....And See if Any of it Sticks....

There's so much stuff floating around that I just can't write about it all.

So rather than flush it all down the toilet, here are all the things I'd write long, excruciating essays about if today was 300 hours long:

FIFA and the rest of the football/soccer world has come down really hard against doping, and they're going to do whatever they have to to keep steroids out of the beautiful game.

Like random, year-round testing, where you never know when you'll be given an hour's notice to come forth and pee into a bottle. Anytime, anywhere, day or night.

Well, except of course if you tell them YOU'RE ON VACATION. Can't see any holes in THAT plan.

(*EDIT: Please note; commenters have beaten me with a tire iron over the following post. Skorts are not new, you don't wear them to play in, they do make different shorts for males and females and the WPS unis are not drab, plain and/or ugly.

Other than that i...well, actually, there isn't anything other than that.

But I never delete a post, no matter how stupid it's been proven to be, I just let it hang out there. Call your friends. Toss rocks at me. I can take it.)

Dan did yeoman's work on the WPS uniform rollout, and while certainly those are absolutely the most boring, mundane, uninteresting uniforms ever created by man (they make the original 1996 MLS unis look like the pinnacle of fashion and taste) one aspect that I think both he and longtime BS doyenne Kenn Tomasch failed to emphasize enough was the invention of the "skort":

Now as a rule, any article of clothing that requires that a new word be invented to describe it is, almost invariably, a monumental disaster, and these are no exception.

In point of fact, as someone who spends a lot of time around youth tournaments (no, I'm not a letch, I'm a referee) I've often thought that the manufacturers were missing the boat by not making different shorts for males and females.

Teenaged boys - even at a fairly high level - will sometimes spend half the game pushing the waist lower to make them longer, apparently in case Diddy comes by looking for band candidates.

Conversely, an awful lot of girls roll the waistband several times in order to make them shorter, apparently in case a sailor with cash in his pocket happens by.

I've always wondered why the manufacturers haven't figured this out and just offered long shorts for guys and shorter ones for girls, instead of the unisex makes-nobody-happy stuff. I mean, top level players don't spend much time worrying about this, but the vast majority of their sales are not to top level players.

So the "skort" indicates that they do recognize, as Mel Brooks once observed: "Hey, there's ladies here!", but I'd be shocked beyond words if this idea doesn't quietly disappear. Can't happen quickly enough.

Portland keeps digging their hole deeper and deeper.

First the stadium-and-soccer-champion Mayor gets caught with his fingers in the intern, and now comes news that if some people have their way OREGON WILL RAISE THEIR BEER TAX 1900%.

Now there are a lot of things soccer fans will put up with - crummy teams, terrible coaches, clueless managements and bad stadiums among them - but overtaxed beer? That's asking just a bit too much.

Personally, I think GRILLING COACHES IS A FABULOUS IDEA but long, slow smoking over a low fire really brings out the flavor.

Sorry. Couldn't be helped.

According to Shawn Mitchell Seattle FC had to fork over $100k TO COLUMBUS over the whole "non-compete clause" deal.

Which wouldn't be particularly interesting except that it illustrates something about MLS that I wish they'd change: the slow-mo response.

Anytime anything happens, be it some contract dispute like this or a disciplinary matter or whatever, there's a flurry about it in the news and of course here on BS, but we get nothing but silence from MLS HQ.

Then, two months later, when nobody gives a hoot any more, some blurb like this appears.

Does everything they do there have to take 60-90 days? They could make themselves look a lot more competent if - just once in a while - they'd make some decision reasonably quickly. Anything would do.

Speaking of taking a long time there's still no word on what FIFA intends to do about the girly-slap that a Mexican coach administered to Frankie Hejduk after the US/Meximelt match.

Every international game has an official FIFA "Match Commissioner", and in this case it's been reported that he took statements from several players and observers regarding the incident. But since that night, FIFA has been as silent as a tomb on the topic.

And of course the coach has not apologized to Hejduk who, to his great credit, has behaved with admirable professionalism through the entire affair.

Now of course the coach's story quickly evolved from Hejduk "taunting" the crowd to Frankie having spent the entire game uttering "racist remarks" directed at all the Mexican players which, as anyone who knows anything about Frankie can tell you, is ludicrous, even if someone other than this clown on the bench HAD heard anything of that sort, which BTW, no one did.

How sad it is that this clown immediately retreated to the one place where he thought he might have some firm ground: pulling out the "racist" accusation.

Of course not much of anyone in the US will believe him. Unfortunately, lots of people south of it seem ready, even eager, to accept this hogwash as fact. I guess it keeps them from having to deal with the fact that thier assistant coach is a jerk. I dunno.

Has SGE or the FMF canned this guy or disciplined him? Not that I'm aware of. Nor are they likely to, although I can only imagine the uproar if the headline was "US Assistant Mike Sorber slaps Mexican player". They'd be demanding that Sorber be put in jail. Or hung.

Mostly though, this accusation - ridiculous and desperate though it may be - only manages to provide fuel to a fire that didn't need any.

Last night's crowd of 58,000 in Olympic stadium to see the Impact beat Santos on a pair of Cuban defector Eduardo Sebrango goals and some sterling work by MLS refugee Matt Jordan in the goal provided evidence of soccer interest in Montreal that, really, we didn't need. As I've noted elsewhere, everyone but Joey Saputo knows all about it.

Just as a footnote, someone sent me some back-of-the-envelope figures on whether an MLS team is "worth" $40 million: in a decent 22,000 seat stadium, averaging $35 a seat, just ticket sales alone grosses you $11 million, and that's before the estimated equal take from concessions, parking and what not, not to mention additional income from equal ownership in S.U.M., sponsors, etc.

If Saputo really CAN expand his stadium to 20,000 seats, and is confident he can sell the place out consistently, then $40 million is a hell of a bargain.

Meanwhile down in Miami, while the whole Barca drama plays out - and I'd like nothing better than to see them take a powder and have Claure go it without them - their USL1 side, which of course carries the "Miami Fusion" moniker, MAY NOT BE ABLE TO OPEN FOR BUSINESS THIS SEASON

Last year it was Rochester who kept the schedulemakers on pins and needles until the last possible moment, and this year it's Miami. It's the inevitable byproduct of a league that simply is not profitable in any but a very few cases.

American soccer needs lower divisions, and USL 1 and 2, for all their faults and the ridiculous turf wars MLS continues to have with them, are all we've got at the moment.

It's long past time that MLS step up to the plate and help support these guys. As MLS continues to poach the better USL cities, it's going to get harder and harder to keep them afloat.

It would be a lot cheaper to give them some help now than to wait until they collapse and then have to build a minor league system from scratch.