Americans teach Brits a thing or two about football: Manchester United season ticket holders have been sent a letter telling them that areas of the ground may be shut if “persistent standing” continues. The letter said that jumping to celebrate a goal was allowed but standing around for long periods without moving was a safety hazard. It’s just another reason to hate Man U: Yuppy scum and their larvae hopping on the bandwagon, taking all the fun out of a match for the fans who’ve been supporting a team longer than the latest fad. Of course the stinking, heaving pile of poo that is Man U would attract such “fans”. They deserve each other. May they rot in hell. (Speaking of fads, is it any wonder Man U’s star player is married to a Spice Girl. Whatever happened to them anyway?)
Hero of the Week: French international defender Laurent Blanc, for perservering in his international career, winning Euro 2000 at the age of 34, when he could have hung up his boots after the disappointment of World Cup ’98. Yes, France won that too, but let us not forget that Blanc, a class act that had never gotten even one red card in his senior career, was sent off during the France-Croatia semifinal for what was even by Balkan standards the craven, cowardly cheating of Slaven Bilic (See “What is in the voda?”, TotW 990911), thus missing what could have been the only international championship of his career. Instead, Blanc stuck it out and can now retire from international football a hero.
United we stand, Rongen we fall: “How could one man, Thomas Rongen, engineer a series of trades of veteran players for promising youngsters, then play the young players over their heads and out of position, and then denigrate them for not living up to their billing? His ‘mentoring’ has turned Chris Albright, previously an exciting, creative, skillful goal-scorer into a dour, hustle and bustle flank midfielder / black hole. (Where do all those balls go?) And Albright is the one player on the team who listens to him!” — Dave Morris, TotW Paul Gardner Memorial Paper Coach
|Dave, your humble TotW editor was suprised Rongen was able to win at all last year considering his established predilection for screwing up a good thing. But then I realized it’s the Barry Switzer Phenomenon: A crappy new coach taking over a previous good coach’s players and coasting to an undeserved title in his first year, only to eventually screw things up. Of course, it does not help that the Cowboys have Jerry Jones selecting players, nor does it help United that MLS player transactions are being used by scientists to prove Chaos Theory a law.
Slam of the Week: “Chris Sutton has been found guilty of two counts of common assault after spitting in the face of a Manchester United fan during a night out in London’s Soho. Frankly, we’re amazed he hit the target.” (www.Football365.com)
MLS signs Sutton: Chelsea striker Chris Sutton, who’s been seen on the pitch, actually contributing to his team, only slightly more often than Eric Wynalda or Oldfart Matthäus this year, has transferred to Celtic for over $9 million. That’s more than twice as much as MLS paid for Luis ‘el Mierdador’ Hernandez! What are MLS, daft? At this rate Celtic are more likely to join Cowdenbeath in the 3rd Division than they are to catch up with Rangers … Huh? … Scottish Premier League? Oh. Sorry. I just assumed.
Insane MLS Deal of the Week: Okay, then, how about the world record $54 million Lazio paid Parma for Argentine international striker Hernan Crespo? That’s more on one deal than MLS has paid for all its previous washed up snotty foreigners … combined. Good God! What are MLS’s billionaires thinking? At that rate they’ll broke in less than a hundred years! … Huh? … Italy? Damn. Okay, okay. Give me a second here. I know Major Laughing Stock must have brokered some sort of crooked deal this week …
Dodgy MLS Deal of the Week: Here we go! The teeny bopper baby sitter boning half of the RevoEarthClashLution traded Ivan McKinley, useful midfielder and South African international, for Miami’s Eric Wynalda, gimp. McKinley has started 12 matches this year to six for Whinealda, who hasn’t played since April. McKinley also makes about half what Whinealda makes, so it’s hard to see what New England gets out of the deal unless übermidget Sunil Gulati gets Czar Ivan ‘the Terrible’ Gazidis to wrap his wet, succulent lips around Sunil’s swami salami.
Whinge of the Week: “Everyone here loves Ray’s jokes and thinks the world of Ray. Well, I don’t think it is funny to be the 10th best team of 12 in the league. I want to go somewhere where people want to win a championship.” Eric Whinealda, well-traveled, oft-injured MLS forward and team cancer, who has done nothing on the pitch, on the bench or in the boot room to help any of his multitude of teams win since World Cup ’94, after being traded from Miami to New England.
Question of the Week: Most of the pimply, joy stick jerkin’, ain’t scored since Whinealda, video game geeks out there are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Next Big Thing: Playstation 2. Apparently there will be an MLS game issued for Playstation 2. Given that Playstation 2 games — with improved graphics, sound, speed, and all the other improvements that are usually improved — will be more realistic than ever before, one burning question is raised in your humble TotW editor’s mind: “Will the MLS game realistically allow us to make up rules as we go along?”
- Buenos Aires (Argentina): River Plate supporters invaded the pitch after their side clinched the Argentine Clausura championship. Making a lap of honor, River Plate players had to fight to stay clothed as their supporters got a little over enthused. Eduardo Berizzo had his shirt ripped off, supporters fought over the remains of Mario Yepes shirt, and Roberto Bonano was lucky to retain some dignity along with his undershorts. 100 arrests, 1 casualty.
- De Usulután (El Salvador): Luis Angel Firpo president Sergio Torres died of a heart attack after his wife was kidnapped. 1 fatality.
- Götenburg (Sweden): The supporters of Vastra Frolunda, one of the city’s smaller clubs, suffer from ‘small man syndrome’, making up for their lack of size with belligerence. For the second week in a row, Frolunda’s supporters (and even some club officials) had a match long go at the ref with thrown objects. Small potatoes by Zimbabwean standards, but the referee was struck by a beer can. Inexcusable, especially if there was still beer in the can. Not because it would hurt worse, but because the beer was unquaffed.
- Harare (Zimbabwe): During a World Cup qualifier against South Africa, police, angered by opposition political activity in the stands, fired indiscriminate tear gas volleys into the stands. Spectators fled the stands to avoid the fumes, some onto the pitch, and some towards the exits, which the police tried to block. (Strongman Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF lost numerous contested seats in Zambabwe’s recent election, despite rampant cheating and violence directed at both white and black opponents.) Remember this South Africa, 20 years from now, as 20 years ago Rhodesia’s minority white rule was overthrown, and hope sprang eternal as the world slurped Mugabe’s banana and waxed ecstatic over what a great capitalist democrat he was. Numerous casualties, 13 fatalities.
- Johannesburg (South Africa): Elijah Litana, Al Hilal defender and Zambian international, shot himself in the knee while cleaning a pistol. Litana, who played for Zambia at the last three African Nations Cup finals, was not included in Zambia’s squad for this week’s African Nations Cup preliminary round, second leg against Ethiopia. Good thing too, since he shot the first leg off.
- Kano (Nigeria): 30,000 Nigerian football fans crowded into the 14,000-seat Kano stadium for a charity match featuring members of the national team. Only problem was, the team never showed up. The fans registered their disappointment by rampaging through the stadium, destroying windows, metal detector doors and the scoreboard. As bad as the death toll was in Zimbabwe, it will be paltry compared to that rung elsewhere in Africa if the sub-Saharan countries don’t get a grip on the horrendus overcrowding in their stadia. (See “Weekly Blotter”, TotW #54).
- Lagos (Nigeria): Chaos and robbery is as common in Nigerian football as it is in Nigeria in general. Last month bandits struck at the women’s national team. (See “Weekly Blotter”, #58). This week it was a testimonial for Stephen Keshi, Nigeria’s former captain and current assistant coach. This time no one died, but the bandits emptied several ticket booths.
- Ndola (Zambia): National team captain Collins Mbulo was assaulted by three angry supporters who blamed him for two embarassing losses last month. Mbulo had been peacefully watching a local cup match. 3 arrests.
Now will you admit it? It appears Oldfart Matthäus may be on his way out of the Big Apple after the MetroStars spotted MLS’s one-time record signing lounging on the topless beaches of the French Riviera with his prepubescent girlfriend. Not because she’s half his age, but because Oldfart had demanded, after a brief post-Euro 2000 appreance in America, that the MetroStars let him return to Germany (again) to treat his bad back. (Maybe Oldfart should let Maren get on top next time?) Instead, it was wine, women and song. All season long — a season in which Oldfart has appeared in only 10 of 20 matches — certain MetroStars fans have persisted, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Oldfart be given a chance to prove that he is a great player because, gee whiz, he has won all those medals, ignoring the fact that was before Maren (or the Virgin Mary) was born. So, now will you admit signing his wrinkled ass was a bad move? Of course not, some Metros fans, stars still in their eyes, will fulfill their own prophecy by insisting that Oldfart failed because some knobs he never heard of, like TotW, criticized his pursuit, signature, arrival and even birth.
So, who do we thus enshrine? Oldfart for being a greedy, selfish, lying fuck? No. Major Laughing Stock for signing his decrepit ass? No, this was a Charlie Stillinajob deal all the way. The 1999 Turd Emeritus himself? No, because frankly Charles is history (unless he comes back to haunt Long Island if MLS undeservedly grant’s John ‘the Puppetmaster’ Kluge a second New York area franchise) and was already dishonored with TotW’s highest dishonor. Charlie’s replacement as MetroStars general manager, Nick Sakiewicz? No, despite the fact that he persisted in pursuing Stillinajob’s pet signing, and in fact actually signed Oldfart after several all night butt sex sessions with the Great One. No, no, no. TotW enshrines not all MetroStars fans — many saw this coming just like TotW did — but those MetroStars fans, Oldfart’s butt buddies, who have persistently insisted, despite overwhleming evidence to the contrary, that Oldfart is anything other than a total freaking Chernobyl.
Metros Fans Who Love Oldfart
Turd of the Week