The Great Zaganza strikes again
Posted on May 17, 2011 7:57 am
Okay, this is probably because Major League Soccer Soccer’s archives are kept alongside the Ark of the Covenant, but still, it’s not totally impossible to find out what Garber actually said.
And what he said was gibberish:
It was a crappy metaphor. That’s it. He was trying to have it both ways. Seeing as how he hasn’t brought the subject up since.
And upon that mighty foundation we shall build MLS2. Because NFL2 and NBA2 and MLB2 and NHL2 are proven ratings winners.
Maybe I should put this on a macro until it sinks in, but the conference-and-playoff system isn’t simply better for American sports…although you’d think that would end the argument right there. It’s a better, fairer and more exciting system for fans. Nurturing local rivalries is a good enough reason for the current system – oh, but please, tell me all about how Seattle and Portland might have been interested in their game Saturday if MLS had promotion and relegation.
However, there are literally millions of other reasons – one for each dollar American sports don’t lose by punishing fans for the lousy performances of players, owners and coaches.
Remember when I wasted my life drawing up this theoretical table for a Football League converted to conferences? It’ll never happen, either, but at least fans would gain far more than they would lose.
Well, Bruce and Tha Dogg Pound didn’t call me out by name, although they might as well have. Bill, on the other hand, rang my doorbell and ran, leaving a flaming can of kerosene on the porch.
Well, I had a fantastic view of the whole sequence, so I can elaborate. First of all, we thought the big story of the evening would be Juan Pablo Angel coming out gangbusters. Maybe the criticism was getting to him, maybe being brutally upstages by Henry and Marquez the week before had something to do with it – but Angel was on a mission, and the Wizards (shut up) could do nothing about it. If Angel can contribute that intensity ninety minutes at a time…well, he’d still be a Red Bulls DP, I imagine.
Second, the context of the Beckham shot is interesting. We’ve noticed his rather enthusiastic fouling so far this season – there but for the grace of God goes an infinitely more famous Brian Mullan…no, make that an infinitely more famous Jonathan Leathers; no way the league suspends Beckham for nine games.
Well, Kansas City was the first team of the year to fight back…either that, or Roger Espinoza’s criminality is no respecter of persons. The tying penalty was made possible by Espinoza’s Marvel v. Capcom move in the penalty area…and although Scott Wolf of the Daily News wasn’t impressed by Beckham’s effort to that point, that’s the first time I’d seen him in a penalty area since MLS Cup 2009.
So when Davy Arnaud fouled Beckham twice in the waning moments of the game, pushing him down for emphasis – well, Beckham’s ironic smile lent itself to many interpretations.
What you didn’t see on the highlight, though, was maybe the second funniest moment of the year. Baldomero Toledo took out the spray paint, and sprayed a little circle around the ball.
You know – so Beckham wouldn’t cheat on his free kick.
We all saw Beckham’s response. His goal celebration, or lack thereof, was also perfect. He just turned and walked away, having given proof of his superiority.
Well, provided the ball isn’t moving. He still hasn’t contributed anything in the run of play, but it never crossed my mind that he’d be this effective, still, on dead balls. Beckham right now is tied for second in the league in assists – a little misleading, because Beckham’s team has played more games than anyone else (cf., the current goal-scoring leader). But that’s more production already than I thought the Galaxy would get out of him.
Not that I want him to take the rest of the year off. It’s a long season.
And it won’t always be this easy for Millonarios USA. While many are re-anointing the Galaxy as the MLS Cup favorites they were before MLS4RSL, the Galaxy are still bullying weaker teams and showing serious ineffectiveness against stronger ones. And even the MLS playoff system won’t allow the Galaxy to only play bad teams on the way to MLS Cup.
If you want to score four goals a game, by all means play expansion teams every week. Or play homeless teams – the last Kansas City team to barnstorm this much started Satchel Paige.
Of course, they get another box of cupcakes this week in…oh, really? At Red Bull Arena? Huh. Didn’t see that coming.
Anyway, LA-KC was only interesting to Galaxy fans and other sadists. I suppose at some point we should take a serious look at what Cascadia means for the league.
Oh, and the United States Soccer Federation has formed a national team for female players. I wonder if it’ll catch on.
(Should I bother to explain the title reference? Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently series featured an astrologer of a major newspaper who wrote his column specifically to annoy Dirk. “The paper’s circulation had dropped by nearly a twelfth since he had taken over doing the horoscope, and only Dirk and The Great Zaganza knew why.”
(So when I see nationwide writers produce something that annoys me so much that it could have had no other purpose BUT to irritate me and me personally…I think the Great Zaganza.)