We've Got to Do Something About This "Spoiler" Deal

Spoiler shield? You whining ninnies want a spoiler shield?

So let me understand this: you DVR'd the game last night and are desperate to avoid knowing the score so that you can watch the game at your leisure. Fair enough. We've all been there.

So here's a suggestion: if you want to avoid soccer news, then DON'T COME LOG ON TO A SOCCER FORUM.

But fine. You want a shield? Great. Here ya go:

We've got to find a better way to handle this than plastering the BS Home Page with garbage.

Maybe we should just have a sexy party:

There, have I wasted everybody's time enough? Tossed my dignity into the gutter sufficiently? Pissed away all this "professionalism" everyone keeps bitching about?

Good. Then herewith the score from last night's match:

Boca Juniors 2 - 1 River Plate

I try very hard to keep my personal fandom out of this stuff. Anyone who wants to know what I think about the Crew can hop on over to the Crew forum where I've been boring everyone on that very topic for years now.

But today I'm making an exception.

Oh, I don't plan on a full-blown serious sports journalist type game summary kind of a thing. Couldn't do it if I tried. Instead, I'll just make some random observations:

- Frankie Hejduk is a freakin animal. Judas Preist, the guy is, what, 65 now? He played for the Mutiny for Pete's sake.

(Lovely color, don't you think? Nike had some serious brain farts back then)

Note to Bob Bradley: Steve Cherundolo? Gimme a break. Frankie would make Cherundolo wash and wax his car wearing a French maid's outfit. Hejduk goes home from practice every day and runs wind sprints to mellow out. He does triathlons when there's nothing good on TV.

After the whistle last night he looked like he wished they could start over.

- Is Schelotto fun to watch or what? He is so calm on the ball, so at home with that thing at his feet, it's scary.

- You can talk all you want about Jaime or Emilio or Gallardo or whomever, but DC's championships were won, first and foremost, with defense. When push came to shove, they found a way to keep you from scoring. They look very, very average back there right now.

- You can complain all you want about Alejandro Moreno going down quicker than a hooker on rent day, but even John Harkes, a DC guy down to his socks, kept pointing out that beating the guy up seemed to be the sum total of Peralta's strategy.

- There are some numbers that no one on DC should ever wear again. #23 is at the top of the list. Just doesn't seem right. (Toss in #6 while you're at it.)

- Everyone wondered if Sigi had gone soft in the skull when he cut John Busch last year and awarded the GK job to a guy who was hurt all preseason and who had never started an MLS game. But Hesmer is the real deal back there.

- Danny O'Rourke is a disaster waiting to happen. Hesmer is undoubtedly grateful that he skipped his usual "one PK given per game" routine but he substituted the famous "center back up past the midfield stripe getting a card for clobbering someone" trick, which isn't much brighter.

- Speaking of Peter Nowak; yeah, sure Bud. You don't need Robbie Rogers, do you? The kid is kicking ass, taking names and making you look like an idiot.

- Namoff is one of the most underrated players in the league. He and Fred and Martinez worked their asses off keeping that game close. Gallardo is terrific but needs more help. Jaime Moreno got old really fast. Emilio looks disinterested.

- DC better get Olsen healthy in a hurry.

It takes someone with a good memory to recall the olden times when this was one of the best rivalries in MLS. In the late 80's*, DC - due largely I would contend to the Sunil Gulati gift of Marco Etcheverry - year after year kept Crew sides with the likes of McBride, Stern John, Thomas Dooley, Brad Friedel, Brian Massoneuve, Mike Clark et. al. out of MLS Cup.

Basically, MLS Cup was decided in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Then of course Fitzgerald (rest in peace) got fired, Jamie Rootes left for the Falcons and Andrulis along with GM Jim "I Worked at WWF" Smith ran the team into the ground. It's been a long time and a lot of Columbus anguish since those days.

And while nobody, least of all me, is ready to start singing "Happy Days are Here Again" out on Velma Avenue, still it has to be said: the Crew have just played, back to back, two of the best, most exciting games in MLS so far this season.

It may not be a trend, but there are definite signs of life in Columbus, which is a good thing for everyone. Even for Frankie, who was probably up jogging at dawn this morning. Nothing better to do.

* Yes, I'm a bonehead.