Anybody's ballgame

I'm happy for Salt Lake fans and all, but let's face it, Columbus losing is going to have some horrifying consequences.

(1) Some may suggest that Frankie Hejduk should not be on the World Cup roster next year. What, just because, contrary to what I predicted, he played perhaps the single biggest role in the Crew losing? Talk about fickle! What about...I only wanted Hejduk on the US roster for emergency purposes anyway, on the theory that if we need a third or fourth line defender, we're better off with an experienced psycho than a nervous understudy. That's not going to be a popular position now.

(2) The refs are going to come in for a pasting thanks to the Williams handball non-call, but...what would you expect? If an American defender in the Azteca had been whistled in a similar situation, we'd scream the sky down. No Crew player was challenging him, for one thing. It was like not touching the bases on a routine double play. Refs won't even want to make a call like during the season, let alone in the playoffs.

Yes, I know. A non-decision IS a decision, a non-call IS a call, and it changed the season anyway. That doesn't mean the Crew have a sympathetic case. (Crew fans seem to realize this, preferring to focus their wrath on Warzycha and Hejduk, for the most part.)

Besides...it was just the wrong day for the Crew. If Columbus gets that call, GBS puts it wide left again. Sometimes you're Handbanana, sometimes you're Carl.* C'est la guerre.

(3) Christ, NOW who's the favorite? I was avoiding facing the emotion-churning possibility of Beckham's Galaxy winning it all because, come on, Columbus was gonna crush them assuming LA got that far. Same with the terrible chance of Chivas USA, MLS Champions. Who can stop the SoCal teams now? Luis Angel Landin? Denis Hamlett? The Revolution bench? Sonic Youth, or whatever the crap LA's Seattle fans call themselves?

(4) This, the entire offseason: THE BEST TEAM DIDN'T WIN! GET RID OF THE PLAYOFFS! MLS IS A JOKE! IT'S ALL SO TERRIBLY UNFAIR! Over and over and over again. You forget how nice it is to have a Shield/MLS Cup double until it's over.

*I thought Handbanana would have been an excellent unofficial Crew mascot, just like the Mooninites would have been for the Galaxy, and, of course, Master Shake for San Jose.