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Run With The Villains

Somewhere, there is a perfect world, or at the very least a perfect sports world, where wise men of noble purpose rule the pitch,  the field of play, the arena of life…the sporting life at least. A world where decisions make sense, and are well-formulated, good, and wise and true. And when the lads march up the tunnel and onto the pitch, when the umpire shouts PLAY BALL!!, and when the thrilling announcement of “Ladies and Gentlemen, START YOUR ENGINES!!” resounds and echoes through every turn of the track, when the puck drops, and the ball is kicked off…in that magical moment of somewhere we can know in our hearts that sport is truly the measure of our souls and the best and purest way to bring together our imperfect world that is separated by dislocations.

Idealism of course, perpetually clashes with reality, and unfortunately, reality always seems to pull out the win. Perfection, of course does not exist. But it’s not the utopism of a naive intellect that it is ofttimes made out to be. Perfection, after all, is the ultimate purpose of sport. The perfect game in baseball. The undefeated season. A hole in one in golf or a 300 game in bowling, or a 29 hand in cribbage (not that cribbage is a sport, but then again, poker and dominoes have been and/or are televised on the ESPN family of networks, so why not?). Certain forms of perfection are thus achievable. Other forms of perfection are not. As usual, reality gets in the way…and sometimes even the facts get in the way of the truth.

The pursuit of perfection over the past week and a half has been derailed in various ways, by schemes and schemers, demons and demagogues…and snood-wearing poofters. So par for the course, rather than the hole-in-one. But it’s not that perfection is not achieved, it’s that it’s pursuit has been so spectacularly or amusingly derailed ((at least from the vantage point of journalistic alacrity)) by the aformentioned schemers and demagogues and snood-wearing poofters, leaving a wake of wreckage, curiosity, silence, and dismay. All that, and death!

Let’s go see what in the wide wide world of sports has been going on around here. Let’s wave our little fists of fury and hate. Let’s run with the villains.

If you’re going to Qatar…don’t wear flowers in your hair…

On top of everything else, Mr. O’Clock, a/k/a Sepp Blatter, the man who runs FIFA took jackassery and ignorant fucktardary to a new epic level of fail this past week when he jokingly suggested that homosexuals who are planning to attend the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 should abstain from engaging their peculiar brand of sexual activity. What a fuckin’ comedian that ass-clown is, and so? I mean it’s fairly well-known that Qatar and quite a few of the other Islamic nations of the world take a dim view of homosexuality to extent that it is illegal to engage in said activities even in the privacy of one’s home or rented hotel room. Homophobia is rampant in a lot of nations, Islamic and non-Islamic alike. But instead of cleaving to the higher purpose that FIFA likes to cloak itself in when it pronounces that it is opening the world to the beauty of football and bringing the cultures of the world together through the beautiful game, football has no boundaries, ya know…Mr. Blatter makes a paltry, insipid and insulting little joke about it. “They should refrain from any sexual activities….”

Of course, 3 days later, the ass clown is falling all over himself apologizing for the gaffe. Of course in the video in the Guardian he only talks about moving the Qatar 2022 World Cup to winter instead of summer. Which begs the question of why Qatar got the World Cup to being with….oh yeh…pay packets. But onward to the perfect world of freedom that Blather envisions for Qatar in the Winter of 2022, where there SURELY will be no problems, and homos won’t be denied tickets and entrance to the matches and so on.

So lissen up, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Great and Powerful Oz hath spoken. You’ve got 11 years and change to loosen things up a bit and, as the queers like to say, deal with it. And not in the usual way. But just in case, if Mario Balotelli is selected for Italy ((assuming he’s still the force to be reckoned with that he currently is in his own mind)), he’d best keep his glove hat at home. Just in case. You never know when a human error might occur.

We HATE you!!!   We hate you DEEPLY!!!

Sepp Blatter might as well have come out and called England a bunch of nancy-boys while he was at it. Stop your sobbing England and America and stopping your prissy simpering all the rest of you. Belgium and Holland I’m looking at you. And Spain, don’t pretend for a moment that you’re not closeted away crying on Portugal’s shoulders. All you LOSERS need to be more sportsmanlike about this. In other words, despite all my utopisms about a better more perfect world of unity through football, your pay packets were very unsportsmanlike.

That was the bottom line, after all. Whenever someone says it’s not about the money, you KNOW damn well that it’s all about the money. Sure, it’s nice and all that that the World Cup is played in a place or region it was never played in before. And it really WOULD be nice if the posturing and pious rectitude that FIFA toots on and on about were the actual real truth. If Blatter and the rest of  the FIFA Gang were sincere and actually believed in the higher purposes that they would like us all to believe they aspire to, I could and would be fine with Russia and Qatar and saved these 974 words and counting at the moment for something more worthy of my foaming wrath. But these asshats at FIFA are a bunch of quisling two-faced hypocrites. And it’s not because they gave 2018 to Russia and 2022 to Qatar. I say that because that’s exactly what they are…a bunch of two-faced quisling hypocrites. It’s not so much that the end result is Russia in 2018 and Qatar 2022….it’s the manner in which those results were achieved. It’s more about how FIFA conducts it’s business.

And pay-packets notwithstanding, it all comes down to hatred. And yes, hatred runs quite counter to the hallowed goals and mission of FIFA, but far be it for Blatter and the Gang to cop to that or admit that they will let nothing get in their way of achieving what they want, not even the social and cultural importance or the hallowed goals and principles….especially not those. It’s still about the money, in the short term….but it’s also about the hate.

Sunderland’s gaffer Steve Bruce summed it up pretty nicely, and I agree with him: “England didn’t get the 2018 World Cup because nobody likes us.”  I like Steve Bruce. He’s doing a good job with Sunderland and has them upper mid-table on the cusp of qualifying for Europe in 2011-2012. He’s looks like what Bill Clinton would look like if Clinton had been a football coach and not the President of the United States. Bruce hits the nail on the head. Not many like the English abroad these days. They don’t like the EPL even though it IS top to bottom the best Football League in the World….it’s not real English football, it’s more a playground for high-priced foreign talent ((might have a BIT of point there)). And I suppose too it’s that the English suffer from the same sense of cultural entitlement that Americans do…we’re so used to being on top and ruling the world that we oftimes take that for granted, not realizing how insufferably self-righteous it makes us appear to the rest of the world. So I take Bruce one step further and toss America into the hate blender, so nobody much likes us Yanks either. Maybe they even hate us more than England.

Money was the short-term object….but by going with Russia over England in 2018, and Qatar over the USA in 2022, FIFA sacrificed a LOT of money in the long term, especially by choosing Qatar over the USA. If the long-term good of the sport were considered, I’ll concede perhaps that England vs. Russia is a push, but USA over Qatar would have a harnessed a growing and power force in football to FIFA for years to come. The USA, compared to Russia, even compared to Qatar, including The Emirates with whom they will share venues (since Qatar really CAN’T host the World Cup on it’s own), is practically a third world nation when it comes to football. There is no real league system like they have in England and every other country in the world. Yes, the MLS is growing in popularity, but there is very little on the local level to build and grow the sport to the prominence it deserves and can achieve. Yes, there are youth leagues and some local soccer clubs (not clubs in the sense of England, but more like glorified YMCA’s or fitness centers), in fact, my young nephew plays youth soccer in the St. Louis area. But there is no real over-riding sense of organization or structure to it all, no soccer pyramid or league system…I mean, the bottom two finishers in the MLS are not relegated down to the next lowest league, since there is none.

In my hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin, Everton FC has an affiliated academy….or rather, a soccer club who is affiliated with Everton. Everton has several academies throughout the United States. So do my Chelsea Blues, in LA, Dallas, Baltimore, Arizona & Hawaii. So do other premier leagues teams. And it’s great to develop potential American talent. But a league system would help far more….and local teams and local heroes would we be the key. We need more major teams AND minor teams in more cities. Our best talent, with the exception of Buddle and Donovan are playing in Europe…mainly the EPL. We need to more to make soccer more mainstream…and not just something moms take their kids to before the onrushing days of middle school and high school wash them away in mighty tide of mediocrity, mathematics and sexual politics.

England has a different, if similar problem. They have all systems in place. They have more opportunity to develop local talent. But…they don’t have enough coaches, and yet they have too MUCH formal training at an earlier age that casual players, kids especially, have a hard time finding ways to just play for fun. In a perfect world, England would develop top notch talent instead of over-paid primadonnas that everyone loves to hate. And America would have a league system and more talent, and everyone would still hate us.

But at the end of the day, the SCOREBOARD has to be the best revenge. England and  the USA playing for the World Cup championship in 2018 and 2022 would indeed be the best revenge of all. The world can hate us all we want after that. In a perfect world, that is….

If only the priest had worn white….

Sepp Blatter was not only lunatic running amok the past few weeks. We can count Mike Ashley (yes THAT Mike Ashley as opposed to THIS one) and Mrs.Anuradha J.Desai and her Chicken Gang at Venky’s among that number. And while we’re at it we’ll throw Massimo Moratti into the mix as well.

Where do I start with this? I mean, in the NFL the firing of a head coach usually makes a bit of sense. The team fucking sucks and the coach is not getting it done, so….off ye go Brad Childress, back to the practice of dentistry….hi thee to the all-you-can-eat pizza and salad bar Wade Phillips. Those two firings made sense.

But….Mike Ashley’s mid-season sacking of Chris Hughton….who not only got Newcastle back to the Premier League, but had them in the upper mid-table, made very very little sense. Hughton did a great job with the team and was beloved by players and fans alike. Newcastle’s recent run of bad form ahead of him being sacked was due to Joey Barton being out with hamstring injury if you’ll allow the facts and the truth to collide one time there now. It was the Hughton led Magpies that blasted the fuck out of the aforementioned Steve Bruce’s Black Cats in the Tyne/Wear derby 5-1. And if not for Hughton’s leadership, Newcastle quite likely would be duking it out with my Norwich City Canaries down in Championship. Ashley is yet another asshat who, in a perfect world, would have nothing whatsoever to do with a football club, except for providing them with their sporting goods and gear ((which is how Ashley made his fortune btw, such as it is…he made it in sporting goods…..and lesson learned here is that just because you know sporting goods, it does naught mean you know the tiniest bit of fuck about the sport that uses those goods….now on the surface it would make sense, but…beneath the surface is where the villains lurk)). The only saving grace in this is that Alan Pardew, who replaced Hughton, seems to be a pretty good and decent guy….he’s won over the players and, reluctantly, the fans. And I hope he continues the work that Hughton started and that the Magpies do well ((except when they have their re-match with Chelsea, of course)). It’s shame that this is not a perfect world, since Mike Ashley looms over it all like a purtid and hideous dying star who dim wan light suffocates the sky both day and night.

As for Mrs.Anuradha J.Desai and the Chicken Gang…well….it’s more of the same, as though Mike Ashley were cleft and twain and resurrected from the muddy waters of the Ganges River…okay okay I’ll stop now. Anyway, Venky’s is the new owner of the Blackburn Rovers. They grow chickens in INdia and sell them to Kentucky Fried Chicken here in the USA. Remember that when have a hankering for Col, Sanders’s Original Recipe. The recipe now belongs to Mrs.Anuradha J.Desai who also holds the Blackburn Rover’s football club in her thrall. Now these asshats might know chicken, but as for football, they might have better off buying a cricket team instead….a cricket team in PAKISTAN!! Yeh…that WOULD have made more sense. Now their first big move at Blackburn was to sack Sam Allardyce…which provokes even MORE what the focks, than Asshatley’s sacking of Hughton. Now, Big Sam is not everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s a good coach and good man and again, in a perfect world, he’d still be coaching the Blackburn Rovers. What in the clucking hell was Mrs.Anuradha J.Desai and the Chicken Gang thinking, anyway??!! Well….what were thinking, if it an be called that, was that they wanted a coach of more International prominance, so they could promote their Venky’s chicken brand worldwide…and ONE of their ideas was to get Diego Maradona as their coach to replace Big Sam!!  Yeeeeee!! Now I think Diego Maradona might be an inspired, albeit psychedelic, choice for some EPL team in a PERFECT world…but NOT for Blackburn and NOT as a replacement to Big Sam in this terrible and annoying and scary REAL world in which we presently dwell.

As for Rafa at Milan, and his departure from there, I will say this and ONLY this: “A priest on a mountain of sugar, always walks alone.”

“Rise up, you snood-wearing motherfucker!!!”
Everton 2    Manchester City 1

Now THIS was a must-watch match, and I watched and enjoyed every minute of it. Tim Cahill played out of his mind, scoring the first goal on a header at the 4 minute mark and generally driving Mario Balotelli, who he marked most of the game, out of HIS mind ((it’s not hard to drive Mario Balotelli out of his mind, but whatever)). At the 19 minute Everton drove it home again on a beautiful play, the sort of of play one sees from the best basketball teams…almost like a give and go, and Tim Cahill fed the ball to Leighton Baines who smacked the ball home. Did I mention that Tim Cahill was playing out of his mind. Wow!! Who needs Landon Donovan when Cahill can produce such brilliant results! Now mind you, as an aside, I would love to see Landon Donovan as a permanent fixture at Everton….but it’s not to be this year…Donovan is taking off-season off to rest and recoup. So Cahill will have to continue playing out of his mind. If Everton keeps playing the way did against City for the rest of the season, they WILL qualify for Europe.

City’s only goal was scored as a Phil Jagielka own goal….I honestly thought snood-wearing Yaya Toure kicked it in clean. But…nope, it went off Jagielka.

The nice thing about Everton’s, match last Monday was the way they played as team. Yes, Man City has WAY more talent and more top players, but…City’s snood-wearing primadonnas DON’T play that well as a team. I sort of feel sorry for Roberto Mancini because he has TOO many snood-wearing motherfuckers to deal with and I hiughly doubt that ANY coach be it Mourinho or Ancelotti or even the late great Vince Lombardi could turn City into a TEAM. City will win plenty because of, and ONLY because of, their endless supply of purchased people….they have an entire bench of multi-million dollar babies. They will win despite themselves. But when the going gets tough, as it did against Everton last Monday, the snoodies are nowhere to be found. And when things get tough the maniacs like Cahill and Baines and Tim Howard shine more brightly, as they did last Monday. Hats off to David Moyes for leading Everton through adversity and getting the most out his men. And hats off to Ben Kenwright and David Elstone for continuing to give David Moyes the opportunity to do so.

And now it is time for the aforementioned Death.

“You used me like an ashtray heart…case of the punks….right from the start…”

In our perfect world there might not be as much death, but in this fallen world of ours, there is a considerable amount of it, and so we now must have a moment of silence for the passing this past week of one the great ones…the talented and multi-faceted Don VanVliet…a/k/a Captain Beefheart who died last Friday of natural causes at the age of 69 . But not too much silence, since Captain Beefheart, for many,  was all about great poetry and great music and great art, so fuck the moment of silence. I could go on and on for yet ANOTHER 3000 more words about the man and his music and his art. Instead, I will let some of his music do the talking. Since y’all are tired of hearing from me. Perhaps, after all,  instead of running with the villains, we should run with something like this:


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