NWSL’s leadership void compounds hurricane damage

On Monday, Campbell University and Coastal Carolina University agreed to move their football game from Saturday to Wednesday and play it at Campbell instead of Coastal Carolina, a brief sojourn for Chanticleers fans. (Coastal Carolina won rather easily.)

On Tuesday, the University of Virginia moved its home football game against Ohio to Nashville.

On Tuesday, the University of North Carolina postponed its home football game against Central Florida and rearranged other games in other sports.

And so forth and so on.

And all the while, Graham slept on, dreaming of a world where he could do just what … oops, lapsed into an old XTC song there. (As if there are any new XTC songs — sad proof of the ill effects of pointless conflict.)

Let’s try that again …

And all the while, the NWSL … closely monitored the situation as Hurricane Florence crept toward the Atlantic coast.

That was Monday. Nothing Tuesday. On Wednesday, the NWSL Twitter feed RTd this from North Carolina:

Closely Monitoring 2: Electric Boogaloo.

And yet, no statement, unless you count the “Oh no, this looks bad!” statement:

So while Virginia football fans were setting GPS coordinates for Nashville, Courage fans were wondering when flights out of town would become scarce. (The answer? Thursday afternoon.)

So many Southerners really are friendly people. But perhaps not the most industrious. No wonder John F. Kennedy once dissed Washington as a city of “Northern charm and Southern efficiency.”

And so the Great NWSL Semifinal Kerfuffle dragged into Thursday afternoon, leading to exchanges such as this between Chicago Red Stars coach Rory Dames and North Carolina Courage president/GM Curt Johnson …

It was not a great day for a lot of WoSo Twitter, a land where normally sturdy hotels 120 miles inland will topple in the face of 33-mph winds and passengers are better suited to judge the safety of flying in storms than a U.S. commercial airline industry that hasn’t had a major crash since the Colgan Air crash of 2009 that shed new light on pilot training and cockpit procedures. (It was windy in many parts of the country that day — I flew from Columbus to Dulles on a small commercial plane that also had JP Dellacamera and John Harkes aboard, and the landing was rather frightening — but that was not cited as a factor.)

But the biggest problem here isn’t social media, which is often prone to overwrought, inaccurate takes.

The problem is that the NWSL remains rudderless, now in its 19th month without a commissioner since the surprise resignation of Jeff Plush.

And so instead of figuring out a solid neutral site that would still let the Courage maintain some of its home-field advantage, we get this …

No home-field advantage for the Courage. And now it’s on ESPNews, which many of us don’t get.

With a little bit of planning, this game could’ve been in Atlanta. Or Nashville. Or Richmond. Or someplace the Courage and its fans might have been to reach.

Sure, it’s better than waiting until the last possible minute to see if North Carolina can host a playoff game on Sunday or maybe Monday. But they had other options.

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