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Eight big what ifs that really matter

AJ wraps up our #WhatIfWeek coverage

Egypt v Trinidad & Tobago: Group A - FIFA U20 World Cup Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

This week we are all wondering the What Ifs for the Union and the rest of the world. Here I will take a look at some of the bigger What Ifs from a fans perspective. These are some of the bigger complaints heard about things around the club on and off the field.

What If Phang Didn’t Have Arms And Legs?

There have been numerous complaints about a snake mascot that has arms and legs. First of all, if you are a person who will make that complaint about a fun kids mascot, then the mascot is not for you, so just stop. But let’s humor your complaining for this exercise. Imagine a human mascot, no arms or legs, trying to make its way around the stadium, bringing joy to young fans across the concourse. How will he move! How will he hug fans! Signing autographs is out of the question. Want to pose for a picture with armless Phang? You might as well stand next to a cement pillar with a cartoon snake face painted on it because armless Phang isn’t putting his arm around anyone’s shoulder. Need more evidence of this terrible complaint, let’s roll the tape.

What If Bimbo Was Not the Jersey Sponsor?

This may be one of the bigger complaints every year, especially in this time of jersey fashion. As a jersey collector myself, I am guilty of complaining about the front sponsor for the Union. So what if we had a smaller sponsor on the jersey? Would there be more sales to females? Would the jersey be more fashionable with a better color scheme? Would Twitter be a more pleasant place without the yearly bickering about the meaning of the word Bimbo? Or maybe the jersey would lose some recognition without a global name on the front. Maybe we would have less money to spend on players. Less money? Can we afford that risk? Would a Wawa sponsorship provide the jersey sales to make up for a smaller deal than the money we get from Bimbo?

What If Lot A Was Paved?

This is a wish of many Union fans who walk the path under the bridge to each game. Us Lot A folk enjoy the walk but we have to deal with dust blowing on windy days and jumping puddles on rainy nights. It is not terrible but to have another full parking lot paved would just make the fans a bit more happy.


What If Jay Sugarman Had A Helipad Instead of Using a Training Pitch?

Years ago, Jay Sugarman famously landed his helicopter on the training pitch. This struck a cord with the Union faithful who felt this move was disrespectful to one of the nicer parts of the complex. I am not well versed in helicopter weights and procedures but I am sure it left some heavy divots in the field. So what if Jay had a personal helipad in the complex so he could comfortably land his chopper? Would this make the fans happier? Would we all cheer his arrival as he flew in on game days? Applaud his efforts as he took off after a victory? No probably not. That would be a dumb use of money. I think we all would agree we want him spending his money for the on the field product more before we begin accepting his personally luxuries.

Southwest USA scenics Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

What If It Was a Recycling Truck Instead of a Republic Trash Truck?

Remember when the Union were playing like trash? Then posted a photo of a Republic Trash truck outside of the stadium for a promotion. That really happened. Clearly it was not received well and other teams, like DC United and the Red Bulls, jumped in on the jokes. The picture was quickly removed but, what if it was a recycling truck that was placed outside of the stadium? Would that be better? Stay with me here. Would that be a better representation of part of the Union’s philosophy of moneyball. Buy a player who may be not sought after, from a lower league, in a poor run of form perhaps. Then recycle them into a stud on the field, gaining value, and then the possibility of selling for a profit. Now you see what I mean, a recycling truck may have been a better idea.

Egypt v Trinidad & Tobago: Group A - FIFA U20 World Cup Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

What If A Random Draft Pick Was Actually Signed and Successful?

Ernst Tanner has made it clear that the draft is not going to be a player acquisition tool. In fact, most of MLS seems to feel that was as well. But here’s the what if: what if more draft picks did make the first team? What if in 2013, the Union’s 17th pick of the Supplemental Draft panned out? They took a young Trinidad and Tobago National Team player who had Olympic experience. He was a left footed player, strong body, and had potential to play left back. If MLS did not have restrictions on internationals, would he have been the answer at left back for years to come? Who knows. But what I do know is that this player, Uriah Bentick, currently resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia and terrorizes my backline every season. He is a beast in our adult league but a real nice guy to talk to between sprints chasing him down. Could he have been the Union left back we always wanted? I wish.

What If the Chief Tattoo Officer Was Actually the Chief Something Else?

Here are some ideas:

  • Chief Henna Tattoo Officer- Not a bad idea. They could offer services during pregame. They would probably have more customers since the tattoos are not permanent and you could give henna tattoos to fans under 18 years old.
  • Chief Piercing Officer- Interesting. I am not one who wants a piercing but I feel like more people get pierced than get tattoo’d. However it would need to come with a Union stud or earring to go with the club. This might not be a bad idea actually. Fans could get a Union earring or stud put in, then on non-game days, change it to whatever suits their style. Piercings are also cheaper than tattoos.
  • Chief High Five Officer- Everybody loves high fives! Young or old, no matter your style, a high five is sure to put a smile on your face. Does the team really need an officer dedicated to this position or should all fans take it upon themselves to high five each other to help vibes stay positive?
  • Chief Shoe Lace Tyer- This would be innovative to say the least. During pregame this Officer of the Lace could help any tailgater with their shoes. However, it’ll be during Union game play where this new position really helps the team. No longer will players have to tie their own shoes or their goalkeepers shoes. The Chief Shoe Lace Tyer will sprint onto the field and professionally tie a knot quicker than any amateur shoe lace tyer could. I don’t see anything that could go wrong with this one.
Photo by Matt Ralph

What If Jay Ajayi Was Mediocre in the FIFA Ranks Rather Than Dead Last?

The rise of eMLS has given teams another avenue to engage with fans. The Union famously signed Super Bowl Champ, Jay Ajayi, as their professional gamer. The only problem with this was he did not stack up well to other professional gamers. He got his butt whipped game after game. Sure enough he finished dead last. What if he was able to compete with the other professional gamers? I’m not even saying he needed to win championships like Doolsta. Lets say he finished mid-table. Would that garner any attention? I don’t think it would be as exciting as watching him flame out. The poor results truly showed how skilled the professional gamers are. If he had been winning, any FIFA-playing jabroni would think that they could be a professional gamer. This would not bode well for the many adults who need to focus on their current careers and cannot be gaming all day. As a terrible FIFA player myself, I am glad to know that Jay and I have a little something in common, and I am sure he feels the same way.

So those are my What Ifs.

You might be thinking to yourself, what if I didn’t waste my time reading this? Well, you’ve seen my work before, make better choices my friends, that’s on you.