There are just those moments when you’re given the opportunity to spread your wings…
And in those moments you’re also allowed to see adversity that lies beyond the obvious…
This week has been an absolute challenge. It’s started with surprise press releases, wound up with a surprise appearance and presentation at the Kauffman Foundation, and added with that was a few very late night meetings in the office.
Nothing was meant to be easy I suppose.
However, it was today that the frustrations of the sports world finally came to a head in my personal life. Per usual, as many things in this wonderful reality, it stemmed directly from the women’s soccer world, and frankly…I’m tired of the Kansas City Shock being chronically underestimated and overlooked.
Why was I at the Kauffman Foundation today? Because the Kansas City Shock was being presented again. Nearly a year after the first presentation. It was an absolute honor. What I thoroughly enjoy about the opportunity is that the Kansas City Shock has the opportunity to reach into the business sector of Kansas City. This way the program isn’t seen as just ‘some soccer team’, it’s a living breathing that is making a conscious effort to let the city know that. It’s something that was built into the original blueprint; the program isn’t just a program that stems from soccer on the field, but technology in the digital world, and a business mindset in the office. We’re trying to redefine women’s soccer, no matter the size of our program.
Realistically, I would have thought that people in the soccer world of Kansas City would have cared. A press release went out on it [I know, I reviewed it] to all media outlets within the community. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ had the information posted everywhere as quick as we could get it out. I thought on our end we did everything we were supposed to do to get the information to as many people as we could.
Darco was sick, so I was alone at the Kauffman Foundation. There was no press, no media, no one within the soccer community of Kansas City. It was just another reminder of where we stand in the hierarchy of what others dictate as important. During the same time some mad man was ranting about the National Women’s Soccer League on Twitter, two teams had announced…or were going to announce…venue changes. Realistically, what I’ve learned about the majority of women’s soccer is that news really isn’t reported. News is staged and drama is strummed up in order to receive more ‘hits’ on the digital side of the industry.
That’s the game that is played, and because of how the Kansas City Shock is structured, we don’t belong in that game.
Which also means that we don’t belong in that spotlight. Frankly, it’s recognizing that the Kansas City Star wants nothing to do with our program, but the Kansas City Business Journal covers our developments.
We’re not the rich kids.
We’re not the well behaved kids.
We’re not from the suburbs.
We don’t suck up.
We do tell people where to stick it.
We form our own identity.
Needless to say, when a women’s soccer program is speaking on the development of business, social media, software integration, and the sorts; I would assume from listening over the years of all the belly aching that the poor, pitiful charity organization referred to as women’s soccer, would embrace the concept that someone, anyone is being recognized as a real business. Stupidly, I assumed that people within the industry would be proud to see a program that’s trying to pave the way to a point where this industry may finally be taken seriously by the rest of the people that aren’t associated with the game [that's called the majority].
It sickened me to watch people drop over dead for rumors of trades that were already done behind close doors, and the rants of a sports agent. I thought we did something great…I thought we did something today that grew the game. I thought we followed through with what we were supposed to do to grow the expectations and excitement of women’s soccer.
But we didn’t have the right name.
But we’re not in the right league.
But we don’t have the right ownership.
But we’re not rich enough.
But we’re not manipulative.
But we aren’t liars.
But we’re not the poster child for this industries expectations…
I was saddened heading over to the office afterwards. Know that one many was right several months ago, “No one gives a s%#! about you.” What’s more unfortunate is that, that isn’t even the case outside of our industry, that’s the story within the industry.
With all that said, this post is specifically me complaining because the hard working people of the Kansas City Shock [not myself, please believe that] fight every day to do something incredible, but the world of women’s soccer…doesn’t care. I’ll never understand why; I only know that it’s only going to get more convoluted as time elapses.
Finally, to pour salt on the wound. I’ll leave tonight with this blunt, joyful/disheartening reality.
…yet we still aren’t justified in the eyes of the ‘soccer demigods’ of Kansas City.
Going to bed tired, worn out, disheartened, and frustrated. I know that’s not where God wants me to be, but it’s hard to have faith in your purpose when you understand that redemption will never come to you and yours. You’re in a fight on your own.