It wasn’t on TV, so it didn’t happen
Posted on September 10, 2012 6:18 pm
The Jamaica-US game reminded me a lot of the season finale of “2 Broke Girls.” Maxine and Gemma are counting their coins, and they’re all like, “Crap, we’re broke,” and then out of nowhere Gemma says, “Are the Delaware quarters worth anything by now?” and Maxine is like “Duh, no…but wait, is that a solid silver Liberty dime from the Hoover Administration?” and Gemma is all “By Jove, you’re right!” and they run to the Internet and look up how much a 1927 Liberty dime is worth and it turns out it’s south of ten bucks, so they’re still broke.
I haven’t ever actually watched an episode of “2 Broke Girls.” But that’s all right, because I didn’t watch the Jamaica-US game, either.
What can I say? There was a “Doc McStuffins” marathon on Disney Junior, so, priorities. Seriously, don’t give me this “Why didn’t I get an illegal stream or drive two thousand miles to a soccer bar” crap, either. I’m not Morpheus, I don’t know how to DVR pirate streams. (And I don’t want to know, thanks. As a pillar of the community, I must set a good example for others.)
Anyway, because both US Soccer and bEiNspORTS (ask me how much I love to hit the shift key at random times to please some cockamamie marketing remora – go ahead, ask, I’m dying to tell you) knew well in advance that wide swathes of the country wouldn’t be able to see the game live, and had both taken non-trivial amounts of crap for it equally well in advance. One obvious solution was to do what MLS does – they still want you to buy MLS Live, to see games, y’know, live. But after 48 hours, they do put games up at Major League Soccer Soccer, just so they don’t shut out potential customers entirely, while also showcasing the product.
So it stood to reason that either BeinspORtS or the Fed would make sure that the entire game would be hosted on one or both websites, to mitigate the negative publicity of the live broadcast being available to so few. And sure enough, if you go to either site right this second, you can see – well, the USSF has some highlights, at least.
I wasn’t mad that I couldn’t see the whole game even well after the fact – I mean, we did lose – but just now, typing that out, I got annoyed again. Listen, BeinsporTS, it’s 2012. Knowing the features provided by your direct competitors is as easy as bookmarking a page in a browser.
And you’re not skating on this either, Mr. Flynn – not if you’re going to sell broadcast rights to glorified GeoCities sites. (EDIT – Chapka corrected me in the comments. Road game broadcast rights aren’t Mr. Flynn’s call, so, in conclusion, I suck.)
There, I’m sure that rant was useful and productive. And now, back to the game I didn’t see.
The only surprise, really, is that anyone is surprised. Is there a team on the planet that in one calendar year can win in Italy, win in Mexico, and lose in Jamaica? I can only think of one. You can’t spell “Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle” without USNT.
The more level-headed of you in the US fanbase have already run the numbers, and correctly concluded that while not super-helpful, the Jamaica loss was not a World Cup deal-breaker. Fortunately, the collected membership of the National Association of Level-Headed US Fans wouldn’t even be able to use the carpool lane in a lot of cities.
So, it should be cake to pump out a blog entry along the lines of “What if we don’t qualify?!” and watch the panicky hits come pouring in like sweet nectar.
Except…someone already out-trolled me. Not merely saying that failing to qualify is a realistic possibility, but actively promoting it. Yes, I know Mr. Source is simply trying to get cheap hits, which I am cheerfully providing. Because I feel somewhat responsible – this is the end result of trolls trying to top trolls, and I’ve certainly eaten my share of billy goats in the past. The only place to go from here is to advocate banning the sport entirely, so it will seem that much more hip and cool. Like crystal meth.
It is worth pointing out that the central premise of such a philosophy comes from our old pal Fred Nietzsche, who, whatever his good qualities, badly bungled his most popular contribution: “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” That’s the theory behind failing to qualify for the World Cup would be a good thing.
The problem is, there’s no guarantee that failing to be killed will make you any stronger. Graham Chapman did not kill the Black Knight in “Holy Grail;” yet the Black Knight did not become stronger.
More to the point – that which kills you, kills you. Do not confuse lingering death with survival, either. Any theoretical, philosophical benefits of failing to qualify can’t compare with going to the World Cup and beating people.
So thank you, Mr. Source – I am chastened and wiser. I won’t needlessly tease our fellow fans about the wisdom of likelihood of setting our hair on fire and shampooing with gasoline.
Unless we lose tomorrow, of course.