Flying cross country on a Redeye is one of those myriad thinkg in life that sounds terrific in the aspect; it lets you extend your trip until the last possible moment and then whisks you back to your real life without skipping a beat.
The reality is that you find yourself 30,000 feet over Missouri at 3 AM next to a fat, snoring stranger who smells like bad teeth while you try to snatch a series of short naps while trying to find a way to make a human body which has been jammed into the functional equivalent of a child's car seat for three or four hours think it's comfortable.
So you end up wandering around in a stupor for most of the next day until you finally admit that the whole thing was a crappy idea.
Which is pretty much where I'm at right now, so if you're looking for some semblance of linear thought or brilliant prose, try Grant Wahl. He doesn't travel on his own dime.
Or, if you want to be just a bit stupider than you were five minutes ago, check out Jamie Trecker's piece today. I refuse to link to sewage like that for the same reason I don't include Rick roll links. Just seems like a dirty thing to do to.
For those of you who have, or will, stumble acorss it, let me just comment that judging by the fact that the entire Hunt family AND their wives somehow procured SigiScarves and spent a good deal of the game standing with the Nordecke contingent, I'd say the odds of Columbus being moved someplace are about the same as the odds of Trecker ever saying something positive, constructive or, well, lucid.
Let's start with Sigi: he spent all week trying to deny it, but this was the sweetest kind of redemption for the Round One. Back in LA, the town he was run out of for playing boring defensive soccer at the head of Guille's Flying Circus, a team which plays arguably the most attractive, entertaining soccer MLS has ever seen.
How badly did the Schmid clan want this? His wife collapsed Sunday morning with flu symptoms and refused to go to a hospital. Thier son-in-law, a doctor, rigged her up some IV fluids which they proceed to pump all the way to game time when they pulled the catheter in the back seat of his car out front of the stadium.
Her husband was going to get some of his back, and she was damned well going to be there to see it.
As for Sigi, he's the only coach who has ever won the SS and the Cup in the same year, and he's now done it twice, with two different teams.
Schmid is a long ways from warm and cuddly. In fact, he can be - and often is - grouchy, irascible, demanding and dismissive.
He's also really, really good at this coaching thing.
Otherwise, if you saw the game, there's not much anyone can add about Guillermo Barros-Schelotto. He's one of those guys for whom the game goes in slow motion, and he's as calm on the ball as anyone I've ever seen.
The point isn't that he saw Hejduk make what Frankie himself described as "a crazy run" that he was sure GBS would miss.
Rather, it's that Frankie made the run in the first place because he just might.
You start out the game like every other spectator, watching the guy lose the ball, direct an errant pass here or there and eventually you figure it's all a myth. You forget about him, get involved in the game and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there he is, with the ball at his feet for a brief moment before it arcs to some teammate who you weren't watching either because he was so far off the play.
Every damn time, as the ballcomes to rest in the back of the net, you franticaly lok around for a replay screen. Was it him? Did he really do that? Did I see what I thought I saw?
There's just not much to say. The guy plays a game the rest of us are not familiar with, and the difference between last year's team, which finished out of the playoffs, and this years team which won it all, is that his teammates - like Frankie - got a small glimpse of the possible.
Enough of a glimpse to know that if you make that "crazy run", somehow the guy will find you.
Since I'm now near comatose I'll spare you a lot of other ranting.
Except maybe this:
I freely admit that at halftime, and for most of the second half, I didn't trust myself to talk for fear I'd either burst out in tears or babble like a loon. And dabbled in both as the end got nearer.
The remarkable thing though was that at least 20 people came by where I was standing, in the Crew family section behind the Nordecke - total strangers all, and very few wearing Crew gear - and either shoook my hand or patted my back or, twice, put their arms around me and said "It's cool. I understand."
I couldn't find the words then. I still can't.