09 February 2011

Why Eric Cantona is smarter than you

 By: Jd Mac Kinnon

     In the middle part of January 2011, the recently revived New York Cosmos unveiled a signing that both shocked and surprised some. Eric Cantona, Manchester United’s player of the century and a French wizard with the ball back in his heyday made a return to soccer with an organization that has gone from being past history to present-day restoration.  The Cosmos needing a face to their organization did a double grab with both Cantona and former US international Cobi Jones being added as the cornerstones for the organization being built from the basement up, but some have called the appointments miss placed while others are saying it is downright bizarre that a legend like Cantona would make his return with a franchise that has yet to find a league.
     I on the other hand look at the former Red Devil playmaker as an untested IQ genius who basically has more to gain and less to lose with this deal. First off Eric has rarely been involved with football in the past 14years with the most work done in the sport coming from Nike and there TV commercials. (My favorite is Joga Bonito) When you’ve lost 14 years in an industry you formally worked in you must regain the same skills by working in the mail room and waiting for that chance to talk to the CEO on that “far east deal”. Pretend now that European football is the CEO and soccer in CONCACAF is sort of the mail room, Eric needs that chance to prove that he has not lost the skills associated with the world’s game and that places like North America is the chance. Former greats tend to fail in the categories of coach or CEO with success being the exception and failure being the majority; but why try from the top and not work like a laborer to find a way to the top.

     Second off Eric has had basically a career in acting and financial advising for the past 14 years and has never held a job as someone with a suit and briefcase before. If you are in this position why would you want the glaring lights and focused attention of a soccer media crazed Western Europe or England to begin your career as a “soccer suit” so to say. You would not want that in the slightest and that is because of the issues with this position and pressure put upon you every day. Here in the US soccer is more like the Olympics with the focal point being the climax of the World Cup and the lull the three and a half years in between. Soccer in the media is reserved for the small print blocks of game write-up in the paper or the specific sections of the website. This allows the failures of Cantona to go in a sense unpunished by the masses or to not be looked at with a European microscope but his success to gain the biggest font in the soccer section. Sure the educated fan will tell you like it is but they are a small market compared to the ignorant who dot the athletics world or the Eurosnobs of both US and the Europe landscape who only know the success of a player/coach and not his short comings.
     The last thing that Eric did that makes him smarted than me is pick a brand name that is being built again but has already been there done that. It’s almost the same logic that Six Flags had when it acquired the rights to the DC Comics and Looney Toons. Six Flags was a known chain on its own but when it added those two entities they all came synonymous and symbiotic the same way Russian girl/strip club and Hockey/Canada are.  But unlike the others both can help each other help themselves. With success for the Cosmos comes the international media and attention to “King Eric” as some call him, with more attention and exposure coming from the EU. With Eric’s success an international brand associated heavily with triumph and grander times becomes more internationally acclaimed and recognized.  Since when has a US Soccer team gotten interest from the Middle East? When Don Garber when down to Argentina the questions asked during an interview were varied but with a specific point on the Cosmos saying that the world is interested maybe not as heavily as to who’s at Barcelona but to see a once proud franchise regain its regency and succeed in the modern soccer world of America.  Both will push each other to be more celebrated and this only allows both to grow stronger. Even if Eric is basically the guy who changes the fax machines and the Cosmos never return he got his foot into a door as an executive, and even if and when the Cosmos return they have if anything a figurehead who can help this team reach a galactic hype that only a few have.


     Will see the results of this in the coming years but truly Cantona and the Cosmos (sounds like a fan band no?) is a match made in Valhalla and one that has more benefits then problems even if the analysts say otherwise.  


Anonymous said...

nicely done! good post!

Nick said...

Never thought that Cantona could be using the Cosmos for professional growth - solid point

Anonymous said...

Can't someone just leak a potential Stadium design?