Two weeks ago Ashle made the case that the consistency required to win a Supporters Shield is more difficult then winning MLS Cup, especially for the Loons who have struggled with consistency this season. Showing that consistency over a long season would be something all Loons fans would celebrate like winning a championship. However, it ignores the recent professional sports teams results in Playoffs in the Twin Cities (minus the Lynx, who win A LOT).
I’ve gotten in to to several conversations with people in the Twin Cities sports industry, and many of these conversations turn into changing the culture of expecting failure when it comes to the playoffs. These conversations revolved around changing the perception to build a positive and high performing culture in sports in the area. This is where the Lynx come into play, they have showed the area that championships can be won in the cities and that there is no curse Vikings fans. The culture around the Lynx has been perfect in all domains. The fans, the business strategy, the talent acquisition on and off the court all were perfect and it enabled a team to change the perception of winning in the playoffs.
However, they have been alone as of late and the only thing that starts the change of that mindset of perpetual failure is by seeing the change in others. If we see other teams model the behaviors of winning championships, it enables our own beliefs that we can achieve in our domain. This extends beyond the sports world and into basic psychological principles.
Minnesota United winning a Supporters Shield will not mean as much to Twin Cities sports as winning an MLS Cup. Winning in the playoffs in this city for one team, can inspire others into a snowball effect. Should we celebrate a Supporters Shield if some day the Loons win one? Of course, it is more difficult and should be celebrated even more then a knockout competition. However, winning trophies is fun and when you win one trophy you really want to win others.
Ashle left off with a simple question with a complex answer: “The only question now, is how do the Loons get there?”
If the Loons want to win a Supporters Shield, they most likely have to win a cup first (Open Cup, MLS Cup, or random other cup the league decides to add). Winning inspires winning remember? However, I do think the fanbase needs to be energized and believe it is possible first. Someone else in the sports market will need to find success in a knockout competition. Who that will be, is the question I can’t wait to see answered.