An Open Letter To Simon Borg
(This post was inspired by a short Twitter conversation with SBNation writer Kevin McCauley, and based on the recent furor over Simon Borg’s comments during the April 30th edition of the ExtraTime Radio podcast — also posted on Waking The Red. )
Hey, how are ya? It’s me, John.
You probably don’t know me yet (or you never will…either way), but I am a huge TFC supporter. I’ve been that way for about six years now. I live in Calgary, which means I have to travel to a lot of TFC matches. In six years, I’ve been to almost all the stadiums on the West Coast, and wear my TFC swag proudly around town.
Oh, but there’s something you probably should know about me: I do bat for the other team…yep, queerer than a three dollar bill. AND I’m seeing someone, too — who doesn’t happen to be a soccer fan. I know, shocking right? I’ll give you a few moments to recover from the shock.
Anyway, where were we? Oh right…me. As I was saying, I’m seeing someone right now, who is a huge science fiction fan. I don’t claim to be an expert on shows like Battlestar Galatica, but does that make him less appealing to me? Nope. The opposite is true; he knows I am a sports fan, and knows about my TFC supporting ways. Does he have a problem with me spending my time writing and covering the team for SBNation? Heck, if he did…he would’ve dumped me right after my trip to LA for the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final.
So maybe it’s not perfect. But hey, if someone came along (and I just so happened to be single, thank you very much) who was also a TFC supporter, and would love to go to west coast away matches with me, and would understand why I curse and cry at the TV when the Reds lose in our TFC swag-decorated living room, well that would just be peachy keen — nothing unattractive about that.
And I know I’m not alone, either. Take my fellow correspondent Janine at the blog Gay4Soccer, for example. She’s a season-ticket holder with the Philadelphia Union, and a member of the Sons of Ben. She’s probably a bigger MLS supporter than I am (mostly because she lives in the same city, and actually has season tickets…), and she’s exactly like those female “superfans” you think aren’t attractive — I dare you to tell her girlfriend that.
And no, that’s not a typo. She’s like me, amongst many others, with significant others who may not understand the beautiful game — but love and care for them just the same, and are attracted to them just the same. The fact that you, a person paid to be a spokesperson and a voice who is representative of a growing league, would say that someone being a passionate supporter is unattractive, is puzzling.
Let’s use another example, shall we? Those guys you work with to produce that show…Jason Saghini and Greg Lalas, right? So Greg from what I understand founded a film festival on soccer. But what if he founded a film festival on 1920s French cinema, and you found that unattractive in a co-worker? Would you stop working with them? I doubt it.
At the end of the day, what you say, people will tie with MLS as a league (either intentionally or unintentionally), and it doesn’t make the league look good in any way, shape or form — especially after the whole Colin Clark incident exploded, and you were rather blase about it. And when MLS is still growing, what you’re doing is like pouring sulfuric acid on a lemon tree, and expecting it to flourish.
If the league chooses to fire you (which I hope they take a stand, and do just that), then take it as a lesson on watching what you say. But if they don’t, smarten up; your shtick is getting old.
Oh, and while you’re at it, how about lightening up on the harshness you dole on TFC? We’ve done nothing to you…so cut us a little slack, eh?
(Editor Update: MLS has released a statement, including the fact that Borg will be suspended seven days.)