Celebrity sighting: I saw Sepp Blatter today. Then I flushed.
Lumber futures up in European markets: Rivaldo, the newly-crowned European Footballer of the Year, was recently restored to coach Louis Van Gaal’s good graces after agreeing that what did he, Rivaldo, know about soccer? Of course he would be a willing automaton and play in a position which does not fully exercise his considerable skills! And what did Rivaldo’s servility earn him? Why, a seat on the substitutes bench — a bench with £190 million worth of ass riding its pine. Put in perspective, that bench had more valuable ass on it than on Jennifer Love-Hewitt. Put in further perspective: Barca’s bench was worth more than the whole of MLS, combined. In must be a joy to be a Barca supporter: Where else (in Europe, since Americans already have a plethora of such sports) can you enjoy the subtleties of watching a coach coach, while avoiding the unnecessarily messy play of mere athletes?
Polak hired as Salzburg coach
VIENNA, Jan 10 (Reuters) - A Polak has been promoted to SV Salzburg's top coaching position. The Polak, who was training the club's junior squad, signed a provisional contract until July 30. "The decision as to whether [the] Polak's contract will be extended will be taken on April 30," said club president Rudolf Quehenberger. "After which point we would really rather hire someone smarter, like a Swede." During his career, the Polak had spells with Partizan Belgrade, IFK Malmo, Panionios Athens, Austria Salzburg, the "Tonight Show" and "Late Night with David Letterman."
The Acid Test: A US women’s team, with a combined 11 caps among them, took the Australia Cup, defeating the home squad 3-1. (More later on why we sent our reserves overseas and not our stars.) The team was led by interim coach Lauren Gregg, ex-coach Tony DiCicco’s top assistant, because DiCicco quit two months ago after USSF dicked around renewing his contract. The Australia Cup is not the first trophy Gregg has won either, she has a history of success with various national youth squads. Yet USSF, per usual procedure, is dragging its feet and playing politics. Rather than simply say, “Damn fine job there, Lauren. Here’s the keys to the car”, USSF is leaving Gregg waiting in the rain while they interview the same long, tired, list of aging white guys. (The only name not mentioned to replace DiCicco is Turd Emeritus Steve Sampson, thank God.) It’s as if USSF think they are billionaire white guy beesball owners, looking to hire the same tobacco-spitting white guy retreads to manage their beesball team, rather than a candidate who is more qualified to do everything but get into their private country club. Can’t have *those* people ruining the neighborhood. What passes for USSF “leadership” might not be billionaires, but they are damn close (and more on that later too.) Whether USSF has one single microgram of common sense left, will be determined if whether or not, eventually, sometime before the next millenium, they finally hire Lauren Gregg.
TotW Editor in 5th Round FA Cup Tie
FA Cup 5th rd Aston Villa vs. Leeds United Cambridge United vs. Bolton Wanderers Chelsea or Nottingham Forest vs. Arsenal or Leicester City Coventry City vs. Charlton Athletic Fulham vs. Tranmere Rovers Gillingham or Bradford City vs. Sheffield Wednesday or Wolverhampton Wanderers Blackburn Rovers vs. Newcastle United Everton vs. Preston
Yes, that is I, not the rather more famous Preston North End, the first double winners. (Stick that Man U … after you barf against South Melbourne.) After I have personally whipped Richard Gough, Joe-Max Moore, and sundry other refugees (MLS and otherwise), I will devote my efforts to single-handedly winning next year’s World Club Cup. (If there is one after the innaugural fiasco.)
Charles Not in Charge: MetroStars GM, and recently invested Turd Emeritus, Charlie Stillitano finally walked the plank this week, and was followed a few days later by his marketing chief, Jim “The only way you could get me out to a soccer game is if my kids were to drag me out” Leahy. Charlie is still “Charlie Stillinajob” though, as he landed on his feet at MetroStars parent company MetroMedia (a rather small congolmerate, see below, owned by John ‘the Puppetmaster’ Kluge). Where did Leahy land? Who knows. Hopefully, at the bottom of the East River with the rest of New Jersey’s effluent. The house cleaning gives Metros supporters great cause for hope, as the Metros onfield product is bound to improve (it could get worse, but statistically not much). “I won’t believe it until I see the stake in Charlie’s heart and the clove of garlic stuffed in his mouth,” said Bluecat82 on BigSoccer.com as rumors swirled early in the week regarding Charlie’s demise. Bluecat82 was right to be paranoid, as among Charlie’s portfolio at MetroMedia is responsibility for building a new stadium and — like the chainsaw wielding hockey-mask guy in Part X of some teen slasher flick rising from the dead — leading Team Subotnick in its quest for a second New York-area team. God help the poor people who get suckered into supporting that losing cause. Have we left anyone out? Seems like it.
Oldfart to follow Charlie out the door? Was Charlie’s departure finally the end of the Oldfart Matthäus saga? Of course not. Apparently Oldthar had become smitten with Charlie’s oral facility, and the Metros MLS-incited pogrom has led him to vacillate once again. Okay, Oldfart isn’t vacillating because everyone with a lick of common sense knows the he is playing MLS like a two-bit violin. Yet despite Oldfart’s threatened retirement there are those who refuse to believe he isn’t coming to MLS on March 10. TotW won’t believe Oldfart is here until he is in a Metros shirt getting hacked by Ben Olsen. Then there are others who believe that even having Oldfart for half a season is is better than none because he is Oldfart, a legend! Garrincha is also a legend. If being a legend is all that makes a signing a necessity, then aren’t MLS/Metros idiots for not getting on their knees and swallowing Garrincha’s Little Goleador? Never mind that Garrincha has been dead for 30+ years. But not all Metros supporters’ minds have been addled by the toxic waste the Meadowlands was built on, they want him sacked now. TotW disagrees with that position also: Let Lothar come whenever he feels like it! Then loan him out to the local PDL team so he can travel long distances in cramped, sweaty busses with pimply teenagers listening to annoying music playing in front of mom & dad in rickety high school stadia and local parks for the last six months of his freakin’ career!
Types of women footballers should not ball
- Ones who look like your mum
- Exotic dancers
- Ones who tell the blokes at the pub you wear lacey, crotchless panties
This just in! TotW has learned from anonymous sources inside SV Salzburg that the Polak they hired as coach is actually a Yugoslav: Miroslav Polak. We now return you to your regularly scheduled rant.
Wouldn’t a box of chocolates have done? The Italian Football Federation forced 39 referees to return Rolex watches they had received from AS Roma as Christmas “gifts”. (Keep in mind that a “cheap” Rolex still costs a couple grand.) 1999 was not the first year Roma had been so filled with the Christmas spirit. The club’s primary complaint? “This was a gesture of normal courtesy that was never questioned in previous years …” Not only that, but Roma had the gall to write the watches off in their expense report! Apparently, Roma was not alone in spreading holiday cheer: Inter Milan gave referees an $850 muscle exerciser. Perhaps the disparity would explain why Roma currently leads Inter in the Serie A table, though it does leave one to wonder what table-topping Lazio or bottom-feeding Cagliari gave the refs. Perhaps in the case of Cagliari, the clap.
Lifetime Achievement Dishonor: Anthony M. Calabrese, faithful reader, nominates Jim Dalrymple, longtime head of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, who retired December 31, 1999. His citation follows:
"Mr. Dalrymple oversaw the slow deterioration of RFK. RFK has become something of a cash cow for the corrupt DC government from overpriced parking and vending, almost none of which gets back to the team, and high rent. While proudly stating how much money the Sports Commission has in the bank, RFK is falling apart. No game at RFK is complete without some piece of concrete falling near someone's head. The place smells bad, and the scoreboards barely work. Security is awful. Customer service at the ticket booths non-existent. "Due to Mr. Dalrymple's ego, the Women's World Cup games were played at sterile Jack Kent Cooke Stadium (half of which was undergoing repair and hence empty for the US-Germany showdown), on a field that was too small in a stadium where the seats are far away from the field, instead of the cozy confines of RFK. Why? Mr. Dalrymple threw a hissy fit when the organizers decided to have the final at the Rose Bowl instead of his stadium. Like a petulant 5-year old crying because the neighborhood kids made fun of him, he picked up his stadium and went home. "Yet, despite having the best soccer team on the continent pack in 20,000 eighteen times a year, Mr. Dalrymple continued to prostitute himself to every fried chicken billionaire with a baseball team to seduce them to move to Washington and play in RFK for two years while a new stadium is built. The taxpayers in such North American cities such as San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Montreal have Mr. Dalrymple to thank for the stadiums their cities are building for these poor, impoverished, billionaire team owners. "So for lifetime achievement in prostitution, I nominate James Dalrymple as Turd of the Week. Enjoy your retirement Jim."
There, Anthhony, doesn’t that feel better now that you got that off your chest? Unfortunately, recent events have shown a single, lonely billion to be a pathetic, insignificant number.
Ph’hglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh Wgah’nagl fhtan: Last week in “Pazuzu throws down with Beezlebub”, TotW reported on the Fox-Cox cable spat. Even scarier than a cable monopoly scratching & biting with a worldwide media corporation is when an even larger worldwide media juggernaut hops in the corporate sack with the world’s largest (and most incompetent) internet service provider. In a $162 billion — that’s billion with a ‘B’ — purchase, America Online, bought Time-Warner. It would be as if the MetroStars purchased Bayern Munich: a muskie (which is a pretty damn big fish) swallowing a whale. Because Time-Warner itself previously swallowed Turner (not Ted, his company) that means AOHell now owns — have a seat — the Atlanta Braves beesball, Hawks basketball and Thrashers hockey teams; Turner Field/Phillips Arena (where the teams play); WCW wrestling; the CNN, CNN Headline News, CNN/SI, TBS, TNT, TCM, HBO, Comedy Central, Court TV and Cinemax cable stations, plus the WB Network; more goddamn magazines than you could shake a stick at, including Time, People, and the much-beloved by soccer fans Sports Illustrated; ICQ, Compuserve, Netscape, CNNSI.com (apparently the most visited sports site on the net) and the only thing more crash-prone that Windows: AOL.com. Throw in a few gargantuan record companies and massive movie studios as spare change. And here’s the kicker, and truly the 7th Sign of the Apocalypse: AOHell even owns Bugs Bunny. The Evil is upon us, and it keeps feeding on the souls of its victims, growing ever larger, more evil, omnipresent and omnipotent like some intergalactic Cthulhuan from the Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. Except this monster is real … and its in your home. And you still couldn’t sell it your soul for some footie on Fox Sports World.
Uncle Hank’s Home: As TotW mentioned earlier, the US women won the Australia Cup with a reserve squad. While it’s good training for the young ladies, it wasn’t training purposes USSF had in mind in sending college kids Down Under. It was greed and myopia.
The Australia Cup was a righteous victory by our younger ladies, but do not doubt that it will steel USSF’s resolve in their quest to out-robber baron John Rockefeller.
But never let it be said that TotW is not fair, balanced and impartial like the major media so often claim to be! Here, in his own words, is Massa Steinbrecher: “It’s not a boycott or strike, they’re currently unemployed … They chose not to play for their country.” Ooh, nice spin — Doug Logan would be proud. Our women are traitors because they wouldn’t take the bowl of gruel Fagin so kindly offered them!
“In the absence of a weekly league, they look to us for a weekly paycheck,” whined Massa Steinbrecher. There isn’t a weekly league because — TotW hates to sound like a broken record — USSF is also dragging its feet creating a professional women’s league, and is thus screwing the women out of making a decent wage playing the only professional soccer they have available. We’re not talking a Roy Keane-like 50,000 quid per week, just more than they are making now — which is less than most college kids make at their first post-graduation job. One has to wonder if the morons at USSF realize that if the women had to work at Mickey freakin’ D’s, they might not have so much time to train and win all those cups that fill USSF’s vaults with the gold they are hoarding?
“It was a fair, equitable and just offer,” continued Massa Steinbrecher, who makes $270,000+ a year off the sweat on the women’s backs — more per year than he pays Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy, Carla Overbeck, Briana Scurry and Michelle Akers, combined!
“It’s a very vogue thing to be on the side of the women on this,” Massa Steinbrecher thundered. “We’re going to do what we think is best regardless of what the media has to say or uniformed people have to say.” Yes, that’s the thanks you, the fans, get for paying Massa Steinbrecher’s wheelbarrows-of-cash salary.
We now turn the keyboard over to a freed slave (rather than the still indentured current squad), a women’s national team member from 1852, Aunt Jemima: “The sisters ain’t be makin’ no quahtuh million each year like Massa Steinbrecher, no suh. They be makin’ chump change. Massa Steinbrecher, he need his stones broke. He ain’t no turd — he an asshole!”
Turd of the Week