So I had the pleasure of entertaining a very large, very strong looking North American brown bear in my yard this past weekend. My dog felt that he wanted to take him on, largely because he didn't see the ease with which he parried our shed 15 feet into the neighbor's yard.
All of which, naturally, put me in mind of Brad Friedel.
Hot on the heels of Friedel's BREAKING THE EPL CONSECUTIVE GAMES RECORD which he now owns at 167 and counting comes the news that Bradley thinks he may want to continue playing AFTER HIS CURRENT CONTRACT WITH VILLA EXPIRES.
(And of course, being Brad Friedel, when he says that HE'S NOT PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN THE RECORD, well, unlike a lot of guys you pretty much believe him.)
He doesn't seem to feel the fact that he'll be 40 years old is necessarily going to be a problem, and judging by LAST WEEK'S STONEWALLING OF MANCHESTER UNITED I'm certainly not going to be the one to suggest otherwise.
This of course ISN'T EXACTLY THE BEST NEWS BRAD GUZAN EVER GOT but then, this is the Premiership, and nothing much ever gets handed to anyone. If Guzan wants the job then he's going to have to beat out The Legend, and that's the way it's supposed to work.
This of course leaves open - again - the question of when, or if, we'll see him back in MLS doing the now-accepted victory lap of American soccer stadiums (see Stewart, Ernie, et. al.).
And the tantalizing prospect of a Friedel vs. Keller MLS matchup, which might actually provide ESPN with some serious ratings points and the league with an SRO stadium, now seeems, at best, a long, long ways off.
And of course if Friedel decides to forego the pleasures of another go-round in MLS, or if the Crew can't come to terms with Toronto FC, which will undoubtedly hold his rights (somehow) then the Ohio native can simply slip into his role as the guiding light behind THE BEST YOUTH SOCCER ACADEMY THIS SIDE OF BRADENTON where he can continue to help develop - completely tuition-free - the next generation of American soccer.
Because when you're Bradley Friedel, besides having a fall-down gorgeous wife and a nascent British accent, you've got options, and time, galore.
Like, for example, law enforcement:
It's a little known fact that last summer, when North Carolina ran out of money and had to lay off every policeman in the state for a week, they brought in Brad Friedel with an axe handle to take thier place.
There was no crime.