MLS had a big ceremony today to announce that the league’s 27th club, Austin FC, will start playing in 2021. The franchise is an expansion team, not a relocated Columbus Crew (thank god), and although their debut MLS game is more than two years away, the branding process has already begun. There’s a green-and-black badge with an oak tree on it, for one, and, thanks to the supporters’ group Austin Anthem, there are six songs already printed out so fans can practice over the next 24 months. But good Lord, are they bad:
Let’s rank these suckers:
1. “Won’t Back Down” It’s a Tom Petty song that’s great at both karaoke and sporting events. No problem here.
2. “Alright” Completely inoffensive, but also, maybe just a little unnecessary to actually write down. Hopefully it’s just a placeholder until 2021.
3. “Dale Dale Austin” Derivative, and just as repetitive as “Alright,” but without what I assume(?) was an intentional reference to local boy Matthew McConaughey.
4. “Austin FC” Fine except for the nauseating low-rent branding that is the nickname “El Tree.” Making a small variation to a passionately beloved institution doesn’t make you cute, it makes you the HotDognald’s of soccer.
5. “One Of Our Own” An English standard, most identified currently with homegrown Tottenham cornerstone Harry Kane. The Austin version obviously doesn’t use Kane, and instead subs in the name of most supporters’ favorite player, <Insert Name>.
7. “Seven-Four” There is nothing cornier imaginable than a supporters’ section creating a chant to honor a fricken city council vote that allowed a rich asshole to build a stadium. Certainly when I go watch my favorite team, I cheer not for them to score goals, but to thank the heroic politicians who bravely allowed a billionaire to take my money more efficiently.
I do not make this recommendation lightly, but perhaps Bill Simmons could punch these up a bit.