ATTENTION SOCCER FANS
An open letter to all those who love the beautiful game...
Dear Soccer Fans,
If you read any of the daily papers (Newsday, New York Post, Daily News, New York Times) and you’re anything like me, you too are bewildered by the lack of professional soccer coverage. Thank God television has seen the light with no less than three channels (FSC, GolTV and Setanta) dedicated almost exclusively to our sport, and ESPN, MSG and others getting into the game as well. Unfortunately, the print media still has their blinders on. When are they going to wake up and realize that soccer is here to stay...in a huge way? The answer is simple...when all of us demand that they give our sport the attention it deserves.
Soccer is arguably the largest youth sport in the U.S. Thanks, in large part, to increased television coverage, more kids are walking around wearing jerseys of their favorite soccer teams and players...moreso, possibly, than the other traditional "American" sports like football and baseball. Wouldn’t it be great if your 12 year old son or daughter picked up the newspaper every day because he or she wanted to read about the Manchester United or AC Milan or LA Galaxy game? The other sports get covered ad-nauseum, not to mention all of the coverage about crime and everything bad in the world. And yet, the most popular sport in the world is lucky to get a postage stamp once in a while.
As soccer has matured in this country (and granted it’s still in its infancy compared to other places), more and more of us adults have also become fans and want more coverage. I would love to read about what’s happening in La Liga or the Premiership or Serie A on a regular basis, wouldn’t you? And as MLS continues to grow...more international players coming to the U.S....more U.S. nationals playing oversees... soccer is only going to grow in popularity here. To not cover soccer in a substantive and substantial way is a travesty beyond belief. It’s the biggest sport in the world and now it’s huge here and what do we get for that?
With all that said, there is only one thing the newspaper publishers will understand...market pressure and demand. I propose a full-scale letter writing/email campaign to the four major local newspapers demanding regular coverage of both international and domestic soccer. It’s as simple as typing an email...not once, but regularly. Together let’s show the press that their continued ignorance will cost them readership and sponsorship dollars. Use some of the talking points I’ve mentioned here or make up your own. Ask why they didn’t cover this weekend’s games or the latest MLS signings. But do it now...don’t procrastinate; and don’t leave it for someone else to do. It’s up to you and me and we CAN and WILL succeed at this. I began writing to Newsday a year or so ago and have had at least two letters to the editor published. There have been others published that have reinforced my points. There have been a few small soccer articles showing up here and there. Never thought I’d read about Jose Mourinho quitting Chelsea in Newsday...but it was there! My point is...we can make a difference.
Below are a variety of addresses of the four major daily newspapers in our area. Copy me on your letters if you would. My email address is also below. Good luck.
See you on the pitch!
Tom Cilmi, Past President
East Islip Soccer Club
email@example.com (John Mancini)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Tim Knight)
235 Pinelawn Road, Melville, NY 11747
450 W. 33 Street, New York, NY 10001
1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036-8790