There but for the grace of God goes Satan (Oakland Stompers-Chicago Fire R from Saturday)

Spoiler image, thanks again to the Fantasia known as Google image search.

Oh, you wanted the EARTHQUAKES back? Oops.

At least the Clash-DC United clip of Wynalda scoring the Not Heard 'Round The World can mislead people into thinking that particular game was exciting. Due to the circumstances, yesterday's game has to go into the scrapbook instead of the scrapheap.* But it will have to feature a lot of views of fans Just Happy To Be Here.

The game was objectively horrible, until the end, when it was objectively cruel. Of course San Jose deserved to win, or at least tie. Poor Shea Salinas. Any casual observer would have had to ask their diehard friends, "Why do you DO this to yourselves?" And then of course the Quakes fan would explain all about the 2003 season and such, but it's going to be a hard sell.

Then there's the Edifice Formerly Known as NetAss Coliseum. (KIDS! Do NOT Google "NetAss." Take my word for it on this one.) Once a terrible 70's multipurpose glop of cement, it became a charming if oversized baseball park when the Raiders moved out...and is now back to being a terrible 70's glop of cement.

But wait, RFK is a terrible multipurpose part-time baseball stadium, too. I'm surprised Lew Wolff didn't put a few seats a little closer to the action than the left field stands. Apparently they will be the San Jos-A's* only twice more, I assume for the Beckham World Tour. It might be expensive just for those two games, but plopping some cheap temporary bleachers close to the field might pay off in terms of fan experience.

Although, I'm just going from television. Maybe actually being there was something like fifty times better than it looked, which would have rocketed it all the way up to barely tolerable. And how funny is it that the 3.0 Quakes have been dragging their fans all over California before playing anywhere definably near San Jose?

Still - there are two signs that your Earthquakes game is a monstrous pain to watch. One, Max Bretos is doing Cosell imitations. know, actually, I'm not SORRY Krazy George is alive. It's not like he's completely worthless. He's a 70's icon, like Captain & Tennille. Small children might conceivably find him entertaining, even. And I'm sure he has friends and family who love him. So when I shouted "Oh, will Krazy George just DIE ALREADY!", I certainly didn't mean it literally.

I'm glad Kei Kamara was able to keep playing, now that I've finally learned that his name isn't pronounced "key." It had to be a highly frightening moment, though. And at this point, there's pretty much nothing the Quakes can do about it. Bretos and Sullivan were so bored they talked about rumors - er, I mean, apparently the Doyle junta is talking about bringing in Mexican national teamer Antonio Naelson, which would be pretty damned brilliant. The Quakes would still be weak up top, but Frank Yallop learned last year what happens when you make a desperate search into the forward market - the pickings can be Carlos Pavon slim. In theory there's Jeff Cunningham, if net rumors are to be trusted, but now that Collin Samuel has left Canada his price probably went up.

Is Wilman Conde deliberately trying to play like grasshopper crap in order to get shipped out of town?

So no sooner than I go "Man, that looks like Peter Wilt" than Bretos and Sullivan confirm it is Peter Wilt. I can't think of a worse fate for a home opener than seeing Peter Wilt run smack at your expansion team. And you can't say "Hey, we're just an expansion team" back to him, because he'd just wait until you remembered 1998 and laugh at you some more.

Where now for the Earthquakes? I suggest rewriting history and calling the first Buck Shaw game the "real" home opener...which will have to wait until May. Yes, MLS made the Quakes open with four out of their first five games on the road, and five out of five outside their actual home park. (Counting the Open Cup game, which I didn't until I noticed the little % sign on the schedule.)

*Why, yes, that is quality sportswriting, thank you for noticing.
*That, on the other hand, is horse**** sportswriting, for which I deeply apologize.