Big Bucks, No Whammies

Tuesday is Nick Green day at the Los Angeles Daily News. His current article is about the All-Star Game. He's agin it. He's a little unfair on one point - the Houston-DC game tonight wasn't technically scheduled for tonight - but it's hard to argue the merits of the game.

I enjoyed the early, silly All-Star Games when Tony Meola would be interviewed during the game before going in at forward. Okay, when Kurt Cobain sang "I wish I was like you - easily amused", he was singing about me, but still. It was fun and stupid. It even made a little bit of sense as the original plan went - going to places that didn't have MLS teams to see whether there was interest in the league. They happened to go to Orlando and San Diego, instead of Houston and Philadelphia, so that skewed things a little.

I also like the games against big-time, or at least interesting, foreign opponents. It's hard to argue against the appeal of Chivas, Celtic and Chelsea. Fulham made sense because of their captain, Brian something or other. Wham! UK falls somewhere in between. They've got a seriously impressive history and a reasonably impressive cult fanbase, but they haven't won anything since God was a boy, and while you can't call the current version starless, there is more than a little "Oh, THAT's where Ljungberg plays now!" going on.

(The part of the impressive cult fanbase that was born and raised in the United States, and puts on English accents for occasions such as this because they loved Elijah Wood in "Flipper" or "Everything Is Illuminated" or whatever that movie was, will hopefully be rounded up and harvested. Maybe you got a good laugh at the tattooed simpleton with the silly string tiara, but I just shook my head and thought "Perfectly good kidneys and corneas going to waste.")

It isn't like SUM has trouble getting teams to come here - witness Barcelona headlining yet another US tour like they were Judas Priest or something. So why settle for West Ham in the All-Star Game? It's possible that Barcelona is just that picky about the integrity of never playing an All-Star Game, but more likely it's because Barcelona wasn't needed. Green concludes that the game's exile from balmy weekends to Thursday nights means the game is losing what tiny appeal it had, but I'm not so sure. I'm convinced that, to paraphrase the late Troy McClure, the game will continue until it ceases to be profitable. In 2003, ChampionsWorld brought Manchester United to Los Angeles to play Club America. Guadalajara played the MLS All-Stars in the Home Depot Center. MLS is still in business, ChampionsWorld isn't. The marketplace has spoken.

Also in the Daily News today, Scott Wolf believes everything he reads.

Yes, this News of the World, the one that makes the Sun look like the Utne Reader. Link is probably Not Safe For Work, depending on how your boss feels about headlines such as "The Truth About My Lesbian Sex Tape" and "Boxer's Boys Turned Room Into 'Sex Den'".