Stuff I Won’t Be Writing About
Posted on March 7, 2013 2:55 pm
As I climb back into the saddle here at BigSoccer World Headquarters – and I see they still haven’t fixed the cappuccino machine – there is a long and growing list of topics which, alas, just aren’t going to make the cut.
So rather than simply leaving them piled up on the cutting room floor, let’s get them out of the way up front.
For example, I’m not going to be commenting on the release of the 911 call made by Marcus Solo, brother of America’s Sweetheart, in the wee hours of the morning on the day before Hope’s wedding.
Partly because there’s really nothing to add to my previous post on the subject, but mostly because it speaks for itself:
For her part, Solo still refuses to discuss the incident while simultaneously blaming “the media” for lying about it, adding only: “the truth is out there”.
Can’t be improved on, so I’m not going to try.
One of my go-to experts on soccer in particular and sports in general has been saying for quite some time that part of every professional athlete’s contract ought to stipulate that under no circumstances will they be allowed to maintain a Twitter account. Too often, they end up sounding narrow, parochial and inarticulate without the media and their club PR people doing a quick scrub on their thoughts.
And occasionally, as we all know, they tweet something really, really stupid.
But until yesterday, nobody would have thought to include referees in the select group of folks who ought to have better sense.
That changed when, in the aftermath of an appallingly bad officiating performance in the Manchester United – Real Madrid match which included (but was by no means limited to) a ludicrous red card to Nani which tilted the game squarely over to the Spanish side, it became known that the referee, a Turk named Cuneyt Cakir, “follows” both Madrid and Christiano Ronaldo in his spare time.
Furthermore, in just eight club games since mid-January he has handed out a remarkable 36 yellows and three reds, with John Terry, Gary Cahill and Steven Gerrard among those being sent off.
Cakir says he’s not going to be Twitting any more because he “doesn’t deserve” all the insults he’s suddenly getting from fans in England.
I just have nothing more to add.
And while I have a good deal I want to say about MLS right now – much of it good, some of it not so much – you’ll see no complaint about the fact that, apparently, I’ve fallen out of favor with the denizens of league HQ.
Now it’s true that, as Dan once said, I’ve always been surprised that they ever bothered to respond to me at all, but in the past they have been unflaggingly generous to yours truly even at times when I probably didn’t exactly return the favor.
(For the record, I only called him “Commissioner Chimpy” that one time, and it was a comment on his odd choice in facial hair landscaping rather than his intellect. I’m not the imbecile in Canada who called him “a caretaker commissioner” of a “scared little league”.)
It’s also true that I had a somewhat unpleasant phone conversation with a league official whom I both respect and admire a few months back, but he didn’t get around to returning my call until well into Happy Hour and since even in the best of times I tend to say what I’m actually thinking, I may have ticked him off.
So I guess that when you’ve been waiting three weeks for a reply to an email with a very simple, straightforward and uncomplicated question that the handwriting is on the wall, but I’m not going to offer further comment.
I do wish that someone would explain to me what the problem is with FakeSigi. With the advent of the new MajorLeagueSoccerSoccer, I had hoped to check out his always lucid and knowledgeable reaction, but whenever I try to log in my computer warns me that it will self destruct in five seconds if I don’t run away like a fat kid with a bag of HoHo’s.
If you should see him at an ERA rally or chained to the fence outside a missile silo, would you ask him to look into it? Thanks.
I notice that there was a big “player combine” the other day.
I know it was a “combine” because the neoCosmos called it one, and everyone agreed.
Far be it from me to point out that a combine is, by definition, a “combined” event put on by a league or umbrella organization, not simply another word for a “closed tryout” which is used by a pompous, overblown bunch of clowns with delusions of grandeur when they’re trying to create the impression that a cattle call of 200 out-of-work, marginal players is somehow a stupendous event.
So I certainly won’t be writing about that either.
I also won’t be writing about the big announcement which flashed across the soccersphere like a lightning bolt this week, that Chuck Blazer will not be seeking reelection to his FIFA Executive Committee seat, which he will vacate after the May meeting.
The reason I won’t be commenting on this announcement is because, as sharp-eyed readers will recall, I wrote about this over a year ago when he actually announced it.
I’m just happy to see the world finally catching up.
You also probably won’t be reading much about Sunil Gulati’s announcement that he intends to stand for election to Blazer’s spot on the ExCo, setting up a whiz bang of a dogfight between the President of USSF and Mexico FedPres Justino Compean.
The main reason is that back when Blazer actually announced his retirement I insisted that Mexico was going to get the position, which is possibly the coolest job on Earth.
Among other things the ExCo expense reimbursement system is handled on an honors basis: you tell them your hotel room was $15,000 a night and they cut you a check, no receipts required. Combine that with free luxury box seats at every soccer event and tournament in the world, unlimited five star dining and entertainment and endless opportunity for collecting graft and about the only people better situated are Mafia Dons.
Particularly for a guy like Gulati, who collects exactly nothing in salary from USSF, this would be one heck of a step up, but it’s hard to imagine that an American with very close personal ties with Blazer would have much of a chance.
No one down there has forgotten or forgiven Blazer for blowing the whistle on their beloved jack Warner and causing the downfall of their personal ATM machine.
However, Sunil is nobody’s fool and, in fact, whatever else you can say about him – and we’ve said plenty – is a superb political infighter. He wouldn’t be tossing his hat in the ring if didn’t know for a fact that he has pretty substantial support.
Which is why you probably won’t be hearing much about it from me, since I am on record as mocking the notion that, with anti-American feelings running high amongst our Caribbean brethren (“Give us the money and shut the hell up” is the order of the day in the CFU) Gulati would ever even consider running.
The only other item up for a vote at the April 19 CONCACAF Clambake and HookerFest in scenic and lovely Panama City also involves Sunil the Silent in a steel cage match with useless Canadian empty suit Victor Montagliani, President of the Canadian Soccer Association, for the North American seat on the CONCACAF Executive Committee.
It’s hard to imagine how Montagliani could find the men’s room without Gulati or Garber drawing him a map, but apparently he feels it’s time for America’s Hat to stand up and be heard.
And that, my friends, is something I don’t mind writing about at all.