This week’s TotW report arrives courtesy of Slava “Shurik” Malamud,
TotW reserve goalkeeper & baseball’s biggest Sammi Sosa fan.
Hero of the Week: Dallas Burn midfielder Brian Haynes who heroically sacrificed his club’s chances of making it to MLS Cup ’99 so he could spare us the sight of the dreaded crapshoot in Sunday’s Match 1 of the semifinals against the LA Galaxy. With 40 seconds left in a 1-1 match, Haynes selflessly stuck his head out in front of Ezra Hendrickson’s cross and deflected the ball into his own net, giving LA the 2-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead. Thumbs down, however, to the match officials for awarding the goal to Hendrickson, while it was clearly an own goal by Haynes. The Dallas keeper looked like he was all ready to collect Ezra’s cross and the deflection caught him off guard. Apparently, MLS dislikes not just draws, injury-times and good-looking uniform kits but own goals as well. They’ve already borrowed an “assist” from hockey, so the next move would be to award the goal to the last offensive player to touch the ball. Look for the institution of the penalty box and icing in the near future.
The Turd of the Week is Francisco Marcos, the Mad Scientist of the USL. This Ph.D in Horror has spent more than a decade on crazy experiments and horrific creations that almost turned professional soccer in this country into a monster before which the old Frankenstein’s brute would look like a mere teenager with an inferiority complex. During Marcos’ evil dictatorship his spawn, the United Soccer Leagues, has seen such “innovations” as larger nets, short corner kicks, Designated Makeup Games, minigames, point systems you had to see to believe, blue cards, shootout attempts during the game for certain penalties and team nicknames such as the San Antonio “XLR8”. (Get it? Accelerate.) Now, on the doorstep of the new millenium, Marcos has decided to do away with his favorite bastard child, the crapshoot, and let regular season games end in a draw after sudden-death extra time. Now if this isn’t a sure sign of the Apocalypse, I don’t know what is.
But hold on now! Did you really think that the Master of Evil has seen the light after being moved to tears by Man U’s comeback in the Champions League final? Do you think that he saw Virgin Mary’s face in a burrito and it told him to abandon his wicked ways? Posh! No, the Evil Genius hasn’t changed a bit, it would be naive to think that. He is still full of venom and this apparent move towards sanity is nothing more than a shrewd ploy. Let’s listen to Count Francisco’s own words:
"I think this is a dangerous attempt at giving the new purist of American soccer their day. We-ll see how it goes for one year and we-ll see just how many of these soccer purists there are that say Americans will accept ties." -- Francisco Marcos, the Purist-Wacker
So, as you can see, Marcos’s poor little hand was forced by a horde of uncivilized, uninformed and unenlightened barbarians that are the “new purists of American soccer”. The way Marcos sees it, he is the only one who knows how to run soccer in this country, or anywhere else for that matter, but he is helpless to fight all those idiots (us) who want their draws come hell or high water. It’s us, you see, and not Marcos who are experimenting with soccer! He is just giving the crying baby his candy and will patiently wait for the baby to run back to him with a toothache. Or, better yet, at the end of the season he will direct our attention to the fact that the attendance figures didn’t magically go up (which is like shooting fish in the barrel because, let’s face it, no rule changes in the world are going to make the people of New Britain, Connecticutt, care about their Wolves) and then will declare that the draws are to blame for everything and end the “experiment”. In any case, it is quite clear that Marcos hopes the “experiment” will fail, so that he can continue to butcher the game in any way he sees fit.
Let’s read on:
"We are keeping the value of a victory at four points. We want to discourage draws by making the gap between a tie and a victory significant. We want to make the tie, or kissing your sister, as it is referred to in America, like kissing the ugliest sister in a multi-sister family". -- Francisco Marcos, the Champion of Family Values
He sounds like the man who knows what he is talking about.
Turd of the Week