Hard to know what to make, exactly, of this somewhat disturbing picture of David Beckham hacking his way around the local links:
I'm no Tim Gunn but I think I'm on pretty safe ground when I comment that 34 year old international style icons out in public doing the skateboarder thing or whatever the hell this is supposed to be really ought to know better.
That leaves aside the fact that unless he was at some low-rent pitch-and-putt, which I seriously doubt, they wouldn't let you or me anywhere near that course dressed like that.
And even if they did, when you started throwing clubs the starter would be all over you like stink on a monkey:
This is the man who wants the "average American male" to follow his lead into the magical world of "UPDATED CLASSIC AMERICAN SPORTSWEAR with fashionable silhouettes and details".
No word on whether Victoria is going to punish him for this.
MIKE GRAY is blogging on the idea of Peter Wilt going to the RedBulls.
Frankly, it's such a terrific idea that I can't believe there's the remotest chance of it happening.
Up in Canada, having spent the last 3 years whining about how Mo Johnston needed to bring in a DP so that TFC can take it's rightful place amongst the world great football clubs, bloggers are now complaining that bringing in de Guzman is bad for the national team because playing at a level as low as MLS will likely bring down the quality of his play.
For a bunch of guys who spend so much time insisting on their right to be in MLS, they sure do hate MLS a lot.
Mostly though, they're the same bunch who spend most of their time complaining about how MLS needs to "throw off the shackles of single entity" although, as FAKE SIGI has taken the time to dissect that particular nonsense and DAN has taken a swing as well, it makes about as much sense as drilling a hole in the bottom of a boat to let the water out.
What the people on the "Let My People Go" side of the argument seem intellectually incapable of understanding is that those of us on the other side of the argument aren't nearly as dense as they like to believe.
We get it. Really we do. Higher salaries would equal better players would equal better play.
Nobody is arguing that point. We all agree. $20 million buys a better soccer team than $10 million and $10 million buys you a better team than $2.5 million does. Thanks for the insight, but you can really stop telling us this. In fact, it's getting a little insulting.
Yes, you can look at the huge crowds a Barcelona can draw in the US and say "See? It's not soccer people don't like, it's MLS"
To which I'd also like to say "Gloriosky, Sandy! Thanks for that!" but we already knew that too. We're really not the imbeciles you seem to think we are.
However, if I may be so bold, the thing that all the "Freedom Now!" crowd sidesteps, ignores and/or blissfully pretends doesn't matter is that it is much more likely that a plan like this would make the overall quality of play worse, not better.
Yes, a "soft cap" (which goes nicely with your "soft heads") would let you compete on the world market for a better caliber of players, and I wish you'd stop explaining this to everyone as if it was received wisdom.
My favorite absurdity in all of this is the meme that having a $10 million roster wouldn't give that team a competitive advantage. Excuse the hell out of me, but if it doesn't give you an advantage then why would you spend the money?
They blithely say that "some" teams with 1/3 the wage bill of other teams would of course make the playoffs anyway, at which point "anything can happen".
Yeah, and the Richmond Kickers could make a lucky run through the FA Cup too, but I'm thinking that's not the way to bet. The fact is that the whole POINT of spending $10 million to compete against teams spending $2.5 million is to be able to beat the crap out of them 9 times out of 10.
If you can't, if your GM spends $10 million on players and your team isn't one hell of a lot better than the teams who only spend $2.5 million, then the owner is most likely going to fire you for gross incompetence.
The fact that it's not a mathematical certainty that they'll win every MLS Cup year after year is beside the point. The problem is that on any given night of the season 20,000 people are NOT going to pack Rio Tinto to watch TFC take the Royals apart at the seams because they have a lineup three times as talented.
And here's the biggest issue, the one that the footballing geniuses north of the border never seem to stumble across:
(Please try and follow along; if you need to, you can use your finger on the screen to help you focus on the words. Sound out the big ones. You can do it.)
How does a far less talented soccer team try an beat an obviously superior one?
If you answered "bunker in and play for a 0-0 draw" put your test paper on the fridge. You done good.
Yes indeed, on the night that uber-talented $10 million TFC shows up to play any other team that's not on the Gold Card Plan, the home team has only one choice: play the kind of "negative" pack-the-box-and-hope-for-a-counter type of strategy that everyone says is ruining the game.
It's not just possible or even likely; it's absolutely rock-solid inevitable.
So this plan you have for making MLS more interesting, more exciting, more beautiful and more appealing to football aficionados can only have one net effect: making it ugly and boring. It's like one of those teen makeover movies, only instead of taking the plain Jane and turning her into a hottie you beat her face in with a shovel, pour sewage on her head and dress her up in a clown suit.
MLS would have the worst, crappiest, most unwatchable games in the history of soccer.
And in the end one of maybe three or four teams would win the Cup 9 years out of 10..
This is the brilliant idea which Ben and Duane and the rest of the geniuses up there think will get the average American to flock to the stadiums in droves?
Thanks a lot for the input, but I think we'll pass.