image from

October 27th, 2016

By Stephanie Steiner

I’ve heard from several of you regarding Adrian’s comments in this article that hit the Times last week. Thank you to all of you who care enough to be in touch.  Adrian and I got together for two hours earlier this week. We met at Two Tartes Café in Georgetown near my office.  If you haven’t ever tried it, please do.

Adrian was as he always is: respectful, thoughtful, and polite.  I was as I typically am: talking too much, thinking too fast, and excusing my Grocery Industry Tourette’s Syndrome™.

I know we have many in our base that want to know I beat him up – that he left bruised and limping and – dammit – I let him have it.  That’s not what happened.  He’s a good listener, he regrets his comments hitting the Times – he totally understands why we’re pissed off.  For real.  So what do I have to tell you?  Just that I really don’t think this guy is full of it. There’s something deep in there that we will never know. For one hell of a lot of good reasons, we’ll never know the whole story. Now it’s time for us to move on and butt out. Does that mean we have to love Ross any less?  No, not at all.  But it is probably past the time for all of us to quit our bellyaching and let Ross be done with this crap too.

Do I miss Ross on the broadcast? Yes I do. But I’m going to admit that Matt Johnson has grown on me, and it’s obvious that he loves the Sounders. I’ve always enjoyed having Marcus Hahnemann in there to lighten things up.  I think Taylor Graham has too much to do but he’s damned good on TV, and I see the comments all the time about Steve Zakuani – you all love him.  If Zach Scott, Mr. Sounder himself ever wants to float in on a broadcast in the future, I’d love to see that. So did the broadcast really go down in flames, or was room made for more former M.L.S. players in the broadcast team? Yeah, there’s a former Timber on the broadcast team – there’s actually more than one.  We’ll be okay.

With that conversation completed, we talked about the Annual Business Meeting (next Wednesday, people – get your questions in by Saturday please). We talked about handling the questions – Martin Buckley is triaging all of those, in fact we’re filtering out the ones that have been answered over and over again. I’ll respond to people with a link to last year’s meeting so that they can get the information on their own, but we won’t spend meeting time on those.

He gave me a quick peek at their ten year plan, and the pride was not only evident but contagious.  I told him that I have started a ten year plan to build democracy in sports but haven’t shared anything with anyone.  We started brainstorming and collaborating.  He’s not the enemy – we’re just not always going to agree, and we’re not always going to get to know everything.

There are plenty of you in the Sounders community who think I’m weak. I think you’re wrong – I think I’m different from what you’re used to:  I share very little until negotiations are completed.  Maybe that’s weak, maybe it’s smart, maybe it’s different. It’s possible you’ll be even angrier with me for having a productive meeting with Adrian – I might wake up tomorrow to an inbox full of vitriol – again. If that’s what you need to do, then it says a whole lot more about you than it does about me.  I’d rather build Democracy in Sports with Adrian than by working against Adrian.