MLS Manifesto – The Don’s PHP Penitence

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 Major League Soccer avoided a strike and has started, christening a New York stadium and a franchise in Philly. Still, though, all is not well. Fake Sigi found pages of fatal flaws in the new MLS website. The don, Senor Garber, apologized for the snafu. But is that enough?

Don’t get me wrong – I think MLS is ahead of Europe and other leagues by streaming its own content on the site. I have been an MLSlive subscriber for several years, given my love of the Kansas City Wizards but the nomadic nature of the Native American tribe to which I belong. In this sense, MLS is ahead of the curve. But yes, the use this year of Microsoft Silverlight instead of the industry standard Adobe Flash is a bit troubling, yet manageable.

But what is not manageable is Garber’s apology. I demand more…

Before you think to yourself , oh boy, ” another over-the-top-satire-piece”, trust me – it is not. This time I am serious. Seriously serious. Dead serious. Leadership is more than hollow words to a journalist. Leadership is about setting the example. Leadership is about distrusting everyone, not letting go of anything, and doing every single individual task possible until you wake up one morning with an entirely bald scalp, nubs instead of fingers, and yet another no contest divorce hearing at the end of the month.

Thus, I suggest that the Don must design the website himself. Yep. Himself. And absolutely no help from Brian Phillips at the newly minted Run of Play. Nope, the Don must fly solo. No help from tech savvy KC Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad either. Only then will he learn…

But I will give him a few tips. Here are a few decent intro books on XHTML, Javascript, and even a little PHP. I’m pretty sure AJAX is beyond this edition of the MLS site, unless the Don wants to do some really cracked out, amazing stuff. Oh, and one other thing…

NO DREAMWEAVER. None of that template crap either. I demand the Don make the website from scratch. No, not quite handwritten with paper and ink. But close. Yep, I’m demanding this….

That’s right….Notepad. The best cooking comes from scratch. Would you eat some sort of hormone-injected monster cow hamburger? Maybe. But I wouldn’t. And MLS fans deserve better. Thus, the Don must start anew, the MLS website must begin from genesis, from alpha, from, from, from….le notepad.

I know your thoughts – isn’t this a bit harsh? Wouldn’t his time be better spent negotiating new TV deals and he could just pay some dude in India a few hundred bucks? I’m sorry, but the “pay some dude in India” ship has sailed – the Don must learn the nuts & bolts himself, or who knows what horrors lay in store for any potential official MLS mobile app. I can only imagine trying to check out some live match scores on my MyTouch3 and then, out of nowhere, Jeff Cunningham’s Severed Head floats onto the screen and his eyes pierce the essence of my soul.

I will, however, give the Don some general guidance, free of charge and based on my extensive engineering experience. Here’s the first step…

Now that’s the simple part, the introductory header. Be sure to use the most recent edition of XHTML, don. The next few lines are even more important as they form the “body.” This part is really hard! Trust me, I once thought about buying a book on this but later reneged.  Here’s a sample….

I’m not sure if XHTML relies on semi-colons like past editions, so the Don will have to check up on that. But you get the gist, even if I’m not the queen of the w3 compliance check-ups. And now the most important part, the footer. Please pay very special attention…

This last section must be copied WORD FOR WORD or the website will be plagued by hackers, viruses, and all sorts of DNS attacks. And if you happen to see the website sans that code snippet in your maxi, err, “I”, pad,  then watch out!

Thus, there you have it – a very general blueprint for how the MLS website can improve and how the Don can learn an important lesson in website design and leadership. And we christen this MLS season with it’s first commandment – ALL COMMISSIONERS SHALL HAND CODE THE MLS WEBSITE IF THE INITIAL DESIGN SUCKS

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