December 18, 2012 by Charlie Eisenhood in Livewire, Opinion with 10 comments
NexGen founder Kevin Minderhout is in the middle of his cross-country trip, pitching his new league idea to teams along the way. According to his schedule, he’s currently in Washington, D.C., and has met with 11 of the 18 teams he wants to join the league. What do the teams think so far?
Most are quietly considering the plan and don’t want to speak publicly until they’ve made a decision. But it’s fair to say that they are taking it seriously and see a lot of merit to the proposal.
What is bizarre is USA Ultimate’s silence on the issue. Presumably they are contacting at least some teams behind the scenes, but we have been unable to reach them for comment. While a NexGen league certainly wouldn’t ruin USAU, it would gut the Triple Crown Tour and dash any hopes of landing a major TV contract.
While it would be hyperbolic to call this a “cold war,” the lack of public discourse about this critical juncture in the men’s club ultimate scene is concerning. While I still believe the odds of the NexGen league coming to pass are slim (due to various challenges, including legal issues, the vast amount of moving parts, and the additional work that would be required of teams), it has a chance. A non-negligible chance.
Where’s USAU? I don’t think they can ignore what NexGen has proposed as a wacky impossibility. Are they comfortable with the teams leaving the TCT to play in the NexGen league? Can they reassure teams that sticking with the TCT is the right move, since they’re on the cusp of landing a big TV deal? This entire process seems like it needs to be openly discussed a bit more. The decisions of those involved will have a major impact not only on the elite men’s teams themselves, but on many others involved in club ultimate.
Right now, the silence is deafening.