View from Afar

An open letter to Jay Sugarman

Photo: Earl Gardner

Editor’s note: Philadelphia Union majority owner Jay Sugarman responded to this in an email to PSP that was intended as an open response. It was published here.

Dear Mr. Sugarman:

You have a problem on your hands with Philadelphia Union. You need to address it.

Seventy-nine percent of Union observers want you to sell your principal stake in the club, according to a Philly Soccer Page poll conducted last week. Only 7 percent don’t want you to sell, and 14 percent are unsure. That poll seems representative of general public opinion for those who still follow your club.

Only two clubs in MLS history have never finished among the league’s top four or reached a conference final. One is Orlando, which began play in 2015 and currently has the best record in MLS. The other is Philadelphia.

Your club has a record of mediocrity and intermittent futility unmatched in league history, even by the three teams that folded. Today, you have the worst record in MLS.

Philadelphia is America’s fourth largest media market and seventh largest metropolitan area, but the Union behave like a small market club. Fans wouldn’t mind that if the product was equal to Sporting Kansas City or the Portland Timbers, but they are tired of seeing this major market team punching well below its weight.

Most thought that would change with the departure of former chief executive Nick Sakiewicz and arrival of sporting director Earnie Stewart, who had a successful track record in Holland. Instead, Stewart has drawn heavily upon his Dutch contacts in the transfer market, often vastly overpaid, and made almost no transactions involving MLS veterans. In short, he hasn’t sufficiently adapted to the MLS marketplace, which may be due to a variety of reasons, including inadequate scouting or a lack of institutional, analytic knowledge getting retained and passed on internally.

This isn’t Moneyball. It’s just failure.

You need to change things.

Your club is in danger of becoming viewed as the punching bag of MLS, that one club that simply can’t get out of its own way. It used to be Chivas USA. They folded. Then Toronto was left, but they committed to serious spending and brought in some smart decision-makers to become the most talented team in MLS. The Union are what’s left at the bottom.

I’ve closely followed this club not just from day one but from minute one, even before I bought season tickets for that inaugural season. Eleven years ago, when MLS president Mark Abbott announced plans for an MLS team in southern New Jersey, I was there to hear it first, ask him about it, and report the news while on assignment for The Press of Atlantic City.

So I get it.

You bought into MLS under the slow growth model pitched to you a decade ago. This was before Toronto FC started selling out its downtown stadium, before the Seattle phenomenon paved the way for the massive MLS successes in Portland, Orlando, Atlanta, and elsewhere, before Kansas City and Salt Lake became model small market franchises and showed that any club could succeed if run well.

The league changed, but you didn’t. It was slow growth, then and now.

There comes a point at which people are done with that. You’ve reached that point.

You finally have the training complex. You still have a good stadium, paid for with tax dollars. Bethlehem Steel FC is a good initiative, in theory, paid for with the USL minimum of dollars. Your academy is beginning to produce, hosted at minority owner Richie Graham’s local business. Your team has talent, both among the players and coaches, despite its Frankenstein roster. And you have a head coach who loves the team like only a local can.

Your club needs to show a commitment not merely to minimum competence, but to excellence.

That means dropping cash on the full complement of three (healthy) designated players, like 13 MLS clubs already do, and probably buying out a DP to free his slot when it’s clear he probably won’t play again. That means paying what’s required for a legitimate scouting setup. No more relying on volunteers working the stadium in Chester either. You need to do more than the minimum with the USL club in Bethlehem so that Lehigh Valley fans take it as seriously as they do the region’s minor league baseball and hockey clubs. And in all this, you need to be prudent and thorough in your decision-making, planning, analysis, and scouting.

Simply put, it’s time for Philadelphia Union to join MLS 3.0.

If not, you should sell your stake in the Philadelphia Union to someone who will make this a top club. People understand that financial situations change. You played a key role in establishing professional soccer in the Philadelphia region. People will thank you for it and remember you accordingly.

Union fans demand better than the product you’re providing them. In fact, they deserve it.

Yours truly,

Dan Walsh

 

Miscellaneous Union notes for all readers
  • Gaddis/Rosenberry: I’ve long been a fan of Ray Gaddis, but he looks like a player who hasn’t featured regularly in more than a season. Jim Curtin was right to give Keegan Rosenberry some bench time, but now it’s worth bringing him back. The Union need players like Rosenberry who can add something in possession. Gaddis has been mediocre at best.
  • Jack Elliott a bright spot: The Union may have found their new starting center back. Elliott brings the ball skills and passing vision of Josh Yaro with the height of, well, Axel Sjoberg. There’s still work to be done by him, but the Union have found a player here.
  • Pontius flip: Flipping Chris Pontius to the right side was an interesting change of pace, but that doesn’t mean he has to always stay there. It’s a nice tool to have, but don’t forget that, when healthy and on his game, he’s probably the best inverted left attacking midfielder in the league.
  • Bedoya watch: Looking better. Still looks like he functions best as a right-sided shuttler in a diamond midfield.
  • The fall of Los Angeles: The Galaxy are an awful team right now.

89 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing this. I hope he sees it

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Oh, he’ll see it.

      • The Truth says:

        Can’t tell if this is sarcasm. I genuinely have no idea is Sugarman cares about or reads anything related to this club.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Someone will tell him this letter was written. One’s natural curiousity will do the rest.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        A detail from sometime around the departure of Sakiewicz.
        .
        An intern-level individual reads and reports. Whether he himself reads selected pices, I have no idea. Or gets a digest, maybe.

  2. lopezzzz says:

    I hope someone attending Saturday’s game can hand Sugarman a copy of this.

  3. From your lips to Jay Sugarman’s ears. I’m actually surprised 7% don’t want him to sell. Even that number seems high to me.

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    and there it is…
    .
    .
    .
    “Crises… Opportunity riding on a dangerous wind.”

  5. The Chopper says:

    Very well written and on the mark Dan. The problem is thanks to the skyrocketing successes of other clubs as you detailed in your letter, the value of the Union franchise continues to grow despite the ineptitude of the on the field product and withering fan base.

    Sugarman watches his value go up every year without having to invest more.
    It’s like watching your home value rise during a real estate boom. Even if the house is a fixer upper, the neighborhood value drives up the price as the market soars. So in essence, why sell? His assett continues to gain value.

    Sadly the only thing that will force Sugarman out, is fan revolt and humiliation. Sugarman has until now been shielded from the ire of the fan base. Sakiewicz was the target (often rightfully so) of the fan base angst, but Nick also took a lot of heat that at least some of should have been directed at Jay Sugarman.

    Empty seats and the resulting loss of marketing dollars which would force the owners to operate at a loss would at least lead to a financial anlaysis which would have to evaluate whether or not funding the loss based on franchise value is worth it. Add that to be being the target of public humilitation could lead to a decision that it just isn’t worth it for Sugarman.

    But, in the current situation, he has no reason to sell.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      They are already operating at a loss, almost certainly.

      • The Chopper says:

        If they are, it certainly isn’t anywhere near enough to justify a sale or taking on investors. Sugarman has reisisted both approaches. For now it’s probably a worthwhile write off.

        So, the loss needs to increase to fore a potential change of thinking.

      • According to Forbes’ annual report last year, they had an income of $1M. But the original assertion is absolutely true that the team, warts and all, has seriously skyrocketed in value over the last few years especially.

      • John O'Donnell Jr says:

        In the last Forbes report I saw the Union were making a profit of 1 million a year. Of course that didn’t count for the training center and Bethlehem Steel.

  6. I always wondered how much influence Richie Graham has over the Union. He was always the money guy who was also the soccer nut.
    Does he have any influence over the organization having to stick to one formation?

    • el Pachyderm says:

      My guess is Mr. Graham is investing all he can into youth development. My guess is, Union Youth, while needed, right and clearly commensurate with the direction the game needs to go in order to become a true international contender, also came about as a direct result of dwindling PDP Youth numbers…
      .
      For every effect there is always a cause.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Graham is probably about as significant a minority owner/investor as there is among MLS clubs. He was the guy who got the ball rolling on bringing in Earnie Stewart, for which he deserves a lot of credit. (Regardless of what I’ve written lately about Stewart, let’s be honest: He was at the time a great hire and may still prove to be in the long run.) Graham is also a key visionary behind the academy as it’s currently modeled, although John Hackworth played a bit part in that too and shouldn’t be undersold. MLS players around the league have trained at YSC for years in the off-season. Graham brings the team a lot of credibility.

  7. OR — Why not bring in more investors? I don’t get it. I know bringing in more money would lessen Sugarman’s stake overall, but he can continue to have his cake and eat it to, can’t he? With the amount of money pouring into the game here and overseas, I find it difficult to believe this team couldn’t bring in some investors and add a few million for DPs pretty easy. Yes, the team continues to grow in value despite performance, but imagine if you added a couple big signings and started winning games. Your value would grow even faster. Let’s do it right and not be an a walking argument for relegation in MLS.

    • The Chopper says:

      A) As you said he lowers his stake with more investors which makes no sense for him since he is watching the value of his shares rise.

      B) I’ve heard from previous attempts that very few serious investors want to take a piece of this club while Jay Sugarman has controlling interest. They recognize that the club right has a value sailing on a rising tide, but when that tide comes down, they don’t trust his ability to successfully steward their investment.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Because first and foremost Pete a genuine love of soccer is needed. Makes sense yes?
      .
      The Union can’t be about business at its heart… less you are opening a McDonalds and do not care about cooking per say. Wait a minute here…
      .
      Wrong argument. A chef learns to cook and opens a RESTAURANT cause he loves to cook. The success of the restaurant first is to be appeasing to the tastebuds of the local patrons. To develop a reputation for excellence.
      .
      My fear in this from the beginning is that Jay Sugarman doesn’t give a damn about the game. If he did, he’s watch and cringe and think…wait- this just isn’t right. What do I need to do to play as well as THAT team. And Earnie Stewart was not the only answer.
      .
      My great fear in the Policy model we are following in America is the game is a business first whereas everywhere else its a deep commitment first to the community. Its a cultural difference that makes soccer here antiseptic instead of petrie grown.
      .
      That said, we can still be successful just need the right conditions at EVERY level. MLS is producing lovely I will dare say…footy… and not soccer.

      • Most sports teams owners only care about making money. I don’t think it matters if they love the game or not.

      • The Chopper says:

        Often. But a lot of guys who get into sports ownership are also in it for vanity and are highly competitive sorts who hate losing. Mark Cuban for example.

        Sugarman definitely does not fit into that category.

      • He’s a NY real estate developer. I think he’s probably pretty competitive.

      • The ideal would be a combination of a love for the game, club and a big bank account. Next best thing might be a commitment to club + big bank account. I think money gets more reliable results than love of game, though I’m partial to the latter. What we might have in Jay is, to be fair, a commitment to the club but without the big bank account or love of the game. He’s said many times he’s not a “soccer guy.” I would draw the line at saying he doesn’t care about the club. I think he does. The problem is that he not only has too little money to really fund players but that he doesn’t feel confident enough in his knowledge of the game to make decisions. He leaned heavily on Sak in the beginning. He is now likely leaning on Stewart and Graham. I’m sure, too, that he’s a cautious and deliberate decision maker. TBH, I’m not really that upset with Sugarman. I think this team’s primary issue is with its coach. I blame Sugarman only in so much as he is or is not responsible for a lack of change in that position.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Good question. I didn’t address it in the column, but realistically speaking, that’s something they could be doing — and have done over the years. The team’s minority investors, aside from Graham, generally fly below the radar.

      So really, there’s no reason why not to.

  8. Great article. One of the most important points, to me, is the team missing the boat on MLS veterans who would help this team. Proven MLS commodities in that 100k-200k range, even if not sexy, will often beat gambling on 400k+ wild cards from abroad. We’ve had our share of failures going down that path.

    • Yup. Just look at Pontius (although a little more expensive) and Le Toux this year compared to players like Ilsinho. You know what your getting with the MLS players. Doesn’t mean that’s all we should go for as we have had a bunch of good overseas players, but MLS vets are a good way to fill out a roster.

  9. 700 chopper says:

    Great letter

  10. I was talking to my brother and nephew about the timing of coming into the league. We have been season ticket holders every year but have gone from 8 tickets the inaugural season, to 6, to 4 to 3 this year and probably only 2 next year. If it wasn’t for Dan and PSP I’m not sure I would even be here. We were all excited those first few years having a MLS team close to home. Now we’re not sure if it was the worst thing that could have happened. Would it have been better to come into the league now at the new 3.0 or hoping that the team can or will make the jump?

  11. Thanks Dan!

  12. John Ling says:

    * slow clap *

  13. Zizouisgod says:

    Well done, Dan. Thanks for writing this as it speaks for many of us right now.

  14. A strong piece overall, but who cares if the head coach “loves the team like only a local can”?
    .
    Vince Lombardi didn’t grow up in Wisconsin. John Wooden didn’t grow up in Southern California. Don Shula didn’t grow up in South Florida. Casey Stengel didn’t grow up in New York. Mike Krzyzewski didn’t grow up in North Carolina. Nick Saban didn’t grow up in Alabama.
    .
    And then there’s Jose Mourinho, who somehow managed to win titles in the top leagues of three countries outside of his native land.
    .
    Clearly, an individual doesn’t have to be a local guy to have success in coaching at the professional level. When deciding whether or not to retain Jim Curtin as head coach of the Union, his Philly-area roots should not be a factor.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Dan is saying he wants The philly Roots guy to be given the tools most other coaches have to have the opportunity to be successful.
      .
      I’d certainly love to see a local succeed. Who wouldn’t… especially after saying goodbye to our other locals in: first HG and Jack Mac and Christian Hernandez and Zack Stefan and and and.
      .
      Given the best conditions if he can’t muster than, “see ya.”

      • As Dan states in his letter to Sugarman above: “Your club needs to show a commitment not merely to minimum competence, but to excellence.”
        .
        A true commitment to excellence would include finding the best possible head coach, not just plugging in a local guy and hoping he does well.

    • scottymac says:

      I hear ya, but parsing that one phrase from this missive to Jay to sell or get off the pot is a tad misplaced.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Good question. And your points are well taken and obviously correct.

      I debated including this line in the column or not. I went with it because, well, someone has to bleed blue and gold (and I felt like mentioning it), and the Union traded away almost everyone who did.

      There’s another column to be written on this topic all by itself, and you may see that column next week.

  15. Well said Dan! Let’s paint this on the walls of TES before this Saturday’s game. How long will we struggle before someone does something about it. Summer transfer window spending is a must and snagging a DP or two during that time is a must. Curtin needs to go, he’s on the verge of breaking the league record for the longest winless streak. How do you keep your job after that?? Great article on the Guardian explains how he refuses to change the formation and is behind the rest of the curve in terms of tactics in the league.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Guardian gave it to him good.
      .
      Earned from my POV.
      .
      Jay Sugarman’s quickest point of fixing this is a well regarded coach… Bob Bradley type, who he pays handsomely and says, make people give a fuck again please.
      .
      There is NO QUESTION in my mind this is a fundamental issue right now… the $ and owner issue is there —- lingering always—–but the coaching issue is an easy and relatively inexpensive fix. Course you’d have to pay said new coach more than $125,000 (arbitrary) a year.

      • But even if you could afford the salary of say a Bob Bradley. Why would he even want to come here? A coach with other options isn’t choosing to come to Philly and manage a “moneyball” team. To put it another way, you are Bob Bradley. You get offered two identical contracts – one from the Union, one from LAFC. However, you know LAFC is going to commit another $10-15 million or so in DP players and transfers. The Union…maybe $1 million. Which team would you choose?

      • el Pachyderm says:

        The world is full of vigor in this coaching department. Bob Bradley was arbitrary.

      • SilverRey says:

        We’re not a ‘moneyball’ team. We are smack dab in the middle of the pack in spending.

      • Maybe…it depends on Edu. Pro sports teams often get insurance on player contracts in the case of long term injury, such as is the case with Edu. If the Union are still paying his salary, they are in the middle of the pack for the league (12th overall according to the latest numbers). If they do have such a policy on Edu, you could essentially deduct his salary from their current wage bill, which would but them near the bottom of the league. There is no way to know what the arrangement is with Edu, but if there is such an insurance policy Sugarman would not disclose it because it would make him look even cheaper than he already appears. However, Sugarman has enough business experience to know the value of insurance to mitigate risk.

      • DP spending is the only thing that matters for salary comparisons between owners.

    • CPfeif13 says:

      “…how he refuses to change the formation…”
      .
      .
      .
      It needs to be pointed out that this may not be a decision solely by Curtin. Earnie has talked about “developing a system” and “playing the same way” since he got here. It could very well be an organizational decision.

      • If the Union are committed to playing only one system and one system only (ie. 4-2-3-1) I think this is an organizational mistake. I don’t think at top-level soccer you can be so predictable as to play the same way in the same formation against every opponent. Take Barcelona as an example. I’d say they have a core club philosophy as to how to play (ie. short passing, ball control). They do not slavishly follow a set formation. Instead they play their core club philosophy (passing, ball control) in a variety of formations – constantly changing, tweaking, altering roles but still staying true to their core identity. A formation isn’t an identity.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Philosophy first. Always.
        .
        Formations change. Always.
        .
        Eat Grass Documentary. Antonio Conte.
        .
        Fantastic.

      • They have chosen the 4-2-3-1 as a base formation because it can easily morph into different formations like a 4-3-3 or others. People get too tied up in the formation rigidity. They have attacked different teams differently. Unless we switch to something totally different like a 3-4-3 all we are doing is changing the name. The players set it and our players don’t work together.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Exactly!

        The formation is less important than the roles that each individual player is asked to perform.

      • CPfeif13 says:

        Agreed. I’m just not sure the stubbornness can solely be placed on Curtin.
        .
        Also on the topic, they have tweaked things a bit – we have seen the midfield triangle flip at least twice, swapping the “target-winger” to the other wing for a better match-up, etc. The team seems to be pressing in a little different shape then earlier in the season too.
        .
        All tweaks certainly more subtle then going to a two striker or back three. But not exactly a cookie cutter either.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Your point would have been more effective if you didn’t pick a club that has exclusively played a 4-3-3 for the last few decades and play that all the way down through all levels of La Masia.

        However, I agreed generally with everything else that you had written.

      • The 4-2-3-1 is Curtin’s formation. It was what he preached before Stewart got here and what he’s sticking with. Stewart said in several interviews when he first arrived that he discussed with Curtin the concept of going out and getting players to play the system Curtin wanted to play. I don’t believe for a second that Curtin’s hands are tied here. He lives and dies by the 4-2-3-1 by choice.

  16. The Union’s lack of success isn’t based on the owner. He’s spent money on infrastructure and the players his staff told him would be worth it. He wrote those checks. He can’t be blamed when players are signed to bad contracts or underperform. Every time the Union struggle there are calls for him to sell, but this doesn’t happen to any other owner in Philadelphia when their teams struggle.

    • It’s alittle bit different in some of the other sports. Say what you will about Jeff Laurie but he always spends on the Eagles. Snider always spent with the Flyers. Sixers….not so much but with a new training facility and The Process in place fans are willing to be patient (and with the NBA salary cap its tough to just buy your way to a good team). And then there is the Phillies and baseball with no salary cap. Pre-citizens bank park, fans were constantly complaining about the team’s cheap ownership and wanted them out. After CBP opened the Phillies became one of the leagues bigger spenders and those complaints stopped. The Union are really the only team who, within their league rules, can spend more on the team but do not do so because ownership can not afford it.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Huh?

    • He has written the DP checks for players and that is all. Everything is has been bought by the MLS shared revenue pool. Even our DPs have been cheap. Edu’s salary is really a TAM player now. Sugarman has been and is cheap. The training facility/practice field should have been build right after the stadium was done (which was paid for by tax payers dollars mind you).

    • lopezzzz says:

      “Every time the Union struggle there are calls for him to sell, but this doesn’t happen to any other owner in Philadelphia when their teams struggle.”

      .

      Hear me out here… Maybe, just maybe could their be something unique about Sugarman?

      • People wanted the Phillies to break up their group too because they were cheap. It’s the same thing. It’s a large market team trying to sell to it’s fans that it’s a small market team. It’s honestly BS. Unfortunately there’s really nothing we can do about it.

      • Norman Brahman, Jeffrey Laurie, Harold Katz…they all had calls to sell their teams. With the continued Eagles futility, MORE are calling for Jeff to sell. So yeah, that’s not correct.

  17. Great letter. Thanks, Dan!

  18. The Realist Brian says:

    Excellent article and hopefully it reaches Jay Sugarman. My biggest gripe is the ambivalence that seems to come from him. Or he is incredibly unlucky…
    .
    Unlucky that Edu was a total bust.
    .
    Unlucky that Nog hightailed it out of here.
    .
    Barnetta choosing his hometown.
    .
    Missing out on Bradley.
    .
    Now is the time to open the purstrings and find a truly exceptional DP like Dan wrote about. Absolute killers. A forward, heck two forwards, and an attacking mid. Let the young kids learn from them and fight to displace them. Now is the time, or we will lose fans. Especially when the Sixers and Flyers stink to drive fan interest.

    • You make your own luck. They also didn’t miss out on Bradley. That was a fake attempt if I’ve ever seen one.

  19. The Realist Brian says:

    Excellent article and hopefully it reaches Jay Sugarman. My biggest gripe is the ambivalence that seems to come from him. Or he is incredibly unlucky…
    .
    Unlucky that Edu was a total bust.
    .
    Unlucky that Nog hightailed it out of here.
    .
    Barnetta choosing his hometown.
    .
    Missing out on Bradley.
    .
    Now is the time to open the purstrings and find a truly exceptional DP like Dan wrote about. Absolute killers. A forward, heck two forwards, and an attacking mid. Let the young kids learn from them and fight to displace them. Now is the time, or we will lose fans. Especially when the Sixers and Flyers stink to drive fan interest.

  20. SilverRey says:

    I think this article is a little misguided in that if anything Sugarman is spending more on the Union now than he ever has.
    .
    It’s been a slow process sure, but he’s been playing catch-up since the recession wiped him out. People whine about anything Jay has done recently should have already been done, but at least acknowledge that the Union are in a better position off the field now than we’ve ever been.
    .
    Now, there is still plenty to do (i.e. pay for a new coach, get the front office/coaching staff above 3 people, buy a new DP). But I don’t necessarily think that Sugarman is the biggest of our worries right now.

    • It’s impossible to say what the biggest issue is right now because there are many. That being said, this franchise should have 3 Bedoya level (if not better) DP players on this team. That would be around $2 million out of pocket. We deserve that. The Union (in 2015) were estimated to have a value of $152 million and a revenue of $24 million. Plus don’t ever forget that the PA taxpayers paid for that stadium. And don’t believe for a second that the league is still operating at a loss like they pretend. I guarantee those are just fake business numbers.

  21. Old Soccer Coach says:

    A detail of fact.
    .
    Jay Sugarman is one of the owners on the committee evaluating the current expansion candidacies.
    .
    I am assuming he offers expertise in real estate matters, and stadium acquisition and construction is that.

  22. Love it. I hope he listens.

    Doubt it, but one can always hope.

  23. It’s so nice when someone WAY more talented than you expresses exactly how you feel… in a way you just can’t. Well done Dan. Excellent article. Loved these comment too, as always.
    .
    What has become of our Union…

  24. pragmatist says:

    Focusing outside our universe for a moment…
    .
    “The fall of Los Angeles: The Galaxy are an awful team right now.”
    .
    How terrified are the owners/fans/players in LA of the intro of LAFC? Everyone has seen what Atlanta can do, and LAFC plan to do it with more money and flair, and a better stadium in a better location.
    .
    We may have already witnessed the fall of the Galaxy with the departure of Arena, Keane, et al. The question is, will there be a “rise” to follow?

    • The Truth says:

      Without doubt the league will prop up Galaxy to market an LA rivalry. Galaxy will never die as long as Garber and friends are in position.

      • pragmatist says:

        They won’t die, but they could find themselves irrelevant in their own city soon. It’s LA, it’s all about image. If LAFC has the flash and the wins to start, LAG will find themselves in an arms race to keep up.
        .
        On second thought…that could help the league, since they will need to change the roster rules to let that civil war play out.
        .
        Not that we’ll benefit, of course, but it will be entertaining to watch.

  25. soccerdad says:

    Wow! Well said, and I missed the poll. I’ve been saying this for two years.

  26. So apparently the only employees that Jay Sugarman actually pays are Earnie Stewart . . . and the helicopter pilot who flys him in and out of the random games he attends for 30 minutes before leaving!

  27. I know I’m late to the party, but nice job Dan, and thank you for writing this.

    • I said this in another thread so I’ll carry it over here. If Sugarman isn’t there, is it even worth it? I’m not telling anyone what to do with their time, but if no one shows up, won’t that send a loud and clear message?

      • pragmatist says:

        Wow. That would be fantastic. No one is there. Apathy would scream loudly.

      • Unionjacq says:

        An alternative thought would be people show up and ask why should we continue to financially support this train wreck?

      • Granted I would never want someone’s voice not to be heard. I just think silence on this occasion would be louder than anything that could be said. Showing up shows people still care and are willing to go to some sort of length to be heard.

      • CPfeif13 says:

        Yeah I posted it here before I saw you shared in the other thread.
        .
        .
        I think it would still be worth it. I suspect that Sugarman would get relayed the message from McDermott and Stewart while Curtin and Bedoya would relay to the team.
        .
        Now, would that change anything? Doubt it will for Sugarman. For the team, does it further frustrate them or help fuel them to a win? Who knows. For Stewart, it can also bring things back to Earth since he has been viewed sort of as a savior as soon as he walked in the door.

      • No worries CP. I’m glad you did post it here to keep the discussion going.
        .
        Lord knows I’m not getting invited so I don’t want to completely push my idea (though I guess I kinda am anyway). By all means, please let anyone who has the chance, do what they feel is right.
        .
        As for changing things, I think not showing, has a greater chance to do so. It would also give warning as to how the stadium will look if things continue down their current path.

  28. I paid for the seat! I want to show up, but I want my displeasure to be heard. At the last game I saw a kid with a paper bag over his head. Like the fan base of the old NFL New Orleans Saints, “The Ain’ts” Bring your paper bags this Saturday night. If we are down or tied at the 80th minute pull out your bag and put it on. Big eye holes please.

  29. Dan Walsh says:

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone. They clearly matter. We’re not the only ones reading them.

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