Week 17 - Snakes on a Plane 2: The Dickening

Yeah, I don't even wanna know what Chris was holding onto at this point in the story.

Well, we knew the Revolution defense was good in the air. It's either because they're just that damned good, or it's because as athletes they're not shocked by the sight of flapping sausage, but don't whip it out in front of the New England Revolution if you know what's good for you. This story is gaining traction, by the way - while all of us are reading this story and going "I can't get used to thinking of him as 'Michael' Burns," the general public is e-mailing this all over the place. Leno's on hiatus, but maybe the Revs can get on Jimmy Kimmel or something.

That's almost enough to get me to a Chivas USA game - that, and Titan Stadium, a teeny little unprepossessing lower division stadium which happens to have amazing acoustics and a weird habit for having weird things happen. It was here that Luis Hernandez stomped on Peter Nowak's head, it was here that Alexi Lalas ran up the shrubbed hill celebrating an Open Cup win, it was here that the Galaxy were forced to hold playoff games back in the Rose Bowl days when UCLA football came first, the flea market came second, and the Galaxy was a rent-paying cash drain on the league. That's not even mentioning all those beatdowns the Golden Generation women's team used to put on whichever federation wanted a payday and the chance to be on the background of a Mia Hamm poster. The actual Superliga game looks to me to be New England politely asked to take a dive to that at least one group would have two MLS teams advance, but I don't know if Steve Nicol knows that song. If he calls up Juan Toja for this game, though, all bets are off.

I think it basically boils down to the winner of Houston-DC advancing along with Real Chivas. Which means that the semifinal might be the dream match up of Guadalajara against Guadalajaja. This might also be the year where New England makes up for the past baker's dozen years by winning the quintuple. But, we might be getting ahead of ourselves there. Just keeping the skies safe is reward enough - all in a day's work for the New England Revolution.

In news regarding games that actually count:

San Jose is EXACTLY the kind of team that can go into Toronto and win, mainly because if there's anyone Toronto would look past, it's a team even newer than they are. I don't care if Abdus Ibrahim is going to be the next Jozy Altidore. I don't care whose house it is, earthquakes knock over houses. I don't even care if Lima and Huckerby both play this weekend, although I suggest the West pay careful attention to see whether those two guys make the West a seven-team race instead of just a six-team elite. Quakes, 2-0. Bet the entire world. I will stake my life on this one, I swear to God.*

Two mediocre teams in two suburban markets, ho hum. The "Wait...Wait, Okay, NOW We're Ready" Bowl was a hatchet fight last year, and for some reason people think this one might be, as well. In all fairness, and knowing that it's gonna take Eduardo Dominguez at least a few minutes to figure out who, if anyone, on the Galaxy defense he can trust to cover someone, the Red Bulls have been terrible against teams not from Mexico recently, and this isn't a Superliga game. Picking two Western Conference teams to win on the road against Eastern Conference teams isn't usually a get-rich-quick scheme - except for tomorrow. Double up on the world-bet you made on San Jose. New York can not stop the Galaxy offense, and oh look, Buddle is playing a team he has something to prove to. Galaxy, 4-1.

Had Chicago blown the FSC game last week - and I for one really thought they were on their way to doing just that - I might have given Salt Lake a chance for a win in this game. But just as the DC last-minute loss sent the Fire into a tailspin, that last-minute win will carry over for literally weeks. Sure made a more pleasant talking point than worrying about whether Blanco would be released on his own recognizance or not. ("What? He's on the All-Star Team. He's doing charity work. He's a noble competitor and a sterling role model." Yeah, guys, I know. I cheered for Carlos Ruiz for a few years, I've been there too.) Fire, 3-0.

Wow. Big game. Potential six point swing separation games in the West this year have usually ended up 1-1 ties, what with all the parity. Today we learned that Dallas acquired a couple of international spots (but not DP spots) from Columbus and Kansas City in moves so convoluted it makes my pancreas hurt. But they haven't made those moves yet, so Hyndman's stuck with what he has right now. How good is that? Well, in a game that Dallas pretty much has to get all three points from, the FCD website is advertising the Galaxy game. (Players subject to availability - if you had your heart set on seeing Serioux.) Colorado was FC Dallas' snake-haired Nemesis even before they got sort of passably good this year, and with Dallas, once again, looking like they're building for the future, I think this is where Colorado effectively ends their season. Raps, 2-1.