Another weekend in the books, another slate of games where my squads shit the bed and give me more reasons to wonder whether the universe delights in pissing all over my face. Perhaps, written in my DNA somewhere, is some sign that I love Golden Showers, and the universe is simply following instructions... it would certainly explain a lot.
As for the other, more American sports you all come here to read up on, someone will be on here later this week to talk Bills, I'm sure, but in the meantime the hot takes will be soccer-centric. Bear with me, I promise many inappropriate moments to make it worth your while.
I watched a few games early in the week, including portions of a couple of Champions League matches that kind of put me to sleep, and a Liverpool Europa match that kind of made me shit in hats, but we'll start with the New York Fucking Red Bulls.
Exhibit A: Getting Smoked Off Your Own Pitch
As for the Fire, there are a dozen or so really dumb jokes or puns I could make, but suffice it to say that I think naming a sports team after a local tragedy is tasteless and crass and par for the course for the early days of the MLS. Just as Kansas City abandoned the dishearteningly lame "Wizards," and NY abandoned the Metro Stars and any reference to the state of New Jersey (smart move, that), it's probably time for Chicago to rebrand with something that doesn't tip it's hat to the deaths of hundreds of Chicagoishians. Because, you know, death is not. cool.
Or, you know, they could keep it since they sure brought the fire on Saturday night, right guys? /ducks
The game was saddeningly typical of Red Bulls efforts of late -- patient but uninspired possession play, with the chances few and far between and, more to the point, unsuccessful. Not that the Fire were much better, though they - via Sherjill McDonald's two goals - made the most of their opportunities, even when seeing very little of the ball.
The loss hits hard this late in the season. Combined with DC's win earlier Saturday, the Red Bulls dropped into 4th place where - should they finish there (or 5th...ugh) - they'd be faced with a one game wild card chance to move on in the playoffs. And with the remaining fixtures against KC and at Philly, there's a chance it might even get worse before all is said and done. Especially if they continue to play like the bag of dicks they were this weekend. Which, because I love them, they will.
Who wanted playoffs anyway? /head, desk, UNIFIED
The Cascadia Cup Continues to Show the MLS What's Up
So to sum up -- Llama. Eggplant. Mount. Sisters. Lesbians. The same hilarious and inappropriate jokes ring through my head now just as strongly now as they did then.
These are the things I think about when the Cascadia Cup happens, since, well, I'm horrendously immature and my most recent exposure to the Pacific Northwest has been through Portlandia and those few years I listened to Death Cab. I'm thinking I need to travel more.
With the Timbers basically sucking nuits de rêve these days, Seattle controlled play and won at home. But, really, the reason to watch these two teams is the atmosphere, and it did not disappoint. So good job Pacific Northwest! Now take a shower, shave the pubes off your face - you too ladies! - and try a meal that doesn't include vegan tofu balls.
And the rest of you watch this, because it's awesome.
What can you say about the Liverpool Football Club? I know it's a work in progress. Fuck, I've preached patience and serenity and realistic expectations, but I'm really on the verge of vomiting out of sheer frustration.
I can live with poor results borne out of pooping the bed. Last Thursday's Europa League match against Udinese (or Undies, if you're The Yachtsman) was that. They controlled play, couldn't find paydirt (aided by Jonjo Shelvey effectively defending the best chance off the goal line in the first half), and were only marginally screwed by the officials. Luis Suarez's reputation follows him to European competitions, but not as much as it hampers him in domestic fixtures. In the end, it was a frustrating match, but for reasons I can live with -- chief among them that, well, the young squad sent out by Rodgers (especially with Suarez and Gerrard only coming on late for hope of an equalizer) is not very good ... yet. They're close but still lacking. Ok. Fair enough.
Maybe it would be silly to look at Sunday's league match much differently, since - yes - the squad was basically the same and, thus, still not very good. Though, when a team like Stoke comes into Anfield and plays with such violence - and, no, that's not hyperbole or metaphor, as they were violent, at times criminally so - and the officials do little to protect the players, the blood in me boils.
At this point, my oft used meme bears repeating: #FuckTheFA
There are some points I'll concede about Suarez, and have conceded before. I'll concede he dives from time to time, making fans, and probably some officials, angry and incredibly skeptical of him when he is actually fouled. I'll concede that he also embellishes sometimes when he is fouled. Again, this is annoying and probably hurts his case more than it helps him get calls.
What I can't stand, though, are his detractors' refusal to admit that, on the other side of the coin, he is fouled a lot and doesn't get the calls he probably should. And, as we now can see through the most recent sample, these fouls are sometimes incredibly severe and trending towards dangerous.
And, as an addendum, if you're a Spurs fan, don't pretend your own golden boy doesn't do worse from time to time.
None of that matters, of course, because after all Suarez is a racist shit head and he's an outsider who doesn't play the game the right way and he's ruining English football while Gareth Bale and the other class acts try to bring beauty and purity to us all. Obviously.
This shit makes me so furious. I need a shot. It's also 10 am... so scratch that. Make it two shots.
As for the rest, well, I watched a fair amount this week but don't have much to say about any matches. Chelsea continues to look great and Torres continues his march back to relevance as a striker. Man United and Man City each look similarly frightening, coming off their respective 3-0 victories. But fuck it... All are, at any rate, so far above Liverpool on the table that their prominence matters little to the success of LFC this year. At least for now....
Some Champions League action happened this week as well, but since I only got to watch a kind of boring Porto win over PSG, and missed Barcelona's captain dislocating his elbow while onlookers dislocated their stomach bile, I'll assume you can read up on that shit elsewhere. It was rough going.
This week brings an International break and USMNT action in World Cup qualifying, so if my luck stays the same I'll be back here in about 7 days to talk about how Klinsmann was a mistake and how we're still a few decades away from having a senior men's squad that can stack up to the rest of the world. Can't wait.
For now, a couple dorks singing music that I inexplicably love. Dig it.