I’m coming across quite a few stories today that read a lot like post-mortems. Seemed like a good theme. Before getting to that, however, I want to flag my personal highlight of the day. The Offside Rules found a video of ESPN goofball, Rob Stone, eating one hot motherscratcher of a chili pepper. It’s possible, of course, that Stone is a chili wuss. But, thanks to a local farmer’s market, I’ve fought through my share of chili-eatin’ challenges and the kind of pain he experienced looked familiar. Seeing as he ate “the hottest chili in the world,” I’m guessing he saw God. My personal worst was a Jamaican Chocolate pepper or one particularly surprising habanero – e.g. the ones that are so frickin’ hot you can smell it. Let’s just say my body coped with the experience by attempting to vomit.
OK, enough gawking: on to the goods.
– Credit to 3rd Degree for getting me in this frame of mind. Buzz Carrick wrote a tidy little behind-the-scenes at what professional players – or, FC Dallas players at least – do ahead of and during the off-season. Do note the absentee.
– The DCenters offered a great suggestion for a tribute to potential retiree, Joshua Gros. For those unfamiliar with the reasons why such a young player would retire, concussion is the word with “repeated” and “multiple” serving as highly relevant qualifiers.
– Now, the biggest winding down of them all: Red Bull New York, where there are clearly a couple burners running at once. The New York Times’ Goal blog captures the mood fairly well – particularly in the second paragraph – but, as expected, Soccer By Ives gets the details. Red Bull fans in search of a silver lining have one in Juan Pablo Angel’s apparent happiness with life in NYC; looks like he could be sticking around. Another Ives post casts a wider net over who may or may not stay around. The one that caught my eye: Clint Mathis. Yeah, I’m a Mathis whore (yessir, I’ll wear the suit tonight), so I’d be perfectly happy to gamble that he could find, as Ives puts it, “inspiration” with either New England or Columbus or some other team I enjoy following. Sign him up, Mr. Nicol. Seriously, you know you’re worried about Andy Dorman…
Naturally, a couple people are looking forward today. Moving on to that part of the post…
– Down the Byline, proudly carrying the Kansas City Wizards’ torch in the soccer blogo-verse, gave a local’s perspective on the Kansas City Wizards’ quonset set-up for the next couple of seasons, CommunityAmerica Ballpark. To quickly sum up that perspective: he’s OK with it. If nothing else, the Wizards could stand a smaller venue. And, in a later post, M (the author), brought the feisty to address some of the general commentary on the move and with the opinion that Major League Soccer (MLS) should move the Wizards franchise out of KC, in particular. It could be he’s responding to (good) lines like the one in du Nord’s Tuesday round-up:
“Bob Luder of the KC Star reports that the Kansas City Wizards are going from NFL-Way-Too-Big to Minor-League-Baseball-Awkward in their stadium situation.”
For the record, I only know KC has some place to play and I’m OK with that. Badly as the franchise struggles with butts in seats, the league would be weird without them.
– The last item today comes from something Soccer Source found in an “ESPN France” (or whatever the hell they call it) write-up on a few French soccer players’ experiences with soccer in the U.S.:
“Interestingly enough, the story predicts this is due to change. It quotes Michael Wiesenfeld, Merlin’s New York-based agent, who anticipates MLS will add a second designated player in time for the start of the 2008 season. Wiesenfeld also predicts that the minimum wage for players and salary cap for teams will both treble in 2009.”
If the source on this wasn’t an agent, I’d headline this bad boy under a title reading “All Problems Solved.” And I’m referring, there, to the stuff about 2009. Expand the roster size, rock a firm-ish salary cap and ditch single-entity and I’ll be a happy monkey.
That is all. (Oh, and I’ll pound sand right up yer ass. (Reverse the order and name that band and song!))