New York Cosmos Blackout Campaign Is Tasteless and Offensive to New Yorkers

The current sweltering weather conditions in New York City remind me a lot of 1977, especially the blackout of ’77 that sent the city into terror and mass hysteria. The looting, rioting and threat of the Son of Sam (David Berkowitz) created a terrifying time for anyone living in the city. And now, 34 years later, the New York Cosmos and Umbro have launched a very tacky and ill-timed collection that glorifies the Blackout.

To be frank, the new clothing line from Umbro and the New York Cosmos is tasteless and disgusting. They are calling it the “Blackout” line due to the horrific New York City Blackout that put New York into darkness in 1977. I was 4 at the time when it happened. Living in a section of the Bronx, it was far from the incidents. But it was close to the corner of E. 183rd St. and Morris Ave, where a building was intentionally set on fire. My parents, who had a hardware store, delivered to some of those buildings at that intersection.

If you look at the NY Times magazine blog, the two pictures of hooligans wearing Cosmos jerseys and/or jackets look like they’re ready to loot and pillage. The African American picture is racist, white the photo with the white man wearing a bandana over his face glorifies hooliganism. If this is what Paul Kemsley, Umbro and this new group is trying to promote, it’s sickening.

I am appalled at their decisions to sell clothes and to make a mockery of this horrible day in New York City history. They even opened their store and told someone to throw a brick and smash their window display on purpose.

I understand they want to celebrate the signing of Carlos Alberto, but do it in a classy way. Associating themselves with that terrible day is awful. It just boggles the mind how these people are making a mockery of this just to sell merchandize.

81 thoughts on “New York Cosmos Blackout Campaign Is Tasteless and Offensive to New Yorkers”

  1. so what was the point of the campaign? I don’t get it, but what do you expect from the harlem globetrotters of soccer.

  2. Wow. A “dark” day in NYC history is used to promote a new clothing line. Imagine if they named entire teams off of a terrible event. Hold on…wait. They do! The Great Chicago Fire killed hundreds. Make no mistake. The Great Chicago Fire is where the MLS team gets its name. Imagine if another Earthquake hits the Bay area. Should we boycott their MLS team too? Oh and hurricane season is coming up. How dare U of Miami (or an NHL team) use that nickname?!

    I follow MLSTalk and, therefore, know what bias the author has. And the author is a Red Bulls fan who has consistently reported false information about the New York Cosmos. I’ll give him credit though. Reporting false information is much worse than giving a lackadaisical op-ed. And this tops them all. The blackout of ’77 was bad. As was much of NYC at the time. But to say that using the event in New York City history is tasteless in sports is showing your ignorance in Sports History.

    Take a shot at MLS teams like the Earthquakes and the Fire before you even touch on a blackout event to sell a clothing line. You can take a shot at the clothes all you want …but lets not distract ourselves from the Manchester United game, where the first American team will step foot in Old Trafford.

  3. Alot of babies where born 9 months later. When you got no power and no where to go what else you think people where gonna do. Hell if I was alive back then I would have loved the blackout, hope another comes along.

      1. Remember both well, and ’03 was nothing like ’77, which I would compare more with the LA riots over the Rodney King verdict.

  4. Still trying to figure out what’s “racist” about the black guy in the picture? He has an afro and is staring intensely? One could see the white guy looks like a hooligan. One could also note that the American Outlaws wear bandannas on their face in a similar manner and are definitely not hooligans. So what?

    Blackout was a rough event by all accounts. So, as noted above, was the Great Fire in Chicago and the many Earthquakes in the SF area. In the South, we have plenty of teams called the Twisters, the Storm, and even the Purple Tornadoes (don’t ask). Are these things in questionable taste? Sometimes. Do they offend me? Not at all.

    It seems the author is more upset that a non-existent team has found a way to break through into the public consciousness in a way that his corporate-sponsored team has not. That would worry me too if I was a Red Bulls fan.

  5. What the hell is racist about a picture of a black man? It’s racist because he’s black and it’s called blackout? Get over yourself stop trying to make something out of nothing

  6. God you are an idiot. How the f*ck is that racist?
    Any excuse to bag on the Cosmos.
    You are a poor excuse of a “journalist.”

    1. The Cosmos is too big to put in a bag…you’d need like a shipping container or sumptin’ tssss tsss tssss

  7. You are so offended by the Cosmos and call them Racist (which is a strong accusation) but you put on a Redbull shirt

    However, Clearly his bias towards the Redbull makes him unable to professionally write about the competition.

    You should rid him from this site for even hinting at someone of being a Racist.

    1. The cosmos aren’t the competition. They have never played a game against red bull and never will. So stop being racist against Red Bulls. Its like you only like the Black bulls or sumptin tsss tsss tsss

    2. What do the links you post about the energy drink have to do with whether or not the retro-Cosmos images are racist?

      Brian Glanville’s arguably the best soccer journalist in the English language media as well as a well-known Gooner. Why would being an avid supporter of a team render one “unable to professionally write about the competition”? That’s ludicrous.

  8. I’m a new yorker and I’m not offended at all. In fact this gets me even more excited about Cosmos. What’s disgusting is the bias views of a energy drink fan. Like that one guy said there are teams here that are named after disasters. I mean new jersey is named after a energy drink you guys are practically corporate. When someone bags on cosmos is cuz they are jealous of the massive followers, the increasing attention, club legitimacy (go to Europe or south America and ask someone if they have heard of LA galaxy. Now ask them about cosmos. Most probably know cosmos) and world class management. Haters don’t hate cosmos, they hate themselves cuz cosmos is a reflection of what red bulls want to be, a real new York club. Cosmos name alone is more legit than the league itself. It’s just 18 wanna be clubs. Cosmos will be the first American club at old trafford. Have fun in your emarites cup, ask ll be making history

    1. The Red Bulls don’t want to be the Cosmos…they are a defunct team that forced a league into bankruptcy because other smaller markets wanted to keep up with them. Red Bull on the other hand is a huge company that show profits every year and is worth billions. The Cosmos business model was one of spending a crap load of money and existing for 14 years to go defunct. The New York Cosmos. the Manchester United of the US…LOL…..The MLS has outlasted the Cosmos by 2 years and is going strong. As t the Wikipedia article says in its introduction article about the Cosmos , “The New York Cosmos (pronounced /?k?zmo?s/; simply the Cosmos in 1977–1978) WERE (key word ) an American soccer club based in New York, New York and its suburbs.
      I cant wait for the episode where the Cosmos go on mystery solving adventures with Scooby Doo!

      1. dude you sound like a ignorant fanboy. first off did you see under that article you pulled from wikipedia (see NY Cosmos 2011?) second off you cant escape the fact that Cosmos’s fanbase is one Red Bull New Jersey cant match. you can make fun of their merch. but the attention the club is getting is something MLS is eyeing. as much as i hate single entity, if MLS is successful in signing on Cosmos to MLS they will inherit Cosmos logos, identity, history and other legal property that MLS will bank on which means $$$. thats something Red Bull isnt doing for MLS. Cosmos has a following around the world (they have been featured in british, french, brazilian, german and japanese magazine spreads, anyone over there would be scratching their heads if asked them who Red Bull NJ is)

        as much as you soda cans wish it wernt true (or you are just playing along in adding fuel to a ‘rivalry’ by talking trash. shut up let the rivalry develop naturally. you guys arent even our rivals thats how low of a club you are) its happening. Real New Yorkers are rejoicing and MLS is salivating at the mouth to get a hands on the “TM” of the Cosmos property so they can cash it in for big $$$.

        and you point out Cosmos crashing the NASL as if it were a bad thing. thats how good Cosmos were, other clubs couldnt catch up. honestly if the same thing happens to mls ill be glad.

        and alot of people make fun of Cosmos merch. well laugh all you want but its a great marketing scheme. Umbro is helping turn Cosmos into a lifestyle. thats something Red Bull always wants (red bulls merch. red bull atheletes, red bull owned sport clubs, red bull f1, red bull soda cans, they even have their own magazine!) but of course no one wants to don on a red bull t shirt. if Cosmos is a lifestyle, then you have fans. after all, isnt that what you mls fan boys always clamor for, butts in seats?

        plus your beloved Red Bulls is supporting a Cosmos return. see their club value will probably increase to be 13 miles away from cosmos (its like if you opened up a clothes store on fifth avenue) plus scum in NJ and people in NYC dont go to red bull games, they need something to spark up red bull attendance, what better than a Cosmos-Red Bull “rivalry” (i say it like that cuz its of course manufactured. and its not really a rivalry anyways, we have history, 5 cups. how many does the soda cans have?)

        i dont think i have to go into our world class management. you guys have that dude, whats his name Hands Backer?

        lastly you boast that MLS is going strong. i dont think so buddy. unless MLS abadons single entity and finally gives players Free Agency by next cba (2014) they are going to face a serious anti trust lawsuit (thats a whole other enchilada but trust me i got the facts to prove it and debate it. so if you want to debate it, be my guest and get your mind blown) given MLS hard headedness to ever give up the training wheels, id give it till 2014 till it goes into the closed shop league junk yard.

        the cosmos invasion is happening whether you like it or not. if you dont want to hear the cosmos then either shoot yourself or move to another country cuz its happening. btw did i mention Cosmos will be the first American club to set foot on old trafford? yea i know Red Bulls suck too.

        1. The Cosmos Suck!
          Oh wait..they can’t suck, they can’t really be anything because they don’t have a team… Why don’t they go get a team or sumptin’. A soccer team without a team its like a bagel shop without bagel or sumptin’ tsss tsss tsssss.
          And stop making a big deal about a fake team wearing the clothing line of a defunct team in Manchester like it means something…. The Cosmos are not coming to the MLS…most likely they will try and start a league of their own staring Julia Roberts and Rosie O’Donnell or sumptin’….. tsss tsss tsss
          Also, seems all cosmos fans can do is make fun of others while rabidly defending the brand. Not the team.. because there isn’t one…The fake cosmos of 2010 ins’t the cosmos of yesteryear…sorry….they defend a bunch of empty jersey’s and shoes. A bunch of ex players in offices with filing cabinets..hey maybe the filing cabinets have Cosmos logos on them too so you can defend them as well! At least the Red Bull Brand has a Club, a stadium, a team, players, parking lots, soda fountains, a beer garden, rivalries that have been established, chicken fingers and honey mustard, viewing parties, and so on …but hey you have Umbro clothing and filing cabinets to put the order receipts…I hope the brand keeps saying they will have a team so you all keep buying the swag….honestly it is nice, cant deny that. Talk when you have names on the shirts and bodies in them that play in a pro league on a pitch in your own stadium. I wonder if Pele will help Scooby Doo solve some mysteries this week??? Maybe he will team up with the Harlem Globetrotters… because right now that is all the Cosmos are.

          1. Do you even read what you type? My god you’re an idiot. The red bulls have nothing. You can keep your soda fountains and mustard if red bulls were any good then mls wouldn’t be looking to expand into new York. Red bulls is a failed experiment. Cosmos is here. So shut up and go drink a red bull

    1. Almost as ridiculous as a team that doesn’t exist still trying to stay alive by selling its swag. Or as ridiculous as having old soccer stars signed to contracts so they can be seen wearing said swag instead of playing so you will go but the shirts. Or as ridiculous as having a team full of “guest ” players that will never wear a Cosmos jersey for more than 90 minutes. Or as ridiculous as the Cosmos going to have a team and 90 minutes later losing that team. Maybe they can sell more Pele jerseys, that will get them the money and support to start MLS club! (Maradona was better anyways!) I wonder if Pele will run the Cosmos merchandise Tables at youth Soccer games in the year 2199 inside a glass jar via Futurama technology?

  9. I was alive at the time; it was scary as hell. You want to know what chaos is and how many prayers you need to say so you don’t get robbed or knifed? This promo is one done in total ignorance.
    I’m not crazy about naming teams from the negative things in life-that includes EQ’s, Fire, Hurricanes. But as a deliberate promotion? Please. I want to back the Cosmos, but they’re going to avoid stupid missteps like this one.

    1. A team name is deliberate promotion too. There is literally no difference between this and the Fire or Hurricanes.

  10. Maybe its becasue the cosmos are in space and space is all blacked out or somthing… tsss tsss tsss
    Why do they have a clothing line if they don’t have a pro team? I’m going to buy a Montreal Expo’s hat and actively cheer for them even though they don’t exist and do not play anybody. I am then going to show up at Blue Jay games and cheer against the Blue jays while they play another team that isn’t the Expos…..If the Cosmos are going to have a pro team it will be in the second league in 20 years when the US adopts promotion- relegation system. Which means never….I hope the cosmos are bought out by Monster energy drink.

      1. The other day, I admitted to Charles that I had briefly used a stupid psuedonym to post ridiculous comments, just to see what kind of response it would get (I think kids these days call it “Trolling”). I fear I have just given him an idea…

  11. it’s not like the cosmos WEREN’T owned by a corporation. they were owned by warner brothers. obviously they werent called the new york warner brothers, and obviously as a red bulls fan, i wouldn’t mind them not being named after red bull, but you know what? at least we have a team. and its a petty thing for cosmos fans to concern themselves with. why dont you guys focus on setting up some lemonade stands under the queensborough bridge so you can save up some money to buy an expansion franchise, because as it stands, i dont know who’s shelling out the cash for this team. the wilpons are broke. was there anyone else interested? if cosmos were a “real club” then they would still exist.

    1. The whole “We have a team” argument is getting really old. The New York Cosmos have many teams ranging from youth academy teams to PDL U-23 team to a half youth/half exhibition squad. They have teams. Just not an MLS team. Though, when that changes, that argument fades away like a fart in the wind.


      1. They sponsor teams. And right, the Wilpons aren’t partnered with them at all. Their sources are Umbro and Anomaly. Not enough to buy into MLS or build a stadium in NYC.

        1. From Sports Illustrated’s interview with Don Garber:

          “ Speaking of which, where is the Cosmos’s financial backing coming from? The word I hear is the Middle East.

          Garber: You’ll have to get that answer from them. Certainly we wouldn’t be in discussions with them if we didn’t think they had the ability to purchase the team and pay what will be a record-setting expansion fee and also fund the construction of a stadium, which will require a significant amount of money.”

          1. I’d be willing to bet that it’s Qatar. They’ve already bought PSG and Malaga, the most famous American club can be added to the collection.

  12. The accusation of racism comes from using a young black man as a model. Likely most of the posters did not live through the blackout but its most prominent feature was widespread looting then burning of businesses largely in minority communities. I wouldn’t use the term rioting but it was rough and violent with a degree of attacks on people too and as a black person (and former Cosmos fan since 1975) I must admit that many of the looters were in fact young black men looting and burning our own neighborhoods. Is using that incident to sell black gear racist? Maybe. Distasteful? Absolutely.

    IMHO what is happening here is that guys (soccer and promotional) from England are trying hard to make their product (soccer gear and maybe a team eventually) appear NYC legit and like any folks not actually from a particular place it’s a hit or miss proposition.

    It’s surprising that some of the F.cosmos supporters from NYC seem to be taking the position my “club” right or wrong not exactly a good start for folks that hope to be the supporters club for F.cosmos in the future. All teams make mistakes including our team the NY Red Bulls (where most of the former Cosmos fans reside) and fans have to able to call them out when they do.

    If folks can’t see this marketing attempt as misguided well…

  13. Are the guys anachronistically wearing retro-Cosmos gear victims or perpetrators of looting and violence in the blackout? Surely not indifferent spectators. Seems to me Umbro is promoting a clothing line through identification with the latter.

    Is this the kind of fanbase they want to attract should a stadium be built in the five boroughs, those who would glorify looting?

    I’m really shocked that those who want the Kemsley owned group to become NY2 haven’t expressed their anger and embrassment over this distasteful blaxploitation clothing campaign.

    Like Leonard Cohen says: “I don’t like your fashion business, mister.”

  14. Hey Chump i have listened to your podcast , not bad but this crap about the Cosmos and the blackout is journalistic faux pas my friend , take the Red Bull Rose colored glasses off. Remember you lose credibility when you write Red Bullshit like this. Maybe you should interview some of the red Bull fans and ask them what they where yelling at Henry that night he scored and reminded them of who he is!

  15. Don’t be afraid of another team stealing all your fans (which they will). The Cosmos’ ownership group is very serious (hence their friendly against Man U at Trafford). Even Garber has said he wants to bring another MLS team to NY. The difference is that their ownership group is smart and will appeal to the fans, which is why they wanna build a stadium in the city.

    1. The friendly at Old Trafford indicates that Umbro is serious about marketing their product. Doesn’t say a thing about Kemsley’s intentions, much less those of MLS.

      1. first off Umbro doesnt own Cosmos. if this friendly was a umbro marketing scheme it would probably be “Cosmos Vs Man U presented by Umbro, powered by Umbro and Built by Umbro”. so far i havent seen that.

        the match is intedned to be a cerimorial game dedicated to the rebirth of Cosmos.

        1. No, it’s the Paul Scholes testimonial. Umbro is owned by Nike. Umbro and Nike won’t need to say “presented by” as their gear will be worn on the field and sold on that basis.

  16. i remember when Red Bulls first bought MetroStars, people were up in arms and cursing red bulls name. now everyone is chill with red bull. im guessing the same will happen with Cosmos, people will laugh now but when Cosmos dominate again, those haters will jump ship and claim they’ve been cosmos fans all this time. remember that Alexis Lalas video when he was GM of Red Bulls saying he was going to turn Red Bulls into a super club and win titles and so on and so forth…….yea i think your trophy case is starting to rot. raise a can for red bull!!!!!

    but heres a bit of good hope for you red bull fans (though im guessing you are dieing for a cosmos-red bulls rivalry) the only think keeping Cosmos from selling their soul to MLS (more accuratley thier logos, trademarks and other property for MLS to bank on) are two things: 1) a stadium plans (though there is a draft coming up for a 30k stadium in queens, citi field says they are willing to host cosmos games until plans are finalized) and more importantly 2) Cosmos debate with single entity. they seem to not agree with terms of single entity (i wouldnt either, although in this special case if it means cosmos to come back to MLS then by all means, sell your soul) but im predicting that Garbage Garber will come out his turtle shell in the ASG all star game and announce “Today i am happy to say we have aquired the rights to Cosmos property!!! in other words cosmos are coming back as the 20th money cow!! ergh, i mean franchise. DOH! i mean club! club!”

    IMO i dont care how Cosmos sells it soul or if (hopefully) the can compete as a independent club, just as long as they are another thorn to Red Bulls side keeping them from ever lifting a meaningful trophy. hahaha i still remember red bulls hanging a banner at Giants stadium proclaiming “NY Red Bulls: 2009 MLS Cup finalist” hahaha as if thats anything to be proud of. YOU LOST!!!!!!!

  17. The people supporting this article are as misguided as the author. Where are your arguments against the Fire, Earthquakes, etc? Are you admitting your inherent bias as a Red Bulls fan? (You do know many of the Cosmos proponents are Red Bulls fans.) You just seem to be blinded by the drink. This group is serious. They have tons of money. They have spent millions already (and that didn’t come from jersey sales). They’ve built academies. They’ve hired established names both internationally and domestically. They have USMNT and MLS stars, as well as some of the world’s greats on board. They have a PDL team that can play in the US Open Cup next season. How much do you bet they’ll send their coach to those games?

    1. They haven’t “built” a single academy. They sponsor a couple. Established names like Cantona and Byrne doesn’t equal respected names.

  18. Not racist at all….That’s one of the dumbest accusations I’ve ever seen.

    Also, I can’t really see why it’s distasteful to base a marketing campaign around a blackout. It seems a bit weird to me, but not distasteful per se. It’s not a blackout is a disaster or anything.

    Seriously, it seems like MLS Talk has been clutching at straws recently for things to write about (after the “EPL to the rescue” debacle/article last week). I could understand if it was the off-season, but it’s not.

    The shirts themselves are “meh” though.

    I hope the Cosmos get an MLS slot.

      1. I don’t really follow MLS enough to have any valuable opinions on MLS-matters, I come here hoping to read the articles of those who do.

        1. But you don’t mind shooting your mouth off. People like you are so funny. You love to complain or talk but when someone asks you do something like write a story you come up with some excuse. You don’t follow MLS enough to offer valuable opinions but that doesn’t stop you from opening your trap.

          1. No, like I said, I come here to read about the MLS, learn about it, and maybe one day if I get a home-town team (i.e. the Cosmos), I’ll feel readily acquainted enough with the league to “hit the ground running” as a fan.

            As such, I don’t think I could write an article that was of interest to any other MLS fans.

            But I don’t think that means I can’t comment on issues like this (that are not specifically MLS-related). In this case, you don’t need to be a dedicated MLS fan to know that there is nothing “racist” about the advertising campaign. Likewise, you don’t need to be an MLS expert to point out the logical holes in your “EPL to the rescue” article (which you’re obviously still sore about), as many people did.

            p.s. Is Dan Feuerstein ever going to come on the thread and justify his claim of “racism”. I think that’s a fairly serious allegation to throw around without any justification. Likewise, the other day commenter “Charles” described Ian Darke as a racist, and studiously declined any challenges to provide evidence for that assertion. If that’s the kind of thing that is going to fly on this website, then I’m just going to start calling everyone a racist too.

    1. “It’s not a blackout is a disaster or anything.”
      I will assume you were trying to write that a blackout isn’t like a disaster or anything.

      If I’m correct, I will say that you aren’t old enough to have lived through the blackout the campaign is centered around, or if you are, you did not live in NYC at the time. In either case, speaking as one who did live through it and was affected by it:
      Shut up, moron, because you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

      1. Yeah I meant that, and I stand by it. A hurricane can be a disaster, and earthquake can be a disaster. A black-out is just an inconvenience.

        If a black-out is a disaster, please tell me how many people have died as a result of the black-out?

        I haven’t lived through the 1977 blackout but I’ve lived through a couple since. I lived.

        1. I can’t find out if or how many died-which is not the definition of a disaster. I did find out this:
          In all, 1,616 stores were damaged in looting and rioting. 1,037 fires were responded to, including 14 multiple-alarm fires. In the largest mass arrest in city history, 3,776 people were arrested. Many had to be stuffed into overcrowded cells, precinct basements and other makeshift holding pens. A Congressional study estimated that the cost of damages amounted to a little over US$300 million. [In 2010 dollars would be just over $1 TRILLION.] Just look it up.
          It was a disaster.

          1. Sounds like an inconvenience to me.

            And the fact that property was damaged by rioters/looters was incidental to the blackout, not integral to it.

        2. The more you talk, I have got to think this fits you prefectly. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”

          1. Matthew,
            Why is that then? Are you saying that naming the clothing range after a temporary electricity outage is really any more “offensive” than having teams named after genuine actual disasters like the Chicago Fire or earthquakes? Are you sticking up for Dan Feuerstein’s completely unfounded allegation of racism?

            It sounds like you’re still sore because everyone knocked your article last week. You told people on that thread that they “need to learn to read better” so they could understand your points. You wrote on EPL Talk that the people who dissed your idea “need to grow up”. Now you’re telling me that I’m a fool because I don’t share Dan F’s sense of outrage on this issue?

          2. Your gross ignorance of the unique severity that sets the blackout of ’77 apart from any other inconvenient power outages means you are ill equipped to understand anyone’s outrage. If you try and take the race card out of the hand that’s been played, you still get the offensive linkage of street violence with soccer fandom.

            I strongly doubt there were any Cosmos fans among the 3,776 people arrested for various crimes of violence, theft and vandalism.

            Soccer fans have had to struggle against hooligan stereotypes for far too long to allow this kind of shameless, warped and dangerously ignorant crap to be spewed as if it promotes the sport in any “fashion.”

            Umbro launched the line at its Pop Up Shop at Reed Annex on Orchart St by having someone throw a brick through a window. That’s f’d up.

            We keep hearing the brand is now about a “lifestyle.” Street thuggery isn’t the lifestyle I want promoted in association with my soccer club.

            As someone who grew up a Cosmos fan (and fully appreciates and remembers how scary the Blackout of ’77 was), I’m furious my old club is being twisted into something as disgusting as promoting a lifestyle of violent criminality.

          3. @DK, I didn’t know about the brick-throwing thing. That, in conjunction with the bandana-clad photograph, certainly makes me think that you’re right in saying that Umbro are trying to adopt some cool, edgy, hooligan/street-violence angle to their marketing.

            But that said, I don’t have any problem with the clothing line being called “blackout”, and I don’t think that aspect of the marketing campaign is particularly dubious.

            And sorry, but I can’t just “take out” the race card from what Dan Feuerstein wrote. I think people should be careful about throwing around such baseless accusations, because over-use weakens genuine claims of racism. And in this case, neither Dan nor anyone else has offered ANY explanation of why this photograph is supposed to be racist. And I can’t believe Feuerstein hasn’t realized that people have raised this question – I believe he’s simply ducking the issue because he knows he has no case.

            In the mean time, I consider this thread pretty much dormant, and I won’t bother discussing it again unless Dan Feuerstein cares to explain himself.

  19. My favorite whine by Red Bull fans is look what the Cosmos did to NASL and then they turn around and whine how the new Cosmos regime will never ever live up to the glory years of the NASL team , well i say which one is it cause you can’t have both. And this article is a crime in itself!

    1. Right, you can’t have both. It wasn’t the regime in the glory years that killed the league. It was the regime that killed the club and the league (Pinton and Chinaglia) that handed the brand (what’s left of it) over to Kemsley, Johnson and Byrne. But the way the regime that rose to glory operated won’t ever be allowed under the single-entity structure of MLS. Can’t have both.

  20. Who cares what the Cosmos do?

    They are a phantom team with no stadium and a few shirts people can buy. RBNY has the best soccer stadium in the country and a great team, but their place is only half full. Don needs to get over his crush on a second NYC team. No rivalry in any sport between teams in the NYC area has really meant anything since the Dodgers and Giants left in the 1950s. Who gives a crap about Rangers/Islanders, Knicks/Nets, Jets/Giants? The biggest rivalries they have are with Boston, Philly, South Florida, etc. Force the Red Bulls to rename themselves the Cosmos(which the team should have been called since day one in 1996) and be done with it.

    In a country as large as the USA(plus Canada), it is incredibly foolish and counter-productive for MLS to try and force a local derby by shoehorning a second team into NYC. There are massive TV markets in the Southeast with no MLS anywhere nearby. There are some solid D2 markets out there that would easily support a team, so long as MLS does not come in and screw it up like the first time in the Southeast. You’ve got Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Carolina all doing fairly well. The Strikers are second in the NASL in attendance at over 4,000 fans per game. That’s after crowds under 1,000 last year in the same stadium as Miami FC. Imagine if the Fusion had properly branded themselves and not disrespected the soccer fans of Fort Lauderdale. Same for the Mutiny, they should have been the Rowdies.

    On that note, imagine the kind of crowds the Metrostars/Red Bulls could have had over the years if they had done what was right and picked up the Cosmos name from day one.

    1. Please keep the southeast out of MLS. Possibly a small market team like Charleston, but MLS has and will fail in the southeast.

      MLS is not a charity league. If another area “deserves” a team, have another area produce a productive bid. You can claim the southeast all you want but if a group doesn’t have a strong financial backing, possible downtown stadium location with money to build, and a sports market, MLS will not award you a franchise. It’s as simple as that. Despite what you (and the other naysayers are saying), the Cosmos do have money (tons of it, links to Man City ownership), have talked with the city about putting a stadium within the proper limits (all 5 boroughs have been discussed), they have renderings for a 30K-45K cap stadium (which haven’t been released but have been seen) and have established a renowned academy system. What other expansion bid can say that?

    2. Red,

      I hope you realize that most in the Southeast do not consider south Florida part of the region. South Florida is in fact a southern extension of New Jersey.

      MLS has to break into the Southeast if they want to actually grow as a TV property. But I cannot state strongly enough that going back to south Florida is not the way to go. Nor, truthfully, is Atlanta. Yes, the Silverbacks have a decent stadium for a D2 league that could easily be expanded, but the Atlanta market is oversaturated with pro sports teams already (apart from the Braves, they all struggle unless they are performing exceptionally). And, because of the MLS schedule, an ATL team would be going head to head with the Braves for gate. Charleston is an interesting suggestion; I would add Nashville, Birmingham, Raleigh-Durham, and Richmond to that list. None of those have an MLB team and Birmingham and Nashville have both demonstrated that they can draw large and predominantly pro-American crowds for USMNT games. My impression standing outside of the situation is that a southeastern team would bring more value to the league than any other potential franchise EXCEPT the Cosmos. But it all depends on financing, etc. Here’s a question: everyone is talking about getting a stadium deal in place for the Cosmos; what if they draw Sounders-type numbers at Citi Field? There’s almost no way they could get a stadium that big constructed in NYC, right? Would they maybe not be better off staying at Citi in that circumstance?

      1. First, hahahahahahahahahah at
        “I hope you realize that most in the Southeast do not consider south Florida part of the region. South Florida is in fact a southern extension of New Jersey.”

        So true. But you’re right. I was referencing FL and clearly even southerners agree FL isn’t the way to go. I really think Charleston would be interesting. I think the Battery have established a niche (though minor league) and could be capitalized on. The one question about the other options is that, “will US support translate into MLS support?”

    1. Leo,

      That was an article posted on MLS Rumors, in other words, a rumor reporting site. Why do you keep attacking him over reporting a rumor?

      The Borough Boys have their very own “press” devoted to their propoganda and have a thorough program of attacking any and all who question or dislike anything the Boys favor.

      I’m disappointed a liberal champion such as yourself would bother with yet another ad hominem here and neglect to address the offensive clothing line campaign.

      Meanwhile, some of the rumored facts may appear off, but day-by-day Feurstein’s article from MLS Rumors appears more-and-more prophetic and accurate, that this is Umbro driven and funded through Anomaly. Sponsoring youth academies and PDL sides are much less costly than competitive athletes and clubs and perhaps – as this experiment might be showing – more profitable. The more they move forward with “Cosmos tailored by Umbro” the further they move from MLS/adidas.

      But that’s entirely beside the point that Feurstein makes with this article.

      Why would you support Umbro aligning soccer with violence and vandalism in the name of fashion?

    2. MLS Rumors. MLS RUMORS!!! That’s where you’re getting your information. Oh btw how did AC Philadelphia do this week. Lemme check, Oh that’s right there is no AC Philadelphia in MLS, yet another bogus “story” from MLS Rumors.

  21. First, Dan Feuerstein reported the sale to Umbro as fact, not rumor. He said he had sources. I think that not only speaks to his credibility as a writer, but even his desire to be credible. So when he says the Cosmos told someone to throw a brick through their window, everyone ought to take it with a grain of salt because hey, it’s that not credible blogger yahoo dan feuerstein/gio17.

    As for the “offensive” clothing line, I will say this. If you are a New Yorker (unlike Dan Feuerstein who escaped New York and didn’t come back), you know the tremendous cultural influence the Summer of ’77 had on our city. Of course the looting and vandalism that took place after the blackout was a bad thing, but to pretend, 34 years after the fact, that it hasn’t taken on a symbolic importance to our City, that it is part of the very same story that makes our city what it is today, you’re just being a simpleton. Believe it or not, the seemy underbelly of this City is something that is both frightening and exciting. That’s New York.

    Finally, I’m not a “liberal”, I’m a radical. As a radical, I would love for the game I love to be as pure as the driven snow, for Messi and Ronaldo to play for love of game, club and country, and not money. But alas, the world does not cooperate with my point of view sometimes. If I can’t get that, then I am very happy for what I get so far from the Cosmos organization. Rather than a soccer team in service of a brand, I get a brand in service of soccer. Moreover, I get a front office who shows the real, hard core soccer fan nothing but respect and participation in what they are trying to do. I hope they make a trillion dollars, so we can finally put to rest the idea that for soccer to work in the United States, the teams must be put in service to sell some other product (in the Red Bull case, soda), rather than sell products in service of the team.

    Nice talking to you DK, and feel free to contact me anytime. Peace.

  22. I’m one of Daniels fans his radio show and articles are flawless.No the ad isn’t
    racist.I didn’t think so and I’m big Black and scary so leave him alone.OK But i want the cosmos in MLS.Plus the cosmo supporter are gonna be the first active hooligans in MLS.Cosmos gonna be the most hated team in america.
    Because all the other cities want in MLS and they should be.So instead of hating on the cosmos let it be Fuel 4 a bright future hate.

  23. Just under two years ago Feuerstein reported what he’d heard from sources. He didn’t invent the idea that Umbro had bought the Cosmos brand. And since then, what have we seen? “NY Cosmos tailored by Umbro.” Anyone familiar with sports journalism or journalism in general understands that sometimes sources are spot-on, sometimes their way-off, and sometimes there’s a bit of truth to what they’ve passed along. Looks to me like, not quite two years later, Feuerstein’s sources were onto something.

    I’ve never seen a writer endure such character assassination for reporting what sources have revealed. But for something written on “MLS Rumors”? There’s obviously some truth to those rumors!

    Feuerstein didn’t report the brick through the window thing for the Cosmos line. That was the NY Times:

    If a SSS ever reaches the stage of borough council hearings, all it will take is one person to stand up and distribute the images from this ad campaign and say “we don’t need this.”

    Linking the Cosmos with violence and vandalism won’t earn them points with politicians and won’t earn them any friends in MLS/SUM/USSF. It may well appeal to the “Green Street Hooligans” crowd and boost the Borough Boys numbers, but it can’t be productive for building a stadium in NYC or entering MLS.

    It’s these negative stereotypes of soccer fans as hooligans that encourage over-reactions from stadium security and scorn in the popular media.

    1. OMG talk about overstatement. This won’t even cause a ripple. This will come down to money and money only. Also Cosmos aren’t going to get any public money for this anyway so the point is buying the land and building on it. Red tape might be a bitch, but if they get the right money behind them noone will even blink about this commercial.

  24. Uhmmm, no. Dan Feuerstein was completely wrong, and was particularly graceless in defending his completely wrong report. The conversation is there for all to see. He said “the deed is done” “there will never be a cosmos team”, well a scant 6 months there was a team, and 14 months later, a PDL team. You are defending the notion that the Cosmos don’t want to be a soccer team. Preposterous. Everyone in US Soccer knows that they are trying to get into MLS. That you would come on here and deny that, well, it would only be done by the anonymous.

    I challenged Dan, if he’s wrong, he come on that conversation and apologize, if I’m wrong, I’d do the same. When he didn’t take it, I knew he knew he was full of it. Adults correct the record, always.

    It’s not that I totally do not see your point about the black out, but first, are you a New Yorker? Because if you were, you would likely have a more nuanced view of this. I don’t entirely disagree with you, but your over the top objections would strike most new yorkers as polyanna.

    PS, there’s no such thing as a “borough council”.

    1. Community Boards, City Planning Commission, NYC Economic Development Corporation, anyone in any Borough Hall would, I’m sure, do all they can to build a stadium for the kinds of fans celebrated with that Blackout clothing line.

      WTF is a “real New Yorker”? How old are you?

      Easy to sponsor teams. Easy enough to gather celebs for a testimonial and wear some well tailored shirts.

      Quite another to join MLS.

      Cosmos willing to change for MLS or MLS willing to change for the Cosmos? Doubt it.

  25. My last post, but again feel free to email me to talk about it. I have to believe that you wouldn’t be so obviously changing your argument from one minute to the next and denying the undeniable if we all knew who you were.

    1. You defended Feuerstein’s statement that there will never be a Cosmos soccer team under Kemsley. That is simply a false statement. There is a team.

    2. In private conversations and in national media outlets like the NY Times Sunday magazine and Sports Illustrated, Kemsley and Byrne have been very plain about there desire to enter MLS. Don Garber has very plainly said that the Cosmos are very serious contenders for the NYC franchise. Given that information, I believe that the Cosmos do indeed intend to bid for the franchise. You, apparently, believe that the Cosmos, the Commissioner of MLS, the NY Times and SI are all colluding in an effort to sell Umbro gear. I’m pretty sure I’m right and you’re wrong.

    3. The Cosmos do not “sponsor” the Cosmos PDL team and east and west academies. They own and operate them. Indeed, at the last exhibition match against the Flames at Baker Field, Gio savarese was on the sidelines coaching, Terry Byrne was with him, and Joe Fraga and Dany Cherry were there. I think that contrasts well to the effort the Red Bulls made to attend the quarter final open cup.

    4. You think that a 2 minute cartoon introducing a clothes line will be a factor in whether the local community agrees to a stadium or not. I think the economic development opportunities, public funding, community benefits offered, environmental concerns, parking and traffic will be the deciding factors. Excuse me for saying this, but I think I’m right.

    5. The cartoon does not in any way equate soccer and vandalism. Indeed, it very explicitly separates the two, by Alberto saying he was “scared” and the next day was a “better day”, a soccer day.

    6. It is very, very hard to gather soccer celebs to play in a game. Trust me on that. Pro soccer players at the highest levels might be the most entitled and unreliable group of grown boys you’ve ever met. Not as hard as getting into MLS, but a challenge for sure.

    7. A Real New Yorker is a person who calls New York City “home”. There is no shame in not being a real new yorker, it just is what it is. I suspect you, like Dan Feuerstein, are not.

    1. 1) No, I’m not defending that “statement.” Feuerstein’s article

      2) No, I’m not saying there’s collusion at all.

      3) No, I don’t think that’s fully accurate. Cosmos “own and operate” Blau Weiss Gottschee? Really?

      4) We’re talking about the whole ad campaign for the Blackout collection, not just the “cartoon.”

      5) See 4.

      6) Silly. I guess the models wearing the Blackout retro Umbro line represent “real New Yorkers” to you.

      Get over yourself. If you’re the same Leo Glickman that writes for that Borough Boys prop zine, you’ve got a lot of nerve to attack a much more informed and respected soccer writer, such as Feuerstein.

      Why do the Borough Boys continue with the infantile character assassinations? Feuerstein raises valid concerns about this clothing line. Why bring up an article written nearly two years ago? So what? That he linked Kemsley and his Cosmos project with Umbro two years ago is to his credit. But he’s not a “real New Yorker” and therefore isn’t credible? Are you attacking him or his sources? If he just invented the link that’s now clear as day, that’s one hell of an imagination.

      Attacking anyone who doesn’t write love letters to Kemsley isn’t gonna get a stadium built or bring a franchise to Queens or wherever else fits your fantasy.

      Maybe such cyber-bully tactics are part of being a self-professed “radical.” And that might explain why you don’t find the images Umbro’s using don’t offend you.

      That’s not what the Cosmos used to represent.

  26. Too afraid to email me personally because you don’t want to reveal your identity. I guess that says it all. You won’t stand by your claim, for example, that the Cosmos own the Cosmos Academy East. Well done, anonymous.

    1. It’s all about you, isn’t it, Leo? Afraid? Don’t want any bricks thrown through my window, no.

      Radicals who cyber bully don’t earn friends through such tactics, nor will they help make anyone’s soccer fantasy a reality.

      The Cosmos merely sponsor, and do not own, Blau Weiss Gottschee:

      Do Kemsley, Byrne, Johnson and Umbro “own” Pinton’s Cosmos Camps? I wonder if they even care to sponsor:

      But that’s irrelevant to this discussion.

      This marketing campaign in support of Umbro’s Blackout Collection, bizarrely identifying the Cosmos and soccer fan culture in general with violence and vandalism, is offensive and disgusting to anyone with any sense of decency and history.

  27. What a retarted article. Everything feuerstein writes is junk. He’s lucky he has a job laying out this dead wood. Feuerstein I’m jewish also, but I’m not sure you picked the right career.Maybe you should have been a dentist rather than a sports writer. Please never write anymore soccer articles again in your life!!!

  28. My God, nothing is better than seeing various Kemsley employees sprout up around the internet to talk up their Fake Cosmos. What silly move will they do next…claim moral high ground against RBNY when they are discovering MLS after it’s established? Check. Calling them New Jersey when the original Cosmos played in New Jersey? Check. Beautiful. Keep commenting and posing Umbro and Kemsley workers 😉

    1. My God, nothing is better than seeing various anonymous posters make unbelievably stupid, patently false claims about other posters who actually aren’t afraid to reveal their identities.

      No BostonMRider, I am not a Kemsley or Umbro employee, nor do I want to be. I do well enough, so thanks but no thanks.

      No, I’m just a former Metrostars season ticket holder and current borough boy who is appreciative with the way the Cosmos front office has worked with the fans. I know something about supporting an MLS team, and showing any modicum of respect for the base, hard core soccer fan is unfortunately a rarity.

      so, when offered the opportunity, I like to set the record straight on behalf of the Cosmos. Your a Revs fan, you and your fellow supporters know a thing or two about being treated like shit by your front office, just like the Red Bull supporters. Kraft should reach out to kemsley for a few lessons about fan relations.

      Fake Cosmos? All I know is that I’ve been to the office many times, and

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