Apropos of nothing, except the debut of the COOLEST JERSEY EVER! I want one. Check that - I want twelve.
I liked the African trend of sublimated mascots and symbols - although I think that was more of a Puma trend, and Puma just happened to outfit nearly every African team. So it's nice to see Hummel embracing the concept. Or strangling it, depending on your point of view. I'd love to see Nike try a similar tack with a Don't Tread On Me snake, but come to think of it that falls within the purview of "Careful what you wish for."
Alexi Lalas has been saying variations on "We expect better performances, the fans deserve better" for several years and for several teams now, so that sort of bounces off my skull at this point. This, however, didn't:
First, and by far the most important:
The line about "more men and less boys" is totally, TOTALLY out of line and should be corrected immediately.
It should be "fewer" boys, not "less." Things you can count: fewer. Things you can't count: less. Less losing, fewer losses. Less sucking, fewer players that suck. Fewer boys, less pre-pubescent whining impotence (I'm sort of reading between the lines, but I think that was the message Lalas was trying to get across, correct me if I'm wrong).
Second - well, this is where AEG's notorious opacity comes in. I don't know whether it's fair to blame Lalas, and whether his defense is legitimate or not.
Since the Galaxy org chart was drawn by M.C. Escher - stop me if I've told you that one - it's hard to really know where to send the torch-waving mob. Paul Bravo is officially in charge of player personnel, but even I'm not dumb enough to think he's the one who decides whether a guy like Carlos Ruiz is expendable, let alone whether he's the one who decides whether to sell Landon Donovan. Tim Leiweke shows up now and again, much like Poe's Red Death, and with much the same effect. Somewhere above it all is Uncle Phil, whose meddling in mortal affairs usually means bad news for the mortals.
It would seem like Anschutz is the Emperor Tiberius, Leiweke is Sejanus, and Lalas has just borrowed Pontius Pilate's hand-towel. I'd speculate on which of Bravo, Cobi Jones and Ruud Gullitt are Caiaphas, Herod or Nicodemus, but it's been a while since I've seen either "I, Claudius" or "Jesus Christ Superstar."
Speaking of the baby Jesus - from my point of view, the "Landon Donovan is expendable" theory has a couple of weak spots - like, objective reality - but Denholm's podcast made a wonderful point when he said that the Galaxy are just as capable of missing the playoffs without Donovan as they are with him. My problem with that is, you don't lightly (if EVER) toss aside a future Hall of Famer, and Donovan is....
Yeah, he's all of those things you're saying right now. He's moody, he's mercurial, no one seems to know what to do with him on the field. He's also the best American player I've ever seen - he might be the best ever, but I never saw Patenaude or Gonsalves.
Even if you don't think Donovan is the best player in California right now, here's the biggest problem with getting rid of him. The person or persons who gets to make the decision on who replaces Donovan is the same person or persons that brought us guys like Carlos Pavon, Carlos Ruiz, Greg Vanney, Alvaro Pires, Celestine Babayaro, Santino Quaranta, Eduardo Dominguez - the only gambles that have worked for Los Angeles recently are Edson Buddle and this year's really rather good draft class.
I just don't think the Galaxy are gonna be able to replace Landon with a second-round pick.