Want to read some hot takes on Juergen Klinsmann?
Aw, come on. Everyone's doing it. It's fun. First one's free.
That's how it started.
I was a typical soccer American soccer writer - four foot two, two hundred sixty pounds, wavy golden hair, Scientologist, atheist, Aquarius, allergic to peanuts, Olympic bronze medalist, poet, two-headed biracial kneecap fetishist. I would type words on a screen until people begged me to stop. I was happy. Life was good.
So one weekend, we were watching Rob Stone call darts and huffing nitrous out of balloons when someone brought up Juergen Klinsmann.
"I got some thoughts," he said. Or she. They were big balloons.
"Whoa," I said. "I don't think I'm ready for the hard stuff."
"Well, he's really doing a good job getting attention for these friendlies, huh?"
Huh. That was what everyone was worried about? That wasn't so bad.
"Yeah. Hey, it's great to get American interested in soccer."
"Oh, I agree. He's helping change the culture in this country."
Oooh, I thought. A more powerful hit that time.
It felt good.
But I knew I wanted more.
After the party, I got in my Segway and cruised on down to the library. I wasn't going to surf for more opinions. Or, as they were called on the street, oklinsions. I was just going to play some Minesweeper, update MySpace, and groove to some wild Teen Titans fan fiction. I didn't even notice my hand over the Grant Wahl link.
Then two hours later, the librarian was shaking me out of my trance.
"You have to leave now, we're closing," he said.
"We're famous for having a physically fit team. That was the stereotype since the 1980's. All athleticism, no tactics. Now we're not fit enough, and our tactics are substandard? What the hell, man?" I said.
I stumbled home shaking. I had traded my Segway for an iPad filled with soccer podcasts. Every time a bus passed me, I looked under it for players Klinsmann might have thrown under it. I was seriously Jermaine Jonesing. I opened up a can of corned beef and hashtag:Klinsi, and dug in to my sweet, sweet takes.
Why doesn't he ever take responsibility?
Change doesn't happen overnight.
The MLS season needs to be longer!
Who the hell actually has an 11 month season?
Why can't we develop stars like they do in Europe?
When I woke up two afternoons later, I tried to sell my possessions and move to Phoenix, in order to educate myself on fitness.
I heard a knock on my door. It was the landlord and the sheriff. "Klinsmann is a World Cup winner, he knows what it takes to succeed," the sheriff said, handing me a bright yellow paper and padlocking the door. The paper said "WARNING: My comments aren't meant to criticize anybody, it's just where we are right now. It's understandable."
The truth is on a piece of paper. I've seen the numbers.
I don't know how much time passed after that, or where I was, or who the person was standing over me.
"Hey. Hey," he said, shaking me awake. I couldn't see his face. It was pinprick of light surrounded by gray. "Did you read the latest on Klinsmann on UpDoc?"
"UpDoc? What's UpDoc?"
"Be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbits."
I died before I stopped screaming.