Turd of the Week #31

Top 10 Premature Guarantees10. “I am not a crook.” (Richard Nixon, US President)
9. “The Titanic is unsinkable.” (White Star Lines, Ship Owner)
8. “We will have peace in our time.” (Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister)
7. “Don’t worry — I’m on the pill.” (Former Girlfriend, Current Wife)
6. “They couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at this dist …” (Civil War general’s dying words)
5. “You have already won $10 million!” (Ed McMahon, Publisher’s Clearinghouse Huckster)
4. “Read my lips, no new taxes.” (George Bush, US President)
3. “64k is all the memory a computer will ever need.” (Bill Gates, Master of the Universe)
2. “I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” (Bill Clinton, Commander in Briefs)
1. “The Rapids will beat the A-league’s best in Rochester.” (SoccerBuddy, Guy on Internet)

If you can’t join them, beat them*

Colorado dominated the play in the first half as Rochester opened with a counter-attacking 5-4-1, with only Darren Tilley up top. The failure to capitalize on a 10:3 first half shot ratio — especially Ross Paule’s 41st minute through ball from Jorge Dely Valdes — would prove fatal.

ESPN.com, part of the Go Network, broke away in the 25th minute for an interview with Lamar Hunt about the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup then ongoing in Lamar Hunt Stadium, which is located in Colamarbus, Ohuntio. Then a few minutes later, ESPN.com, part of the Go Network, broke away for three minutes of Sammy Sosa’s latest at bat, and news of what flavor burrito he had for dinner that night.

Apparently the breaks were pre-scehduled. ESPN.com, part of the Go Network, repeated their antics in the second half, breaking away for another Sosa at bat, plus three minutes of Sammy spitting and scratching his balls. At least they saved announcer Derek Rae’s grilling of Prãsident Crapshoot MLs Don Garber for halftime.

Though ESPN.com, part of the Go Network, missed the Rhinos crucial substitution of Doug Miller for Darren Tilley, thankfully it did not miss Miller’s 66th minute goal that put the Rhinos up 1:0. (Miller is a Paul Gascoigne look-alike, but with a more refined scoring touch and smaller paunch.)

After Miller’s goal, ESPN.com, part of the Go Network, broke away again in the 73rd minute for an interview with Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain. Sorry. We meant Phillipine strongman Ferdinand Marcos. Oops. Fucked up again. Wrong dictators. They’re dead anyway. Like the interview. Which was with A-League El Presidente Francisco Marcos.

After taking the 1:0 lead, Rochester did not go into a defensive shell, it actually poured forward in waves, putting the Rapids back on their heals. (The Rhinos would finish the game being outshot only 15:10, yet leading in shots-on-goal 4:3.)

Referee Tim Weyland, who did a fine job, gave three minutes second half stoppage time. Less than a minute later Derek Rae said the Rhinos considered an Open Cup win more important than the A-League championship, whereupon sub Carlos Zavala, deep in the corner, immediately hooked a cross off the goalline past a relaxing Peter Vermes. Another Rhinos sub, Michael Kirmse, despite being marked by three Rapids defenders, flicked the ball to the far edge of the penalty area, where an unmarked Yari Allnutt waited. Allnutt, a much more dangerous player than Kirmse, calmly slotted the ball past a charging Ian Feuer for the final margin of victory.

Did you know? The Rhinos, with four, have one more regulation victory this year over MLs teams than MLs’s flagship franchise, the RotMasters. It took Rochester only four games to achieve the feat, while the RotMasters are on 28 games. Who said there’s no more crap floating in the Hudson River?


Man of the Match: Pat Onstad, GK, Rhinos. For forcing Ross Paule’s 41st minute shot wide, but mostly for his point-blank stop of a Paul Bravo shot when the Rhinos were leading 1:0. A tie going into injury time would have given the Rapids hope, instead their fate was sealed by Allnutt’s 90th minute goal.

Darren Sawatzky Darren Sawatzky
Rapids 5th choice forward
US Open Cup starter
Separated at Birth?
Road Dogg Jesse James Road Dogg Jesse James
pro wrestler

Crappy Personnel Move by a Team Participating in the US Open Cup: Rapids coach Mooch Myernick, for starting Shemp, Joe and Curley Joe in place of normal first choice players defender Jason Bent, midfielder Joey DiGimarino and forward Wolde Harris. Word out of Colorado is that Harris is in Myernick’s doghouse for considering his options for next season. Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face! (In Mynernick’s case it must be some serious spite, because he has a substantial schnozz and a face that looks like it went 12 rounds with George Foreman.)

Crappy Personnel Move by a Team Not Participating in the US Open Cup: Cacho Cordoba, whose Milwaukee Rampage failed to qualify for the tournament, for cutting 1997 A-League Championship-winning goalkeeper Carmine Isacco in mid-season. “What does that have to do with the the US Open Cup,” you ask? Gee, you don’t suppose Pat Ercoli, a coach with a clue, might have acquired Isacco as a backup for the Rhinos, would you?

Sour Grapes Award: The people of Colamarbus, Ohuntio, for staying home to watchWheel of Fortune reruns because their hometown team, the Crew, wasn’t in the final. The least they could have done would have been to show up to support the Rapids in their fruitless quest to top the Rhinos, who sent the Crew packing the week prior. As a result, maybe 3,000 fans, almost all Rhinos supporters, scattered about Lamar Hunt Stadium’s 22,000 seats. (Announced attendance was 4,400, which is a fib compared to the massive lies put out by MLs head counters.)

Stunning Lack of Foresight Award: TotW, for neglecting to start its VCR at five minutes after air time, as it usually does to avoid the pre-game crap. TotW still considers itself lucky to have got the game at all, as its VCR was acting up last week and it took a blind stab as to when the Open Cup started. (It wasn’t in the cable guide — thanx Time-Warner and USSF … puds.) But the VCR gods taketh and the VCR gods giveth. TotW’s tape ran out 30 seconds after Allnutt’s goal. Surely, the VCR gods had smiled on TotW just as they had last spring when its tape lasted just long enough to catch the end of Man U’s thrilling stoppage time comeback against Bayern in the Champions League final.

Dumbass Urinalist of the Week: Scott Pitoniak, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle columnist, for gross soccer ignorance in suggesting that “Soccer would do well to cut back on its ridiculously long schedule (the MLS plays from March till late November), and set aside time for its Open Cup at the end.” That’s still shorter than hockey and basketball (October-June), and equal to baseball. Scott, who like all sports urinalists is no doubt a baseball geek, probably waxes ecstatic in September as baseball teams top the 150-game mark. Even Manchester United won’t play that many games this year. You see, Scott, in football — you know, the kind the Rhinos play? — a national cup is a separate competition from the league. Basically, a soccer team concurrently plays in two (or more) leagues. It’s better to keep your computer off and be thought an idiot, than post it on the internet and remove all doubt.

* Sign displayed by Rochester supporters at US Open Cup final.

Sack for sack: Perhaps it would not be so bad if Roger had simply been photographed playing with his balls, but he chose to do so on the cover of G Magazine, a gay publication. This has put Roger between a rock and a … uh … hard place with Sao Paolo coach Paulo Cesar Carpegiani. In an apparent show of solidarity with maligned England international Graeme Le Saux, Roger attempted to defend his actions by pointing out that fellow Brazilians Vampeta and Dinei vamped for the same magazine. Palmeiras sponsor Parmalat (an Italian dairy giant) — perhaps fearing TotW might run a “Got Milk?” dairy mustache blowjob satire — prevented star forward Oseas from joining the poofter parade. Robbie Fowler reportedly has his hands full of arse as we speak.

Slam of the Week: “Newcastle … this week unveiled Bobby Robson as the man to lead them into the new millennium, appropriate really given that he was a supporter of the club when this millennium started.” (Dave Bowler, Matchday USA)

Letters to the Editor

  1. Dodging Hurricanes in North Carolina: “Why doesn’t the MLS build more Stadiums like the one in Columbus?”Ridge Mahoney, Soccer America: “Cities like Denver and Los Angeles might give Philip Anschutz some help to build a stadium … in the near future, the operator-investors, along with assistance from the league, will have fund most stadium expenses themselves. Men like Anschutz, Lamar Hunt, and Robert Kraft didn’t get rich by plunging $50 million into an enterprise without researching the possiblity of earning that money back.”TotW: Give us a break. That’s pocket change to a billionaire! Phillip Anschutz researching a $50 million dollar stadium expenditure is like TotW researching a 50¢ Twinkie purchase.
  2. Faithful Reader: “I notice an increasing tone of negativity towards MLS in the TotW page. While totally deserved, I can’t help but wonder: will you really be satisfied in the league goes under? As bad as the NASL and MISL could be, I was happier with them around, you know. Besides, I don’t see a Fantasy A-League in Sam’s Army’s future…”TotW: TotW doesn’t want the league to go under, but we do want it to do right … and correct. TotW doesn’t think, however, that with few (and ever fewer) exceptions that MLs really has the best interests of soccer at hand. Which is fine as long as MLs doesn’t screw up soccer. Which, so far, has not been the case. A good product will find its own market (much as TotW hopes it finds new readers), but a poor product, well-marketed, won’t, in the long term. MLs, unfortunately, is not well-marketed either. (Has MLs ever come up with a commercial even remotely like Pepsi’s Jose Luis Chilavert ad?) However, MLs does exist for apparently profit-driven reasons. (See this week’s Kraft item.)

Treckerism of the Week: Jamie might be “retired” from Sporting News, but he’s still spewing his idiocy on ESPN.com, part of the Go Network. In one paragraph he admits that MLs will be making significant rule changes prior to next season, primarily due to the pressure of soccer fans, in order to get “in line with the other leagues around the world.” Then in the very next paragraph he says that Prãsident Crapshoot MLs Don Garber needs to “focus more on sports fans — and entertainment buyers — than just soccer fans. The hardcore soccer fans just aren’t a big enough audience to sustain the game on these shores as a league.” They’re big enough to get the game changed, but not big enough to actually support it. What kind of crap is that? If the soccer fanbase is big enough to get MLs to change its asinine rules, then they are big enough to support MLs. If the soccer fanbase is not big enough to support MLs, then they are not big enough to change the rules. Either the fanbase is big enough, or it isn’t. Even MLs’s attendance is not shrinking so rapidly that the fanbase would be big enough to change the rules in one sentence, but have diminished so perilously as to be too small to fill seats in the next. It makes no sense. (Does Trecker ever make sense?)

Which brings us to his replacement …

Jones Takes Over Where Trecker Left Off

Sporting News is, you guessed it, a baseball magazine first, last and always. Sure theymention other sports, but ask yourself when was the last time you saw complete box scores for second division pro leagues in other sports, like the IHL for hockey, the CBA for basketball and the A-League for soccer, like the Sporting News does for baseball. None. Oh, but baseball is the pastime reverently referred to as “national” by sports urinalist geeks, the same way they refer to football’s Dallas Cowboys as “America’s Team”. I am American, and I hate the pimps and pushers from Dallas, and neither do I hold any affection whatsoever for baseball. It’s not my freaking pastime. So the Sporting News web site naturally is an extension of their print philosophy: Do a “Hey, you!” as they copy boy walks by and have him bang out that week’s page 7, below the titty bar ads, article on whatever sport needs a few meager column inches. Grahame Jones — whose Anglic name leads one to believe he might actually know a thing or two about soccer — proves otherwise:”Another way of looking at the team’s Open Cup victory is to consider it as further argument for Rochester to become an MLS city, sooner rather than later.” Like TotW told Scott Pitoniak, our Dumbass Urinalist of the Week, in properly run soccer leagues, cups are a separate competition from the league itself. In league competition, division champions, such as the Rhinos, move up, while division also-rans, such as the RotMasters, move down. (In the RotMasters case it would be never-rans.)

“But how many secondary and, indeed, tertiary markets can MLS afford to have before the league itself is looked upon as small-time? Surely, cities such as Seattle, Houston and Philadelphia take precedence over Rochester …” Before it is looked at small time? Future tense??? It already is looked at as small-time! If it is looked at at all. What MLs needs to do is expand into every major city, every medium city, and every small city across the US. Now. Major League Soccer may be poorly supported, but the fans are out there to support major league soccer. Why should they support crappy teams in distant megapolii like New York and Boston, when they can support well-run local teams in places like Rochester and Kalamazoo? London might have the hog’s share of Premier League clubs, but even Sheepshit, Yorkshire, has a local club side that — in a unified league structure, such as the English FA — can at least aspire to one day be among the elite. It’s the sort of egality the US is otherwise almost unique in providing its individual citizens, but which the fascists that run our sports deny our teams. Obviously, the potential for huge payoffs — in the form of coercive stadium deals — argues against a league expanding anywhere. Why do so when a team in each city would prevent the potentates in charge of the league from ‘granting’ teams to cities like favors from medieval despots to their serfs? Or worse yet, from moving a team from one city to the next because the crooks in charge next door offered your team’s owner a bigger bribe? But there is a reason to have a team in each city: Presence. Something MLs could easily get by rapid expansion, welcoming the USL into the fold, but which it is too busy prostituting itself to consider.

“And Rochester fans do turn out in numbers that are the envy of a half-dozen poorly supported MLS clubs. Similarly, the Rhinos’ roster features several players who obviously could hold their own in MLS. But that still doesn’t take away the small-town feel of the whole operation.” The Rhinos are a more “small-town” operation than the Clash, Revolution or RotMasters? Puh-leeze. “Small” is a function of professionalism, not size. MLs would be better off with a dozen well-run operations in small cities, than with one crappy operation in a large city. The distinction between team and operation is important, because a crappy operation in a big city — especially when it is the media capitol of theworld — creates an overwhelmingly bad impression of the league, and the sport, everywhere from Grossbier, Bavaria, to Butthole, Montana. (Take a bow, New York GM Charlie Stillinajob.)

“At a guess, I would think MLS Commissioner Don Garber would even prefer seeing a team in New York City before Rochester.” I think most RotMasters fans would also prefer they get a team before Rochester.

“The Rhinos do play in a charming stadium. Frontier Field, with its city skyline backdrop, looks like something off a model railroad layout. It even has trains clanking past nearby to enhance the effect.” Atmosphere is bad? Would you rather have them play on a sheet of AstroPlastic laid over a swamp infested with dead mafiosi? TotW supposes that might be atmosphere of a sort, but the game in question is soccer, not cops’n’robbers. Just because the Rhinos don’t play in a $500 million steel monstrosity built with funds stolen from hard-working taxpayers for the benefit of wine-sipping, canapes-nibbling, luxury box billionaires, does not mean they are not a legitimate first division team. Obviously, since they just defeated four straight MLs opponents. Jones presents the same sort of argument hoity-toity white-bread suburbanite kids believe — until they visit some inner-city or coal town school and get their rich butts beat black-and-blue.

A short citation for this week’s dishonoree as TotW has already diarrheaed at the mouth about all-things Rhino. Soccer America reported that NE Revolution owner-operator-general manager-daddy’s boy Jonathan Kraft doesn’t give a damn about soccer, but merely sees it as a way to add a couple dozen “event dates” to his Foxboro Stadium schedule. The same Foxboro Stadium his daddy Robert (unless you count the mailman) has been blackmailing the people of Massachusetts to rebuild, relocate, refund, or otherwise just plain kiss his billionaire butt to keep in their state instead of moving it the bleached ‘burbs of Connecticut. Event dates!? Gee, thanx Jon-boy. Let us grovel at your pedicured feet, please? Why don’t you just take your event dates, your crap team, and your dishonor and shove them up your lilly-white ass … sideways.

Jonathan Kraft

Turd of the Week

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