The N-word

Mexico will try to put the pieces together against the Ivory Coast at the Meadowlands in their FIFA Friendly match. The game has become a lightning rod for a number of reasons: can Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre loosen up; who replaces an injured Chicharito; and, of course, the one that has eclipsed every story - will the "naturalizados" play? Chepo called two newly minted Mexican citizens for the match: Damian "la chilindrina" Alvarez and Christian "Chaco" Gimenez, both né Argentines, and both two of Mexico's most dynamic foreign players over the past decade. The Mexican press had been clamoring for Chaco's call the second the Cruz Azul star the very second Chaco's Mexicanity became official. Which is very funny because those same talking heads were the first to criticize the coach for calling him up at all, while others were trying to paint the newly Mexicanized players as saviors.

The N-word sells a lot of papers and gathers a lot of eye balls in Mexico. It is clearly the most controversial subject in Mexican soccer, and it eclipses any an all other subject matter. Even the C-word. Clenbuterol made another appearance in some players' samples this past week. The players were exonerated and the story was left for dead, especially when not one, but two N-worded players were called up. It riles up a lot of folks, most of whom believe that the players in question are nothing more than hired guns. Chaco, after all, did cry for 40 minutes when D10S called him up to play for Argentina 4 years ago (he did not play, which makes him eligible for Mexico). And now he says he is honored to "ponerse la verde."

a lot folks see the move as a desperate one. A coach who needs W's brings on a solid, but aging player in hopes of not only revitalizing a stale offense but bringing leadership to team that has none. It doesn't seem that crazy, and Chepo's predecesor did the exact same thing 4 years years ago.

But all Vasco Aguirre did was bring back Cuauh, not an Argentine mercenary.

I have written in the past about this topic, and my thoughts have not changed all that much. In fact, I see it as even less of an issue than I did few years ago. Mostly because as fans swell with national pride when they watch their national team, it is easy to forget that it is, above all else, entertainment. If you, as a fan get your skivvies in knot because your country fields player who works, buys a house, gets married, starts a family, pays taxes, and votes and is 100% eligible to play for said country's national team, then don't celebrate when and if he scores a goal. Despite your protests, it is probably still going to count.