The rise of Major League Soccer in the last decade or so has been really fun to see, mainly because it’s been so gradual. There’s certainly still a long way to go before we see any kind of competition between the MLS and the big European leagues, but we’re confident in saying that the gap, in itself, has been narrowed fairly significantly.
Of course, competition doesn’t only come from within the same sport – because as reported by BBC and Sports Illustrated, there’s another big league that is starting back up: the National Football League.
Back we go
The premier form of gridiron entertainment returned to our screens yesterday, with the Green Bay Packers getting a narrow and defensive victory over bitter rivals Chicago Bears. It was a pretty poor performance in the grand scheme of things from an attacking point of view, but all the Packers will care about is that they’ve been able to get a big win on the board.
Now, though, when you really think about what the league starting means, we have one word that comes to mind: competition.
There are a lot of folks who will probably believe there isn’t much of a ‘competition’ element to go around, because let’s face it, the NFL is the biggest game in town in the sports world.
We just like the idea of the MLS pulling out all of the stops in order to try and increase the interest and increase the viewership numbers opposite an absolute juggernaut like the National Football League.
It’s going to take some time before they do so, but with the MLS Cup play-offs being right around the corner, they’ll need all the eyes they can get.
Perhaps they could even have some kind of cross-promotion going on, but whatever the case may be, it feels like we’re entering a great point of the year in which the majority of big sports leagues are putting out a consistent, high level product.
Just make a difference
Remaining in the mix amongst such worthy competitors can be difficult, but we think the MLS has what it takes.
In terms of the Bears, Matt Nagy had the following to say.
“Three points is ridiculous,” Nagy said.
“Obviously unacceptable,” Nagy said of his offense’s performance. “Starts with me, so this — I just told the guys in there, this is not who we are. I was proud of our defense. I thought they played their ass off tonight. Offensively, not good enough. And we’re going to fix it. Our guys know that.
“We have a locker room of high-character people. That’s why we bring these guys in because what they do is, they don’t point fingers. The defense doesn’t point fingers and say the offense should have played better. That’s not how we roll.”
So while we spend some time laughing at the Bears and having such a bad game open up the 100th NFL season, we’re excited to see how things can continue to flow with the MLS.