City Report Roundtable Volume 5: LOUD NOISES!
On our last podcast, Matt Baker made a comment about our ability, as a fan-run and unaffiliated blog, to be able to critique the club on some of their decisions when we feel it's appropriate. Up until this point, I think we at the City Report have been essentially in total alignment that no missteps have been made thus far; which is crazy impressive.
That said, recently a debate broke out on the group slack channel. This week's round table is all ABOUT THAT POINT OF DISAGREEMENT. Below, Matt Baker, Joe Chambers, Steve Rusnack, and Jordan Durlester weigh in:
1. Is it CITY or City and why?
MB: To me, it's CITY because that's the branding the club uses. It's on all the merch, social media and everything else the club and league put out so that's what it is.
JC: Short answer - it's City, not CITY. Why? It has been well-established as a rule of the internet that all-caps means you're yelling. Every time someone types CITY it feels like they're yelling randomly in the middle of a sentence. I'm picturing Will Ferrell on SNL playing the guy who CAN'T CONTROL THE VOLUME OF HIS VOICE. Imagine if every sports interaction sounded like that. "I like the offseason moves the CARDINALS are making." "I'm going to the BLUES game this weekend."
SR: I think they should have used the zany font from MLS Next Pro. Huge opportunity was missed there, but I digress....I have seen it both ways, but I believe the team has used CITY more often than not. City is more appropriate in my opinion, but I guess they have their reason(s).
JD: It should be City unless something organic, and not pushed by the club itself, were to change that. Nicknames for clubs should follow the same rules as nicknames for people; you don't get to choose your own.
2. Do you have any issues with whichever option you did *not* reply?
MB: Zero issues with anyone using City or CITY. I think Athletic writer Sam Stejskal said it best a few weeks ago that it kind of sounds like you're yelling CITY when you see it in print that way. It is definitely unique and a way to separate it from the likes of Orlando City and New York City FC, but I think of that take often when I see it written. It's almost become second nature though at this point. The whole "you'll get used to it" mantra when things first roll out has rung true to me on this. It's just how it is, we're St. Louis CITY SC. Similar to when STLFC was Saint Louis FC, I would get irked when people write St. Louis FC but it really doesn't matter either way.
JC: I can see why the team is doing it: it's a marketing thing. They want people to get used to shortening the team name to "City" in conversation instead of shortening it to "St. Louis." ("Did you see the City game on Saturday?" "City are having a great season." etc.) That's great for them, but that doesn't mean that we all have to repeat it even if it makes us look like screaming crazy people.
The movie poster for Robert Eggers' film The Witch is spelled The VVitch to make it look like 1600s typesetting, but I'm not going to call it that, because that would be goofy and weird. "Did you see that movie where Anya Taylor-Joy plays a vvitch?"
SR: I don't really have an issue, I'm just happy to have a MLS team in my hometown, finally. But if I have anything to criticize this rendition for, it would be that CITY seems like someone is yelling the name at me. Which could be seen as almost a slap in the face to the County and the rest of the metro area.
JD: I genuinely do, yes. It feels way too cheesy to me. There have been so many fun little things that have developed organically that I absolutely love. For instance, the way our fans have embraced the 'city red' v. 'pink' color debate has been hilarious and uniquely *us*. Why try and force something like CITY when you don't need to?
3. How important is this issue and is it seriously 'a hill you'd die on' ?
MB: I care less about CITY vs City than I did Saint vs St, admittedly. So all that said, it's definitely not a hill to die on, though I do like to have fun with it with other club's fans on twitter. It's something to own and just go with because with all the merch and branding focus on it being all caps, it's highly unlikely to me that it goes away.
JC: How important is it really? It is important, because it's the kind of thing that other supporters can rightly make fun of. If KC suddenly decided that they wanted everyone to call them SPORTING Kansas City, that would be stupid. The same would apply to the Portland TIMBERS or Minnesota UNITED. If Charlotte FC started demanding that everyone call them CHARLOTTE, we'd mock them on social media. Why should we feed the banter?
SR: Probably not, no. That said, as I mentioned above, it could be misinterpreted. For example, someone may take it to mean 'this is a CITY team, not just a St Louis (area) team.' And for a team that's all about inclusiveness, that would be a reversal of that idea. But that's just one way to look at it, and I'm sure the organization did not intend for that at all. Two sides to every coin, right? Now excuse me while I seek shelter from flying tomatoes, lol.
JD: I'll say this; this is the first real mistake the club brass have made. So I suppose, overall, we should give them a pass. But still...it really annoys me.
By Jordan Durlester