Yes, boys and girls, it's time once again for "Fun With Mental Health" the game where once-popular and successful people suddenly prove to be mad as hatters.
(We apologize to those of you who wrote in after last week's show, complaining that the film clips of Britney Spears shaving her head gave you nightmares. However, instead of griping, you should be thanking us for having the decency not to air the much more terrifying pictures of her thighs.)
Today's subject is former World Footballer of the year Rudd Gullit, whose managerial career has, to put it kindly, been an abject failure, a total embarrassment and undeniable proof that he's just another wildly talented player who doesn't really have the first clue how to coach a soccer team.
When we last saw Mr. Gullit, he was hotfooting it out of Los Angeles where, as Head Coach of the MLS Galaxy, his work habits were somewhere between atrocious and non-existent, and consisted of him watching a desultory practice in the morning and then disappearing well before noon every day.
In keeping with the pattern he set at the MLS College Combine, where he hung around for half of the first day chatting with Thomas Rongen, announced that he saw nobody who was any good and then left and was never seen again, Gullit was about as disinterested as it's possible for a coach to be.
He didn't watch film, he didn't meet with his coaches, he didn't work out trialists, he didn't read scouting reports on opponents or prospects. He seemed to feel that the simple fact of being Rudd Gullit was all that was required of him, and that his job boiled down to him swanning around LA, attending parties and hitting on babes.
Finally, AEG Sports Beaver Tim Leuiweke had enough and, Gullit was allowed to "resign for personal reasons" those reasons mostly amounting to the fact that he stunk, his team kept losing, he didn't seem to care and if he didn't resign he was going to be fired.
Which brings us to yesterday, when Gullit was back in Southern California doing some kind of promotion for Ford, leading one to check out the various fine General Motors products.
In an interview with reporters conducted by a relaxed, sunglasses-wearing, well-tanned Gullit (part of which you can see HERE) Gullit offered up the reasons why he failed miserably in the LA job:
In regards to David Beckham, he told the Reuters guy that "David is more than just a football player and I think he does extremely well to give football here a lift,"
So far, so good. But then he takes the plunge:
"But I doubt if they (U.S. soccer organisers) really want that. I think they are afraid of football because it's so popular everywhere around the world. I think they will just control it so it doesn't become more popular than their American sports."
So it's his contention that the various owners of MLS are working diligently to keep soccer from becoming more popular because they don't want MLS to make more money than the NFL.
"They will never allow that"
Of course! I see it all so clearly now! The owners sit around their semiannual meetings yelling at Don Garber: "Dammit Chimpy, revenues are up, TV viewership is up, merchandise sales are up, club values are skyrocketing, and WE WANT IT STOPPED!
They'd prefer their investment in soccer continue to lose money, thus preserving the big bucks for NASCAR.
And just so you don't miss the point, Gullit clarifies the thought:
"Some sports already have had a bit of a dive so they don't want American football to become less popular, or basketball or baseball."
What fools we've all been!
See, we thought MLS wanted to succeed, wanted to sell tickets, increase TV revenues, sell more shirts.
And along comes Rudd Gullit, veteran of six or eight months lounging around Southern California, and he brings us the truth:
It's a conspiracy to keep soccer small and unprofitable.
I suggest we all take a moment today to write to our local MLS Owner/Operators and demand that they stop holding soccer's popularity down.
Let it blossom and grow and destroy the NFL, as nature clearly intended. And since they obviously don't want all the money that making soccer the #1 sport in the US would generate, tell them to send it to me.
Go back to Holland Ruud, and stay there. The California sun has obviously melted your brain.