I mean, has Utah's pro soccer franchise been in the news at all?
The last I knew, in August, soccer icon David Beckham was digging in a field in Sandy, helping RSL owner Dave Checketts celebrate the agreement to build the team's new stadium.
Then it was college football season, and then the Jazz started winning, and then March Madness arrived, so forgive me for not keeping up. I can only assume at this point that Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon approved the deal with Checketts, which is good, because you would never want Gov. Jon Huntsman and the State Legislature to have to worry about this stuff.
Apparently, public sentiment also has developed in support of soccer, because a guy named Brad Swedlund created a Web site (GetRealUtah.org), which sounds like an effort to rally fans across the state to back the team, and he's traveling to places like Duchesne, Monticello and Panguitch to make everyone aware of soccer in the Salt Lake Valley.
That's wonderful. Can you imagine if he succeeds in getting 92,000 fans to sign his petition, pledging support to RSL?
Uh, you mean that's not his purpose?
And Corroon ended the county's agreement with Checketts?
And Huntsman and legislators became involved at the last minute, salvaging the deal?
And ever since, they have been accused of ignoring the wishes of the people, who are still upset about the misuse of tax dollars?
Oh. Sorry. Probably should have paid more attention.
The next thing you're going to tell me is RSL acquired Freddy Adu and Beckham signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy, meaning he's going to play regularly in Utah.
There has never been an offseason like this in the history of Utah sports. The Jazz never created this much of a stir without playing games, even if you add up the volume of information resulting from their pursuing Julius Erving, trading Adrian Dantley, saying farewell to John Stockton, losing Karl Malone to the Lakers and the rest of their top 10 summer newsmaking activities.
Not even close. No sports-related subject has generated the amount of front-page coverage or Public Forum letters in The Tribune like Real Salt Lake and its stadium quest.
The whole thing has been fascinating to watch, while evoking so many strong feelings on both sides. Based on various polls, I would rank RSL's attempt to gain the average person's backing for the stadium as the least successful campaign ever staged around here, not counting the University of Utah's basketball slogan ("The Tradition Lives On") going into coach Ray Giacoletti's last season.
Somehow, even amid the drive to create a referendum and stop the public funding for the project, it looks as though the stadium will be built. That's a good thing.
In the early stages of debates about Real Salt Lake, Major League Soccer and a new stadium, I was accused of endorsing soccer's value simply so I would have something to write about in the summer. That statement could not have been more . . . accurate.
Still, I've always had this feeling that if the stadium quest failed and the team moved to St. Louis or someplace, that we would be missing out on something. Not everybody cares about soccer; I understand that. But what if this league really takes hold?
They're building stadiums all over the country, based on the idea that MLS will have some staying power. If other cities are seeking expansion franchises and helping to fund facilities, why should it not be happening in the Salt Lake Valley?
I'm convinced that, 10 years from now, we'll be glad the stadium was built, and we'll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.
For now, this is going to be an intriguing season, the one that kicks off Saturday against FC Dallas at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the team's temporary home. Adu will be fun to watch, RSL will make the playoffs for the first time, and the stadium that has caused so much controversy will gradually rise in Sandy.
It will be worth having. If other businesses can receive the government's help for the sake of economic development, why not a pro sports franchise?
Actually, I've heard all the arguments why not. I still welcome soccer's presence, and not just as something to get me through the summer.