Last Four at the Back for a while. Kenn's too nice to say so, but it's punishment for me being late to recording all the damn time. He's going to make me sit in the corner for a while, and think about what I've done.
As you will hear, I first heard of Landon being sick as a pig from Kenn during the podcast. I thought he was playing a prank on me. How ironic is it, bringing swine flu INTO Mexico? That's like bringing your own oranges to Florida, or your own child prostitute to Thailand, isn't it? I'm expecting a statement from the Mexican government saying "As we have said all along, the risk of flu has been wildly exaggerated...except for these filthy Americans from spilling over the border. Why can't they just stay where they belong, anyway?"
Anyway, we talk about Don Garber, pretty much in terms that would make the 1930's Politburo give the the People's Order of the Red Star and Brown Nose. We disagree on how easy the US has it regarding qualifying - basically, he agrees with his blog post, I agree with mine.
All this, a restatement of Nietzsche, and my Final Thoughts for a while.
We didn't cover everything. For one thing, we didn't address....
For those of you who don't know the story, so-called American troops were in so-called Iraq waving the so-called flag of Mexico during the game.
It's not even that great a flag, you know. Green and red clash, despite what Italian propaganda would have you believe, and the middle is even busier than the New York Mets' logo. Yeah, Mexico's anthem is much better than ours, but you know what? It goes on too long. Yeah, I said it.
I know what you spineless, bleeding-heart, anti-American liberals would say - "The men and women who defend this country contribute to this nation more than any self-righteous soccer fan. And if the people who are defending America's freedoms can't EXERCISE those freedoms, then who the hell can?"
Proving nothing more than blinkered multiculturalism has infested the Army itself. You know what, I've got an idea. Congress should investigate the Army. Has that ever been done before? I think it would be very productive.
First of all, I'd like to say that I wish someday those soldiers learn to love America as much as I do. Excuse me while I wipe away a tear, Iron Eyes Cody-style.
Second, (SERIOUS ACTUAL SINCERE PART OF THE POST, EVEN THOUGH THIS ISN'T A SERIOUS POST) - guys? Sports. We're not hating on troops loyal to America. We're hating on fans of the other team. Let's say you're a Giants fan, and they cut to Tikrit to a bunch of soldiers waving Dodgers pennants. What's your reaction?
"Thank God for those brave young men and women putting their lives on the line to-" shut the ******** up, that's not your reaction. Not during the game, it isn't. You want to tell them where to stick it.
Within reason, of course, because we are talking about people who are heavily armed.
I was going to say "behold the perils of conflating national pride with mere sporting endeavors," but I think you can extend the premise beyond sports or entertainment. Let's say they were waving the American flag, saying "Go USA!," but there were Orson Scott Card books all over the place. You would of course think "Well, Ender's Game was all right, I guess, if you didn't think about it too much, but the stuff after that was just pure - oh, game's back on."
Also second - okay, try to follow my reasoning on this one.
Among the freedoms that the troops are protecting is my right to tell the troops their choice of national team support sucks pants sausage.
So, therefore, I should be thankful to the troops for putting their lives on the line for those freedoms.
HOWEVER. If I don't EXERCISE that freedom, then really, aren't they just wasting their time? We don't want that, do we?
In fact, if I want to truly show appreciation for their efforts, shouldn't I make an extra effort to criticize them? Them and their stupid, stupid team?
I think the conclusion is obvious. The best way to support the troops is to boo them.
Besides...what are they gonna do if we criticize them? Desert? Join the insurgency? C'mon. Someone waving the Mexico flag during the Mexico-US game, and expecting the other side to cheer for them, has only been a fan of the game for about fifteen minutes anyway. It isn't even booing in that case - it's education.
Anyway, it all works out for the best. They gotta get up every day and salute the American flag. I'm NEVER gonna salute the Mexican flag, ever. Everyone wins.
Speaking of stupid fan behavior. I'm sure we've all done the compare and contrast of misguided Cubs fan (there are no other kinds) throwing a beer at some idiot Philadelphia Phillie (there are no other kinds), and the entire nation of Mexico throwing debris at some poor guy with swine flu.
First of all - yes. I agree. You can say whatever you want in the stands (mmm...can of worms), but if you throw something at a player, that's affecting the play. And if you wanted to physically affect the outcome of the game, what you need to do is get in shape, practice, try out, make the roster, and wait for Coach to put you in. Other than that, in the words of US superstar forward Edward Johnson, "Sit your ass down, spectator."
However...assault charges and jail for the Cubs fan? (I mean, for the beer, not on general principle of jailing Cubs fans.) Making Mexico play behind closed doors?
Granted - you're right. Fans shouldn't throw debris at players. But I gotta tell you, folks, I'm not sure all of you would be ready to have those standards applied to games you attend.
Actually, I take that back. I know perfectly well you're not. Not all of you. And I'm not prepared to bet Galaxy and US home games on the perfect behavior of every supporter in the stands, not on your life.
Sounds pretty sweet, in theory - garbage is tossed at Landon, the US leaves the field, CONCACAF or FIFA awards the three point forfeit to the US, mission accomplished.
Let's assume that CONCACAF or FIFA sanctioning Mexico isn't completely in the realm of science fiction. Here's what happens: one random dumbass in Columbus or wherever throws one random plastic cup, Mexico walks off the field, we forfeit, and we don't qualify for nothin'.
(Hell, if I'm really cynical, I dress up a Mexico supporter in US gear, and have him launch dangerous stuff near, but safely away from, Mexico players.)
It's ugly, it shouldn't be a part of the game, something should be done - all true. It's also true that you shouldn't invite Better Homes and Gardens over if you haven't made the bed.