Monday, October 19, 2009

KSE Melts Down In Dallas Heat

I'm going to dispense with my normal game recap. Needless to say that if you've seen our last 4 games you've seen this one, with the exception of Noonan finding a way to get a ball across the line. The Rapids gave up two goals off of two free kicks and never looked like they were in a game where a win would have clinched a playoff spot.

Instead I want to talk about how apparent it was in this game that nobody at KSE really gives a #$#! about this team. The game was scheduled to be televised on Altitude 2. At game time I turned to Altitude 2 only to find the Avalanche game, turning to Altitude 1 I once again find the Altitude game. 10 minutes later, and 3 minutes past kickoff somebody finally wakes up and switches the feed on Altitude 2 from KSE's Avs to KSE's Rapids. I've been informed that this only happened to people watching on Comcast, fans watching on a dish got the whole game, but Comcast is the biggest TV provider in the area, so most Rapids fans were affected. This wasn't the first time the Rapids have pulled this, having similar problems earlier this season. KSE owns the team and the network, but can't be bothered to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Of course once the game was on the fans were treated to the "wonderful" commentary team of Cory Lopez and Marcelo Balboa. Lopez has been doing games off and on for the last two seasons and apparently still hasn't learned enough to be a competent soccer announcer. Apparently he's been focusing on his high-school football instead. I love Balboa and I think he knows what he wants to say, but he seems to have problems getting it out in a way that's helpful to the listener. I think that Lopez's lack of knowledge doesn't give Balboa much to play off of, so he's hurt by that as well. Its painful to listen to these guys and I can't believe this is the best KSE can find.

Of course, their hands are tied when they aren't even allowed to be at the game. KSE's cost-saving measures of having the commentary team in a studio in Denver for away games is killing the broadcast. Even Lopez and Balboa were commenting on their inability to see what was going on or to pull up their own replays. Its very difficult to get anything out of a broadcast where the commentators are guessing as much as you are. Beyond that there were basic mistakes like the on-screen graphic having he wrong day and time for the 'From the Pitch' promo in the first half (fixed int he second half), Balboa not having the up to date info on the playoff standings, and Lopez calling Cunningham Cummings (Here's a hint, one plays for the team that employs you, one plays for the other side).

Needless to say it was very frustrating to watch a professional sports team handled so poorly by its parent company. If it was a one-off I might be able to chalk it up to a bad day, but all of these issues have happened throughout the season. If KSE wants to know why they can't get a better fan base, they do everything they can to drive people away from their broadcasts. Maybe spending some money next season will result in better numbers.

My key to the game was offense. We did get a goal from somewhere other than the spot but we only managed one other shot on target in 90 minutes. That's just not good enough.

Other Observations:
  • I hope the last minute switch of starting Burpo instead of Pickens was due to Pickens picking up a knock because otherwise it was a poor choice
  • Burpo was flat-footed on the first goal and didn't even make a real attempt at it. The second goal was bad luck, having his save deflect back off of Ihemelu
  • Of course his defense in front of him didn't help him much. Gibbs went in very late on the foul that set up the first goal, which Harvey left John unmarked. Moor and Palguta let their guys get inside of them on the second goal
  • Taking Casey out was a good move IMO. Sitting one yellow card from suspension and with the refs giving cards out like it was Christmas a tired Casey (Having played 2 National Team games in the prior week) was more likely to get the card that would suspend him than a goal
  • Casey's lack of scoring means that Cunningham is probably got a 90% chance of winning the Golden Boot. Casey would have to score 2 more goals against FSL than Cunning scores against Seattle
  • Well for the third year in a row it all comes down to the final game against FSL. Win and we're in. Tie and hope 3 of 4 other teams fail to win. Lose by 1 and hope 3 of 4 other teams lose. Lose by 2 or more and hope all 4 other teams lose.
Player of the Game: The fans, for putting up with the crap KSE served up on Saturday, both on and off the field

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