The following is a laundry list of things that have upset me recently about the Rochester Rhinos. Don’t read this post if you’re expecting something insightful or clever.
The official write-up on the team website misattributed J.C. Banks’s absence from the game in Orlando. “An injury to star winger JC Banks forced him from the lineup..” Jeff DiVeronica uncovered that “Rochester played without… top-scorer JC Banks, who was attending his brother’s wedding. Myers said [he] knew of the conflict for months.” Banks is very clearly the best player in Rochester and easily one of the top five performers in the league.
Two things about that; first, how does Devo get the dish on a player’s whereabouts ahead of the team’s own website? Nobody who writes for the team bothered to actually ask a coach or player? Secondly, how does Jesse Myers feel like he doesn’t have to tell the fans? We, the Rochester Rhinos fanbase, give our money to the organization which is the same money that pays Myers. Shouldn’t there be some sort of commitment between the organization and the fans?
To turn the focus on that same point, what duties does the club have to its fans? Not all home games are on Time Warner Sports Channel. I have only viewed one USL-Nation feed that didn’t have significant issues out of every away game this season.
I can’t hold it against the Rhinos’ organization itself for not having a national television deal; that’s the league’s fault. I can’t hold it against the Rhinos for not having a functioning stream for away games; again, that’s the league’s fault. (It should be noted that I haven’t had any problems with the UStream service that NASL uses.) I can’t hold it against the Rhinos for not having access to download or even view match archives; that’s the league’s fault, as well.
NASL has working streams for all its games. NASL puts up the entire match replay by the day after the game. NASL has two minute highlight videos on YouTube for each match. NASL has a four minute “Weekly Rewind” video for each week. NASL has a minute and a half “Plays of the Week” video on YouTube. NASL has a video profile for each “Player of the Month”.
I can blame the Rhinos for joining USL-Pro instead of being a founding member of NASL. But then again, two USL-Pro clubs have been able to produce off the field for their fans despite membership in the USL.
Los Angeles has been able to upload their home matches and then also their away matches. Orlando goes classier and produces a “Match Recap” video for each home game. You can see from the following highlights of the Rhinos match in Florida that the club is outclassed by Orlando both on and off the field. Head coach Adrian Heath even sits through a post-game press conference. Do you think Adrian Heath would have neglected to tell his fans that the team’s best player won’t be playing one of the most important games of the season?
Maybe I’m just a little spoiled, but I think the team’s organization should work just as hard as the players or fans. The organization doesn’t provide any incentive to swell the ranks of college-aged fans (18-25 year olds), as just about every other team in the country does. Besides the on-field troubles of a hapless Jesse Myers’ led team, the Rhinos could do so much more off the field, too.