This weekend's MLS games have contained so much weird stuff that if Joey Franchino takes the pitch today wearing a pink tutu the most anyone is likely to say is "You know, that might not be the best color for him".
(Luckily for Franchino, todays game is on Telefutura, so 99% of the league's fans will never know whether pink works with his complexion.)
First up, of course, was the abominable 90 minutes the Crew and the...um, "FC" played in Toronto.
We should start by mentioning that the league didn't need to work so hard at ginning up some phony-baloney "cup" deal named after a posey or a petunia or whatever-the-hell it is in order to create a "rivalry" between these two sides; they pretty much just don't like other.
The players don't like each other, the fans really loath each other and yesterday the coaches took turns airing out their mutual contempt:
First, TFC's John Carver commented regarding Sigi that "If that is the way he wants to play the game, get me back to England."
Sigi, in turn, responded that "... he's got to worry about his players and I'll worry about my players,"
At issue of course was a certain amount of, shall we say "embellishment" engaged in by Guillermo Barros-Schelotto, who alternated between falling down when hit by a stiff breeze and falling down after being mercilessly clubbed by a TFC defender. Referee Kevin Stott, the poster boy for hiring the handicapped, refused to call any of them, so it really didn't matter.
What really has Carver steamed is the video compilation the league circulated last week showing Carver's sideline antics and pointing out that he is often way over the top. This resulted in he fourth official sort of being mean to him, I guess, to which Carver responded:
"I'm a very passionate guy and I love the game. And that's the way I am. And apparently they don't want that in the MLS. They don't want passionate people. They don't want people who care for the game and wear their heart on the sleeve."
"They want me to sit down on the chair, in the dugout with my arms folded, my legs crossed and just be a nice little boy and get a suntan," he continued. "Well, no. If that's what they want to get, I'll get on a plane and fly home again."
Leaving aside the fact that TFC doesn't really seem to have "dugouts", that was the second time in five minutes Carver threatened to go back to England. Maybe he just can't find a decent curry take-away in Rathmines or Blackall's Park or wherever it is he hangs his hat these days.
The game itself was basically unwatchable and the less said about it the better. The coaches were far more entertaining. It should be noted though that, due to the insistence of Canadian government officials, Beeemo Stadium has the most gawdawful playing surface in all of "North America's Top Professional Soccer League" and we're never, ever going to see anything like decent football played on the thing unless it's by the Toronto Argonauts.
Unfortunately, the 4 O'Clock game set the tone for the rest of the evening's games.
Who would have suspected, for example, that when people referred to District of Columbia United as MLS' "flagship team" that the boat they were referring to was the Titanic?
How bad was it? Look at it this way: in their four season existence, Chivas had never beaten DC, and had never come from behind to win ANY game in 102 regular season matches.
They did both yesterday when DC, behind the return of the long-awaited Marcelo Gallardo, took and held a 1-0 lead until there were just 17 minutes remaining, at which point they coughed up a goal to Jesse Marsch.
Soehn appears to have panicked, and immediately yanked out Gallardo, whereupon the team simply collapsed. Sacha Kljestan gave Chivas the lead just three minutes later and someone named Jorge Flores followed up with his first-ever goal, handing Preki the win and sending Payne, Soehn and Co. back to the drawing board.
Find me someone who will say they knew that at this point in the season DC would be 13 points behind Columbus and I'll be happy to call him a liar.
Even in New England where the Revolution was handed the seemingly simple task of winning at home against the Official Worst Team in the League, they only managed it with a goal from previously anonymous non-starter Kheli Dube and a clincher by Revolution veteran James Riley.
Unfortunately, Riley was wearing a San Jose uniform, having been exposed in he expansion draft. He clearly was hoping for a somewhat more auspicious return to The Razor, but his sky-ball header over Joe Cannon's head found the net and Riley's Redemption will have to wait for another day.
Meanwhile Houston, previously the Sad Sack goalless wonders of MLS, have launched a two-game winning streak after beating the homestanding Fire in Bridgeview, keeping their record of never having lost to Chicago in Toyota Park improbably intact.
The previously impregnable Fire defense, led by Lazarus Goalkeeper Jon Busch who came into the match riding a 200+ minute long clean sheet, gave up a bizarre-looking early bouncer which caromed off Chris Rolfe's foot and a late game winner to Bobby Boswell in a decidedly unartistic game played in a torrential downpour.
The loss, which represented the first time Chicago had given up more than one goal this season, dropped the Fire into a tie for second place in the East with New England.
The fact that, were they in the West, they would be tied for first and four points clear is likely cold comfort to the previously red-hot Fire.
Finally the RedBulls and Wizards followed the day's blueprint nicely, with a late goal from someone you never heard of, in this case Danleigh Borman, earning the RB's a draw after a sendoff for a player (Dave van den Bergh), who was followed six minutes later when NY Coach Juan Carlos Osorio was still fuming at the referee and Jair Marrufo finally excused him from the proceedings.
The fact that NYRB salvaged a point out of this deal would otherwise be some comfort, but they certainly hoped for better at home.
The good news in New Jersey is that les Taureaux Rouges are on a five game unbeaten streak.
The bad news is that it's only good enough for fourth place in the East, a mere two points out of sixth. Time was a 3-1-3 record got you a little more respect around this league, but so far this season all it means is that you're in a scramble to stay clear of the cellar.
Fortunately, that particular spot is currently occupied by the DC Titanics, who don't show any signs of relinquishing it any time soon.