Should I have told people I was going to miss a few days? Probably. Should I have picked a less eventful week? Praps. But we'll get to the Gold Cup in a tad. The whole tournament is just another excuse for a US-Mexico payday anyway.
I stole this kid's Leapster laptop and rushed to post because I saw the Chivas USA debacle on Real Sports. I have no idea what happened, except I know exactly what happened and I can guarantee you on the grave of my first puppy this is how it went down:
HBO INTERN: Hi, we're HBO Real Sports [or better still, HBO Latino Celebrity Journalism], We'd love to do a puff piece on Paco Palencia and all the great things he's doing for Chivas.
CHIVAS USA COMMUNICATIONS REPRESENTATIVE WHO WILL VERY SOON BE SENDING OUT RESUMES WITH A BIG GOAT-SHAPED HOLE IN THEM: Oh, thank God you've called! We sure could use some good publicity!
HBO INTERN: Oh, we're happy to help! We're all big, big fans!
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: [ten minutes of happy talk about what a big fan she is and how Mexican soccer is blessed to have someone like him], oh, and by the way, what do you think about this here questionnaire given to your academy players?
PACO PALENCIA: The evil that men do lives beyond them, the good is interred with their bones, or something like that. Alas, I am slain.
That is what is known as an "ambush," or, as it is also called, "Standard Operating Procedure." Mick Foley tells a very egregious story about this sort of thing in "The Real World Is Faker Than Professional Wrestling."
I mean, how do you think they get people to sit in the green room of "The Jerry Springer Show"? They don't tell them in advance the topic is "I married a transvestite Satanist." They don't even bring two cameras to these interviews most of the time - they shoot the reporter asking questions and reacting to the answers after the fact. Palencia was a sitting duck.
The only reason television journalism gets away with this sort of thing is that a lot of the time the charges are substantially true. Chivas USA asked children to detail their parents' national origins. That's a Darryl Dawkins backboard shattering slam dunk. Vergara and MLS have been in damage control mode for months now, the only question is how much they lose by and what happens afterward.
This is usually where I point out that some observers pointed out the incompatibility between puro Chivas and US labor law back in 2004, but were dismissed as unfunny bloggers.
Anyway, got to dust off my generic US-Mexico preview ("These teams don't like each other!") for the Gold Cup final. Just gotta see what the semifinal scores were....