A man has to have some perspective: Perica Azdic, a 31-year old Yugoslav defender with Cypriot first division side Ethnikos Akhna, was found hanged at his flat after he failed to turn up for training. Someone should have explained to Perica that there are worse things than being relegated to the dust bin of Cypriot football, starting with being ‘allocated’ to the raging wild brush fire half of Major Laughing Stock’s RevoEarthClashLution.
The blame game: The past week saw anonymous MLS officials courageously criticizing LA Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid for being less than happy with how the commissars in the People’s MLS Paradise have conducted recent transfers: “Sigi would be fined for his comments. With all his complaining, Sigi has completely devalued the most expensive acquisition in the history of the league, a player that cost the league twice as much as its ever spent on a player.” Can you blame Schmid when Major Laughing Stock gouged his team for four starters in return for foisting Luis Hernandez on the Galaxy? Jesus Christ himself couldn’t replace four starters. The Galaxy are now 1-1-3 with the Mexican Boy Wonder, who was also supposed to be the silver bullet that magically increased attendance to World Wrestling Federation levels. Instead, after drawing 40,303 for Hernandez’s initial Pasadena appearance, the Galaxy’s attendance has dropped right back down to their more normal 16-17,000. Sorry Garb, the western rubes are not going to buy the patent medicine just because some east coast New York sharpie is shilling it. One league GM claimed that “the signing of Hernandez will expose the Galaxy’s ticket sales problems. The league will see that you cannot just sign a player, open the gates and expect great things to happen.” So, naturally, the league continues to do just that, hoping that its increasingly contorted transfer machinations will draw ethnic hordes just off the boat and more than willing to hand over to Major Laughing Stock their last peso, zloty or drachma.
Quote of the Week: “For starters, every time English teams go abroad, Hooligan Hysteria sets in. The local media whips itself into a curdled frenzy, to the point where, if everything goes smoothly, it is almost disappointed … It’s more fun (and a better story) to depict English fans as an invading army of shaven-headed, tattooed, beer-guzzling louts whose sole purpose is to break windows, defile women and vomit over national landmarks … It matters little that, apart from a few morons stuck in 1977, most English traveling supporters today are as innocuous as Japanese tourists.” (Gabriele Marcotti, CNNSI.com)
- Brussels (Belgium): A firm of British tabloid journalists were busted by Belgian police in a local park. Their crime? Peeping in the English hotel hoping for compromising pictures of Alan Shearer in Mrs. Beckham’s undies? (Sans Posh or not.) Getting stuck in with their counterparts from the Stern or Der Bild firms? No, they were caught running amok in a local park with hunting knives and a crossbow. The little saints claimed they were doing a public service by exposing Euro 2000 security flaws, but they were damn lucky they didn’t start a real riot. Amazingly, the numbnuts were allowed to keep their accredidation. Apparently their next stunt will be sniper rifles in the Gelredome. 3 arrests.
- Lagos (Nigeria): There’s a reason why when you go to the airport (even if it is in Cowflop, Oklahoma) that there are signs warning the wary westerner about the dangers of travelling to Lagos. That reason was demonstrated this week as robbers attacked the training camp of Nigeria’s women’s national team. Apparently nothing is sacred, not even footballers in football mad countries like Brazil and Nigeria. 2 casualties, 1 fatality.
- Podgorica (Yugoslavia): International defender Nisa Saveljic was detained by Serbian police when the Yugoslav squad returned to Belgrade after a pre-Euro 2000 tour of Asia. Saveljic was quickly released “upon intervention from a higher level”. The arrest was probably a power play by Serb politicians given that Saveljic is an ethnic Montenegrin, while the leader of Montenegro (which remains part of Serb-dominated Yugoslavia), Milo Djukanovic, has been feuding with Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic. On the other hand, maybe the cops were just pissed that Yugoslavia lost 2:4 to the Chinese equivalent of Fat Bob’s Pub team.
- Sao Paolo (Brazil): A Sao Paolo supporter was beaten to death by Corinthians supporters for wearing his team shirt in the wrong part of town. It was the third consecutive incident involving the supporters of the two clubs and follows the death of two other fans who were shot earlier this month. 1 fatality.
So sue me! Last monday I played a match. Tuesday, I reffed two matches. Thursday, I reffed a match. Friday, I played a match. Saturday, I reffed six matches, getting sun burnt to a crisp, before attending the Milwaukee Rampage’s 4:1 ass stomping of the MLS-rejects known as Project 40. Sunday, I reffed five more matches. Tonight, Monday, I play another match. Then I ref a match tomorrow. Needless to say, I did not find myself with an excess of time or energy to be doing TotW this week. So, sue me. Besides, it was a slow week leading up to Euro 2000.
Turd of the Week