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Opinion >  Column

Paul Turner: Minor league soccer in Spokane? You don’t say!

Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

In the discussions about possibly building a sports stadium in downtown Spokane, it came up that the city might attract a minor league soccer team if that happened.

How did you react to that prospect?

A) Minor league soccer? Be still my heart.

B) That could be pretty cool. They could be called the Fightin’ Marmots and fans could make a high-pitched whistling sound and chew on commemorative engine hoses.

C) It brings up a classic point about who can be happy living in Spokane and who can’t. If you have no interest in soccer, that’s fine. But if your problem is that the team would be minor league, perhaps you need to check yourself. Spokane is a city of modest size. If you require local big league sports teams with which to identify, you are destined to face psychological issues while living here. (And by “local,” I do not mean Seattle.) Of course, you can always attach yourself with mental suction cups to Gonzaga basketball. That’s pretty big league. Well, when they are playing nonconference games anyway.

D) I just read “C,” and disagree with your premise. The Spokane Indians and Spokane Chiefs are successful and they are not big league.

(You missed my point. I suggested some people require in-town major league teams to avoid the feeling that they themselves are somehow “minor league.” Those who are secure in their self-worth and define their identities in more meaningful ways do not have such a need.)

E) Have you ever spent time around sports fans? No thanks.

F) My interest in minor league soccer would be based on the quality and price of the snacks at the stadium.

G) Is this one of those deals where everyone who is against it today will insist they were always in favor of the downtown stadium 10 years from now when it has proven to be a huge hit?

H) I don’t imagine minor league soccer players get paid all that much so they should feel right at home here.

I) They could be called the “Fightin’ Crows” and Spokane fans could become known for their haunting, stadium-filling “Caw Caw Caw” cheer. It would remind older spectators of certain scenes in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

J) I have no interest in soccer, but I care about Spokane. Whatever works.

K) They could be called the “Expos,” and the entire community would be in on the Spokane-is-living-in-the-past joke. “Gooooooooo, ’74ers!”

L) I just don’t get the obsession with spectator sports around here. How about if we focus instead on mandating substantial prison sentences for repeated DUIs and burglaries? Though maybe we could call the soccer team the “Parolees.” Fans could chant, “I’ve learned my lesson, your honor.”

M) I hate downtown and never go there. What’s more, I hate you and your Commie rag newspaper and the bike you rode in on. God bless.

N) My idea of soccer excitement is a nil-nil draw between Newcastle and Liverpool. In the rain.

O) The team could be called The Falls, and its promotions department might schedule events such as Casual Dress Night (with police and health department officials standing by) and Sing Like Bing Night with souvenir Crosby hats and a halftime croon-off.

P) When can I get my T-shirt, “Minor League Soccer: A Spokane Sports Scene Staple Since 2020”?

Q) I think we should call it Tom Foley Stadium. Or Shoppers Stadium. Or Naming Rights Stadium.

R) There’s major league soccer?

S) Are they planning to pay for this with a bake-sale or with yet another add-on to our property taxes that they are counting on to fly under the radar of most homeowners?

T) Will a new stadium make sense if high school football disappears when more people start taking head injuries seriously?

U) I thought I read somewhere that interest in soccer was waning.

V) Does this have something to do with the River Park Square parking garage? I’m still mad about that, you know.

W) Soccer’s offside rule annoys me.

X) I’m sure our elected officials will carefully weigh the pro’s and cons of all this before moving forward. But I like new things. They’re shiny.

Y) Is minor league soccer coed?

Z) I would prefer a Canadian Football League franchise, but whatever.

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