What a drag it is getting old

White-out in Chicago? Blanco soon to be Coo-out-temoc?

Don't you hate it when Designated Players out of nowhere decide to rip on their current employers? I wonder where this came from, it does seem like

Say no more.

If Blanco is open to considering offers from other MLS teams, as the Jose Luis Sanchez Pando article suggests, then at least this isn't an indictment of the league. Sure, Blanco is questioning a roster that's a near-unanimous favorite to go deep into the playoffs, but the fact that he's not completely ruling out an in-league move spares MLS some irritation.

(Actually - he's complaining about the Fire covering their bases too much defense? Has he tried to fill out a fantasy league team without loading up on Fire and Crew defenders? Especially now that Parkhurst is gone?)

Of course, so does the fact that for all sorts of reasons, the Fire have been far less embarrassing about their abasement towards their DP than, to pick an example not entirely at random, Los Angeles. They didn't change the crest or the colors or the coach on the DP's whim...although they did let him hire security. Chicago survived losing Nowak and Stoitchkov, after all.

Assuming the Fire didn't saddle themselves with the kind of sponsorship requirements regarding Blanco that the Galaxy did - not a safe assumption - and assuming that as long as Blanco is still in the league, MLS and ESPN won't care - a slightly safer assumption - the smart thing to do may be to move him now. He draws some fans, and that nice little goal against Dallas may con people into thinking he can contribute more than the calendar would imply.

The Fire could try the "screw you" trade to a turf team like Toronto or Seattle, or the real "screw you" trade to Chivas USA - I mean, if Blanco didn't know the second year option wasn't his, then maybe he also forgot to put in a no-trade clause. Much more receptive audiences for all concerned would be found in San Jose, Houston, Dallas or Colorado. New York doesn't need help up top. Neither does Los Angeles, but it's really more of a case of, what could LA give?

(Actually, this is more a case of me being scared Leiweke would say "Blanco? Great! I'll give you Buddle and Gonzalez for him! Plus draft picks!")

There's also the strong possibility that Blanco has a reconciliation with the Fire once he's starting again...but where's the fun in that? That's like predicting he goes back to Mexico. BORING. I'd prefer him as a Rapid.

Dear Frankie,

You had a turning point in your life against Houston this weekend. No, it wasn't the revelation that MLS has a big future in beach soccer. No, it wasn't to put Chris Wondolowski on your fantasy team, although that was a DAMN sweet assist. Some friendly deity decided to spare Brad Davis' leg, and your reputation.

We know you're much more hardcore than your surfer dude look would lead people to believe, and we know you're probably the most driven player on the field at any given point. We also know you're not only a sentimental favorite to get on the World Cup squad, you might make it on experience and merit. Snapping legs on horror tackles means that all goes away.

Yeah, you have enough of a career to point to that, like Marcelo Balboa, one tiny little disgusting play that destroys another man's livelihood won't stick to you, and that's fine. Either because your studs were a little bit off, or because Brad Davis tried out the adamantium shin guards, you don't have to find out. Yet.

Look, just for a few months, okay? We can talk about this again, oh, sometime in the second week of August, and see if we want to review this policy.

Your fan,

While we're on the topic of guys near the end of their careers (okay, Hejduk has another ten years left, but play along with the segue for once), what happens once the cleats are hung up for the final time?

I think it must be something like Ray Liotta at the end of "Goodfellas," or James Garner at the end of "Barbarians at the Gate" - an awkward transition to "ordinary schnook."

But it doesn't have to be. Take the example of former Coventry City goalkeeper David Icke.

Struck down in the prime of his career with arthritis, Icke today is a well-known political commentator. He's written seventeen books about international politics, economics, and society. He is a very popular, though controversial, speaker, with a following across the world.

So to all my readers, whether athletes or no - a life of physical activity, while rewarding, is only temporary. But the life of the mind lives on after we die.

Hm? What does Icke write about?

Oh. Well, you know. This and that. 9/11. Barack Obama. Shapeshifting alien lizards secretly control the world. The point is, he's out there making a difference.

A very silly difference, but a difference nevertheless.