What a weekend it was. Vegas weekend, blown predictions, and closer games than any of us expected. Here’s 3 things we took from Round 2.
Predictions are Challenging
When I laid out my picks for Round 2, I was pretty confident I’d picked a perfect weekend. Frankly, the matchups just weren’t that tough to pick apart. Sure, anything can happen over the course of a match (injury, cards, unforeseen weather), but every match seemed to have one team that was clearly superior. In fact, after I posted my picks, I looked at the USA Rugby experts’ picks. All six experts picked the EXACT same six winners.
We all went 4-2.
The MLR season is long. Depth will be tested. Teams and players will develop. But it’s a little hard to believe that through two weekends, every expert I can find is sitting at or very close to .500 on predictions. Superior sides will emerge, but it will take a bit. One franchise that really impressed me was…
Old Glory Gets its First Franchise Win
Ok, an obvious congratulations go out to Old Glory. However, I didn’t really care whether they won. The crowd in DC was nothing short of phenomenal. I was more than a bit critical of Vegas Weekend, and the crowds in Nevada make me feel like my concerns were realized. Compare the small crowds at Sam Boyd to the stand in DC. That’s what MLR sides need to focus on: engaging their fans. Get the game in front of your community and worry about spreading the game later. On the other end of the crowd spectrum…
The Warriors-Free Jacks Game was Hard to Watch
…and that’s not a critique of the game itself. I picked New England and was proven wrong in a great match up. However, even I’m not sure how I watched this match. I was originally listed on the ESPN+ menu (side complaint: I’m now paying for ESPN+). The night before, it was the only non-nationally broadcast game not available in some form. Then the local feed cut out. Eventually, the Warriors started streaming their win on Instagram. Applaud the effort, but how bad can the broadcasting get, and everyone still pretend things are just peachy? It’s hard enough getting casual fans on ESPN+. Telling them to check Instagram in nothing short of ridiculous.
Hopefully, whoever handles broadcasting for the league was adequately displeased. It wasn’t exactly the game of the week, but these errors make the MLR look far from the professional league It seeks to be.