No truth to rumors of Elian Gonzalez callup

Hey, seven guys who defected (this number probably changes faster than a pinball score), why don't you defect to PANAMA or HONDURAS or MEXICO? And don't give me any of this "How were we supposed to know the ball was gonna roll right over Ianni's foot" crap.

Guys, you're supposed to get citizenship first, then screw up our chances. Have we learned nothing from David Regis?

I usually get about five words into a diatribe along the lines of "Why SHOULDN'T politics and soccer mix, and why can't reasonably sane nations boot out repressive regimes like Cuba until they shape up?" before picturing Uncle Sam tumbling down the slippery slope thanks to a bloc of Muslim nations looking for street credibility and Caribbean nations resentful of losing by touchdowns in qualifying.

And yeah, it's both uplifting and hilarious that Cuba can't get a team together without their players executing the old Eat 'n Run/Dine 'n Dash/Chew 'n Screw maneuver. They wouldn't have had that opportunity if their team wasn't allowed in. And no, boycotting the Olympics in 1980 didn't end the Cold War any more than Jesse Owens humiliating Hitler in 1936 prevented World War II.

But CAF was right to drum out South Africa for decades, and UEFA was right to send Yugoslavia home in 1992. (No, I'm not Danish.) There should be some process by which member nations of a confederation can say "It's embarrassing being on the same field as you, and even giving you the time of day screws up our tournaments, so until you get your act together stay the hell home."

I'm sure Jack Warner will get right on that.