If you need a hearty laugh this morning, check out THE REPORT FROM AP detailing some comments from Landon Donovan ("He's here, he's there, he's EVERYWHERE!").
Like any good work of fiction, it grabs you with the first sentence:
Landon Donovan says negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement in Major League Soccer went quickly once the league's officials understood the rationale behind the players' positions.
So how did that work, do you suppose?
Foose: "We want guaranteed contracts so that the players can, you know, keep getting money after they get waived."
Garber: "Holy cow, you mean your rationale is that the players don't like going without paychecks? Why didn't we think of that?
Foose: "The reason we want higher minimum salaries is so that the players will have more money to spend on stuff."
Garber: (slaps himself on the forehead) "Damn, when you explain it that way, I understand your rationale completely. If only we'd understood that previously this thing could have been wrapped up by Thanksgiving!"
Like they say when selling unnecessary plastic objects on TV: "But wait, there's more"; Landon again:
"The overall tone was that if things were unfair, they made concessions immediately.When we explained things or explained situations, and when they could see that they didn't make sense or were unfair, they made concessions.
So let me understand this:
Foose and Abbott have been meeting off and on for an entire year without success. Then, at the last minute, Landon Donovan flew in - no word on whether he used a plane or slipped into a phone booth and pulled on his blue suit with the big red "S" on it - and simply explained to Cohiba Don that there were some things he felt were "unfair", and Garber replied, "Oh noes! Not unfair! Thank God you've come here finally and explained your feelings. Now I see that the policies MLS has been working under for the last 15 years make no sense. I'm so ashamed that I didn't understand before that I must commit Seppuku immediately!"
Fortunately Donovan was able to leap across the table and grab Garbers' wakizashi just in time, thus avoiding a truly gruesome carpet cleaning bill and also, thankfully, not distracting any of the players who were huddled around the big screen TV watching basketball.
What??? Luthor has escaped again?
However, lest you think that we owe the continued existence of MLS entirely to Landons' nick of time arrival last Thursday, let Todd Dunivant disabuse you of the notion:
"He didn't just come in at the end and save the day. He was part of the whole process. Even when he was in England, he was on all the conference calls. When he came back, it was a no-brainer that he was going to be there."
Score goals, insult Mexicans, make all of England fall in love with him, solve complex labor problems, is there anything the man can't do?
Aw shucks fellas, says Landon modestly:
"When the league sees at least one member from every team, I think (officials) realize how important everything was to us."
So basically, Don Garber looked up and said:
"Whoa! What a surprise! We paid airfare for 30 guys to come here and 30 GUYS CAME HERE! Now I finally realize how important having jobs and making money is to these guys. If only I'd realized this previously.
Fortunately, Landon had held onto Garbers' wazirishi and so there was no further danger of interrupting the other players enjoyment of Oklahoma/Georgia Tech.
In further attempting to deflect all the Hosannas of praise for doing, in 48 hours, what all those overpaid lawyers and flacks had failed to accomplish in 12 months, he even singled out Commissioner Don:
"He was right in the heart of it It shows that he was dedicated'
Who would have suspected? Garber is "dedicated" to having MLS stay in business. What a guy!
Amazingly though, The Donovan wasn't done.
In the tradition of Yoda, Socrates and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, he wants us lesser beings to learn something from this ugly episode:
"When you hear the other side and why they do things a certain way, you realize that this is a business."
So sayeth the Landon.
Go in peace.