Dogs and Cats Sleeping Together

If there's one sure and certain way to tell that a poster is probably full of crap, it's when he starts with "I'm a referee".

It's normally an attempt to stifle debate on the basis of authority, despite the fact that there are an astonishing number of people who hold USSF Level 8 licenses who quite obviously have no clue at all what it says in large swaths of the LOTG.

With that in mind let me just say that I'm a referee and as I watched the DC United - Philadelphia Union match last Saturday and THIS happened:

I could barely believe my eyes for any number of reasons:

1) I couldn't believe that Jaime Moreno was messing around with a keeper as he was attempting to put the ball in play. It's explicitly against the rules, it's begging for a card, it's unprofessional, it's unsporting and, frankly, it's just punk.

2) I couldn't believe Chris Seitz wasn't complaining about it. Usually - and it's true at every level down to the U-Littles in your local Saturday morning sandbox league - you get within ten feet of a GK holding the ball and he immediately starts barking at the ref for a call. One thing you just don't ever see is a guy putting up with it like Seitz did.

3) The officials - in this case the highly experienced Terry Vaughn - hate this kind of junk. At a point like this they've already released upfield in an attempt to not let the punt (and thus the play) get too far past them and when they have to come trotting back because you're behaving in a clearly illegal - not to mention douchebaggish - fashion they're generally a bit grumpy about it. And junk like this, which everyone knows is beyond the pale, generally gets a card based not so much on the rules as because, dammit, you're being a jerk.

4) The Union players don't appear to have gone apeshit over the non call. In a league where sliding in with both studs knee high and doing impromptu knee surgery without coming with six feet of the ball gets half of a team in the officials' face doing the Insane Howler Monkey routine if, as they're scraping some poor schmuck's tligaments up off the turf he shows the offender a yellow card, I don't see how something this egregious doesn't provoke a near riot.

What's nice to see today is that THE USSF IS CALLING IT WHAT IT IS ie. an incredibly bad piece of officiating that violates black-and white law in about ten different ways.

It will be interesting to see how much time off Vaughn gets.

Although I had to set aside the blogging deal and other personal activities for a bit - and thanks for the many emails and PM's; I was doing a last favor for an old friend - thanks to miracle of the Internet Age there's a place one can go to quickly get a feel for what's going on.

By which I mean of course BigSoccer. God help anyone who's dependent on the leagues' official website.

In one of my brief forays into the soccersphere in the last week or so I did manage to catch Cohiba Dons' comments to Grant Wahl which included SOME EXTENSIVE COMMENTS on the state of Major League Soccer Soccer.

Judging from said statements, combined with the typically imbecilic mewlings of Greg Lalas and the weaselly "I know technical stuff and you don't" desperation of Chris Schlosser, it appears that the official company line is this:

The internet consists of pipes and tubes. The mls website was functioning flawlessly until five minutes after the launch when a "bug" magically appeared (possibly picked up from MLSRumors, although no specific mention is made of Asian porn).

This "bug" clogged up MLS's tube somehow and, three weeks later despite working 24 hours a day it's still there. Some poor coder got canned for, as these things often happen, not being smarter than the suits who hired him.

But just so we're clear: nobody in a position of authority at MLS HQ is in any way responsible for any of it. Just in case you might be tempted to blame someone who is, you know, in charge or something.

And if you don't believe them, they'll just march right downstairs and fire a janitor too.

Not knowing exactly what to make of all this lying...excuse me, I mean buck passing...oops, hehe, I meant to say responsibility-dodging....darn it, that's "technical-type-stuff-esplaining" I hustled myself over to FAKE SIGI who is the go-to guy on all of this.

As usual, I'm not entirely clear on all the details (although he kindly limits the techie-speak for the benefit of those of us the revolution left behind back with TV sets that you had to walk across the room to change the channels on) I feel confident in summarizing the thing by saying simply:

The Emperor has no clothes.

Here's a thought, Don: why not fire Chris Schlosser and give Fake Sigi a whack at this thing?

At the least his understanding of the process seems to have evolved beyond "there are these tubes, see, that the interwebs go through......"

I also noted today a piece about how the new KANSAS CITY MLS FACILITY is interested in hosting some of the suddenly homeless National Soccer Hall of Fame memorabilia.

But before they start shipping this stuff around the country in old liquor boxes, I have a question about this whole thing:

The HoF is a 62 acre facility with a pretty nice 40,000 square foot building and four lovely soccer fields. The locals admit that even in TTET the place could easily fetch a couple million bucks on the open market.

So why is it again that it's simply being handed over to the locals without so much as a dime changing hands?

USSF contributed over a million bucks. Other donations totaled over seven million.

OThe new onwers, the Oneonta Development Commission, are full of praise for the board having decided to give it to them for free. Hell, if they gave it to me I'd say nice things about them too. Can I have it?

(Maybe we could move the MLS internet development department there. WIth any luck they'd make a wrong turn at Cooperstown and never be seen again.)

Now I'm not much on conspiracy theories but I'd like to point out that the head of the commission that's taking over the place for free is named Doug Gulotty.

You say Gulotty, I say Gulati, let's call the whole thing smelly.

Now I know that it's impractical to sell the place, dig up the complete list of donors from 1998 and end up sending them all $ .06 on the dollar, but why not peddle the place and give the cash to Doug's cousin Sunil The Economics Professor to invest?

Take the money to Vegas and play craps with it. Dump it all in cocoa futures or pork bellies. Better yet, have Gulati and Garber go down to the Chicago Board of Trade and corner the FCOJ market. (Sunil is a Karate Man; he bruises on the inside). Something. Anything.

If someone has a logical explanation as to why an asset owned by the US Soccer Community that, even in a bad market, is worth a couple million bucks is being given away for free, I hope you'll share it.