The Leaders and Best

"Hey, soccer in America is bigger than ever!  Did you see the attendance record set in Ann Arbor over the weekend?"

"Boy, did I!  Wasn't it great...hey, what's your name again?"

"How the hell should I know.  Hey, look!  Up in the sky!"

"It's a mosquito spreading malaria to starving children!"

"It's a plane dropping white phosphorus onto an elementary school!"



"Hi, kids.  By the way, it's Major Bringdown.  I finally got a promotion."

"Oh!  Congratulations."

"Yeah.  The previous major died, so there was space available.  They said it was a mercy killing at the end, but, I guess we'll never know.  Still, every second we live is one step closer to the blade of Death's scythe, that's what I always say.  What are you kids talking about?"

"Well, Major, on Saturday we set an all-time attendance record for soccer in the United States!  Soccer has made it in America!"

"Oh, is that true, Johnny?"

"My name's Johnny?  I thought I was a girl."

"No one cares, Johnny.  That's weird, I didn't see anything about it on Major League Soccer Soccer.  Oh, wait, here it is.  Fifteenth biggest story of the weekend, according to MLS.  I wonder why that is."

"Well, there's a lot going on in soccer today."

"But a big story like an all-time attendance record.  I wonder why it wasn't a bigger story.  Is it because the record is completely meaningless?"

"What do you mean, Captain?"

"Major, god damn it.  I didn't watch General Malaise die like a pig in Grenada to be called the wrong rank by some snot-nosed civilian pukes."

"...that was uncalled-for."

"You're right, it's probably the tumor acting up.  Isn't the attendance record more about the size of the venue than the actual event?  Unless you're seriously trying to tell me that a couple of honest-to-God World Cup finals wouldn't have had this record already if they hadn't remodeled the Rose Bowl?"

"But Major, this was still a record that stood for thirty years."

"Yes, and it can't be broken now, unless Michigan adds a few more nosebleed seats.  Or unless, according to Wikipedia, we play in North Korea.  Hey, that's a great entry.  "Uses:  Association football, athletics, mass games, executions."

"Yeah, that's great, Major.  But to set that kind of record in such a famous stadium."

"Must have been the biggest game in the history of the stadium, right?  Right?  Right?"

"I don't know, maybe?"

"Well, try not in the top ten." 

"It's not fair to count Michigan football games."

"Why not?"

"Because they are a popular local team.  This is a national soccer record.  It still shows that Americans have finally embraced soccer."

"That's's great that American teams are so popular now."


"What is it, Johnny?  Something you want to say?"

"Hey, I thought I was Johnny."

"Cram it.  You were saying?"

"Well, actually, Major, it was Real Madrid and Manchester United."

"Oh.  So, the best-attended game in American history didn't have an American team?"

"No, Major, I guess not."

"Wow.  Well, at least it must have been an important game.  Did they explain why they were holding the Champions League Final in Michigan in August?"

"Actually, Major, as I think you may already know, this was a friendly."

"A friendly."

"Yes, Major, a friendly."

"So, to recap, you two were happy about the biggest game in a hundred and fifty years of American soccer being a meaningless friendly between two European teams in preseason."

"I hate you so much, Major Bringdown."

"I get that a lot.  Well, I have to go now.  Don't forget to call your mom, and ask her why she's disappointed in you.  Farewell, citizens!"    


"Hey, Johnny, the Silverdome is on that Wikipedia list!  Isn't that funny?"

"I thought you were Johnny."

"No one cares."