From the halls of Foxboro Stadium…

Captain Obvious Strikes Again

Posted by Mike Marshall on January 27, 2009

You know, I really wanna like Mike Burns.  I think he was a pretty decent player in his day, and he takes WAY too much crap about not being on the post in the ’98 World Cup.

But every time I start thinking positively about him, he opens his mouth.  For example, take his most recent entry on the Official Revolution Blog.

Sure, it’s a good thing that Burnsie’s taking questions from fans.  But if you had given me the questions a day ahead of time, I could have practically predicted his responses.

Let me sum up:

  • Can’t talk about rumors
  • We’ll sign a Designated Player if he’s “the right fit”
  • We don’t spread rumors
  • We dont’ really scout college players all that much
  • We lost Khano Smith in the Expansion Draft, and had to cut some other players because the league shrunk the rosters
  • European players are expensive
  • We didn’t try to lose on purpose in the USOC or the Champions League last year (We just didn’t try real hard to win)
  • We played a lot of games and were tired
  • We like drafting local players
  • We’ll bring in some trialists, but only if they’ve got a chance to make the team

1,496 words… one piece of useful information:

Having said that, during the past few years, our staff has been to Central America and South America and Steve and Paul are currently in Africa right now scouting.

Of course, we could have gotten that and more from Steven Goff of all sources.

*Revs Coach Steve Nicol and assistant Paul Mariner are currently on a scouting mission in Ghana. Meantime, New England draft picks Andrei Gotsmanov (Creighton) and Tyrel Lacey (Tulsa) will remain in school and not join the club for trials until May. The club has also offered a workout to undrafted keeper Zack Simmons (U-Mass.).

Getting back to Burnsie, let me just pick out two snippets of his post that drive me nuts.  First, on being “tight-lipped”:

I’m not going to disagree that we’re not probably a little bit more tight-lipped than some of the other teams in our league, but our position has always been that there are enough rumors that circulate in and around the Revs or in and around the league that we don’t need to add to them. Instead of having rumors circulate or appear to have come from the Revs, traditionally speaking, we have been an organization that has chosen not to leak information and one that only likes to put out factual information. You see that in all areas of the Krafts’ businesses, including the Patriots. To be honest, if we were leaking information, we could leak information every day, but we don’t think that’s fair to our fans as most of those rumors don’t turn out to be accurate.

Does he really not understand the difference between the situation the Revs are in and the situation the Patriots are in?  The Patriots could fire Stacy James and their entire PR/Media Relations staff, and they’d still sell out every game.

The Revs spend five months a year where literally no media outlet talks about them.  That’s just absurd.  There’s nothing wrong with throwing your hardcore fans a bone every now and then.

Burnsie on “Mailing It In”

From my playing days to now working in the front office, I have never been part of a Revolution team that has intentionally tried to lose or “mailed it in.” I don’t like to make excuses, nor do our coaching staff nor our players, but we had a very full plate in 2008.

I don’t like to make excuses, nor do our coaching staff nor our players, but allow me to make an excuse.

But I want to reaffirm that we did not “mail it in,” and we did not intentionally try to lose. It was almost like something was going to give, and after our SuperLiga title, there just wasn’t much in the tank. And that’s not an excuse – that’s just the reality of our schedule and situation last year.

Here’s the reality of the Revs’ situation last year.

The  team that they claimed was too tired to compete for ANYTHING after SuperLiga finished the year with open roster spots, a large chunk of unused cap space, and about eight players on their roster that Steve Nicol would only have used if forced to at gunpoint.

You screwed it up, Mike.  Your front office.  You were the guys that used first round picks on guys like Rob Valentino, Wells Thompson, and Leandro de Oliveira in recent years.  You were the guys that made Argenis Fernandez one of your big offseason signings.  You were the guys that were quick to promote Sainey Nyassi and Kheli Dube to the senior roster before exploring alternatives.

The Revs could have handled things much differently last year.  I would have hoped for a response that acknowledged that the organization has made some mistakes, not one where you throw your hands up in the air and say, “What can you do?  Who knew we were going to play that many games?”

Oh, and one more thing.

You will never convince me that the Revs did not “mail in” the 2nd leg of that home and home series with Joe Public.  There’s no way the Revs are four goals worse than a mid-table club team from Trinidad and Tobago.


3 Responses to “Captain Obvious Strikes Again”

  1. Cooper said

    Terrific article Mike. I agree that Mike Burns didn’t really say much of anything other than that Nicol and Mariner are scouting in Africa. Having said that, given our run of success over the past 4 or 5 seasons, including the 1st half of last season, I’m willing to give the club the benefit of the doubt. If we can get back the consistency that we lost after SuperLiga last season then I’ll be satisfied w/ both the tight-lipped front office and the roster decisions we’ve made. But if we are merely mediocre this season, then I’ll insist on maxing out the salary cap, etc.

    Keep on writing and I’ll keep on reading. Cheers.

  2. Jim a.k.a Seamus said

    I can’t agree with you more, Mike. Nothing is ever going to change in Revsland while the “steady as she goes” management team that sees things like having a slogan on their website (and only on their website) as “adult-oriented” marketing and doesn’t really care too much about Revs game attendance as long as the Beckham match and Brazil sell out is in charge.

  3. Mike Flanagan said

    That’s the problem – the Revs are given the same gloves as the Pats. We’re talking sparate universes here. I seriously wonder whether the Revs are serious about attracting fans around here. I’d almost trade Burnsie for Alexi, only for the fact that Alexi, while borderline mentally unstable, actually gives a crap.

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