I don't know if I've told you guys this, but I have an Antimuse. It's much more useful than a Muse, I think. Whenever I sit down to write about Chivas USA going full Aztlan, or Robbie Rogers simultaneously going out and coming out, my Antimuse appears before me in shimmering gossamer and says, "For the love of Christ, Loney, no one is asking for your opinion on this. Try to come up with some jokes for a change, I beg of you." For one thing, Rogers' struggle seems to be more than simply about homophobia in soccer. Reading his blog, I'm struck about how very personal it all is, and how little blame, fear or anger is between the lines.
The larger question - why is orientation such a burdensome secret? - is a much larger question than soccer, I think. It sounds like Rogers needed to change his life completely - he just happened to be in England after an unsuccessful career move. I think we would have read the same post if he was wrestling alligators with the Fire, or if he was doing public relations for Carnival Cruise lines, or if he was Honey Boo Boo's nutritionist. If this site were BigRobbieRogersChurch, then we'd have at least some business commenting.
But just on the off-chance this did have anything to do with teammate, coach or fan acceptance of a player embraced by gaiety, I'll just reiterate my advice for closeted athletes: Come out together. You don't have to put yourself through what Jackie Robinson did, and you don't have to retire. Unlike with Jackie, people are already cheering you. If they turn on you, that makes them hypocrites as well.
And if your teammates can't handle that - well, maybe they should be put under a microscope for a change. They were fine with you yesterday. They passed you the ball yesterday. If things are different afterwards, whose fault is that? I'd honestly like to see some of our superstars stick up for their teammates...or know the reason why they won't.
Yeah, it's really easy for me to sit here and tell other people how to live their lives. I'm not telling people what to do, I'm just saying how I think it should be done. Because the alternative is making some poor guy take all the heat, like Jackie did - and that doesn't need to happen.
But then again, maybe I'm off base and the closet is just awesome. Didn't seem like Rogers or David Testo enjoyed it that much, though.
As for Chivas USA - look, I get called a "hater" a lot over in the Chivas USA forums. I just want to say, for the record, that characterization is one million percent accurate. I really, really hate Chivas USA. Not a lot of people know this story, but I lost a fairly sizeable amount on "Jeopardy" because the Final Jeopardy answer was "Kodiak," and I naturally wrote "What kind of bears should Chivas USA be fed to?"
The only problem with hating Chivas USA so much is that no one is going to, or probably even should, pay attention to my opinion when I say "See? Every despicable thing I've said about Chivas USA is coming true RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES."
And sure, I can't prove anything except list the suspicious transfers and releases and let people draw the obvious conclusions. If Bobby Burling wants to buy a house...or green bananas...that's his business.
And hell, who am I to say that if the MLS Players Union wants to take CUSA to court, it would be the biggest mismatch since Gallagher v. Watermelon? I'm not a lawyer. Maybe Chivas USA will apply for a Harlem Globetrotters exemption or something.
You know what, here's where I prove I'm not a "hater" necessarily. I know there are lots of LA-based MLS and soccer fans who nonetheless have come to hate the Galaxy. We hold these truths to be self-evident, to quote a famously questionable interracialist. If there are enough of those fans to support a team, then I'm not going to say they shouldn't have one.
They just shouldn't have this one. No one should. When I say Chelis is going to lose an awful lot of games while alienating fans and getting players hurt - well, some of that may come from blind, unconscious hatred. But I'm not denouncing Chivas USA here, I'm just saying what's going to happen. There's not going to be a stadium. There's not going to be any new fans. There aren't going to be that many old fans. Chivas USA is a death ship - when the transaction wire includes a lot of firewood and a dead Viking, that's no longer an insult.
They must know it in New York, too - Don Garber and the MLS front office are one of the canniest in American sports history. They've got to have a plan for this imminent bonfire besides marshmallows.
...which is what I'd write if I didn't have an Antimuse. I think we're all pretty lucky.