Road Warrior

Some guys really dig living out of a suitcase. Maybe it's the free USA Today outside the door every morning, the sumptuous "complementary breakfast" that's been pawed over like a cheerleader after a prom or the promise of a different strip club every night where maybe you really CAN get something in the Champagne Room besides champagne. I dunno.

What I do know is that it's making the blogging thing tough; maybe Beau Dure really does, as he says, do his best work at a Starbucks, but a) I don't like burned, smugly overpriced coffee and b) I usually end up doing it in a truckstop where the ambiance is less Seattle and more Buffalo.

Although the pie is usually better.t

But since Beau is more of a sensitive, New Age leftie while I'm just out here clinging to my guns and my pickup truck, maybe we're both in the right place.

Anyway, in lieu of the well-considered, highly reasoned, insightful posts you're used to I'll just pass along a few of the things I would write about if I was interested in spending the rest of the day smelling like fried bacon and bitterness;

By now we've all seen the "Football. Futbol. Soccer" ads that SUM has produced. Hope you like them because you're going to be seeing a lot more of them.

What we've seen is just the opening salvo in a $3.5 million campaign based on "extensive" (and undoubtedly very expensive) research which showed that - hold on to your hats - "many fans of the sport in the U.S. still (haven't) embraced the league"

THE NEW CAMPAIGN, aimed at "18- to 49-year-olds who are fans of the game and 12- to 17-year-olds who play soccer." apparently differs from previous, less "extensively researched" efforts which were aimed primarily at "casual sports fans".

This certainly seems like the right approach, but if they needed a research firm to tell them that their biggest problem is not getting through to existing soccer fans in the US, then maybe SUM isn't as sharp a bunch as we've been giving them credit for.

And of course, just like the cigarette companies SUM is also going after our nation's youth or, MORE SPECIFICALLY OUR NATIONS SPANISH-SPEAKING YOUTH

I myself don't get "Sorpresa!" as part of my basic cable package, so someone who does will have to keep us updated on how it's going, but essentially they're looking for some cute kid to go to important games and ask players important questions.

I hope this works out better than the whole Chivas thing.

I'm guessing it'll be a somewhat less than rowdy ceremony prior to the Chivas match this Saturday when the suddenly very leaky Good Ship Dynamo hands out the rings from the 07 Cup.

Just to avoid the funereal feel which might otherwise accompany the winless Houstonian's moods, THEY'RE FOLDING IN A CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATION AND A FAILED AMERICA IDOL CONTESTANT to give the thing an upbeat aura that the winless Dynamo sorely are in need of.

Maybe it's just what they need down there to get onto the winning track, but I would think they'd trade the whole deal right about now for a really fast striker.

Finally, one of the more intersting stories of this young season has been WIZARDS DRAFTEE ROGER ESPINOZA who was - somewhat surprisingly - given a $70,000 GenA deal to come out of Ohio State, where he only played a year, after a couple previous seasons at a Juco in California.

Many observers were surprised at the offer, were even more surprised when he was taken in the 11th overall spot and are now really shocked at how quickly he overcame a broken foot and won a starting job in KC despite almost no preseason participation.

Maybe it's just me but after looking OK but not stellar at OSU, Curt Onalfo has seemingly simplified and clarified a role for the kid which has allowed him to do what he does best - run the sidelines like a man possessed and deliver the kind of crisply struck balls into the box that forwards lay awake at night dreaming of.

Despite not being the first guy you would have expected to be an early fvaorite for Rookie of the Year, Espinoza is proving that maybe some of these MLS types realy can judge talent after all.