Pan-Pacific: Post-Mortem or Obituary (+ Some Silliness)

A number of people have flagged a Los Angeles Times article that contained some surprisingly harsh comments about the recently-concluded Pan-Pacific Challenge (PPC) from Major League Soccer (MLS) Commissioner Don “The Don” Garber. Now, we all know the field sucked (seriously, I looked like the blue crap I once played on in Moscow, Idaho’s Kibbie ASUI Dome, pictured left; at least the turf used to be blue).

But more than the turf provoked The Don’s wrath: gates unworthy of David Beckham also rankled as, no doubt, did seeing goals getting piled on against MLS’s actual crown jewel, the Houston Dynamo.  The language remains diplomatic – at least where everything but the field is concerned (“We are very disappointed with the field surface,” Garber said. “Our players said it was perhaps the worst surface they had played on.”  oh….that’s what happened…) – but it’s fairly clear that Soccer Marketing United (SUM) wouldn’t have minded had ESPN Classic taken on pass on televising the event.

There’s talk in the article about rotating between sites in Japan, Australia, and the U.S. – and that isn’t a terrible one – but I liked Hawaii because it felt a little closer to neutral ground.  That said, there’s no denying the facility is (cavernously) problematic.  Surely, there’s a field with grass somewhere in Hawaii, one either big enough, or one that could be expanded without too much money and effort? If not, yeah, move the PPC.  Or just kill the thing and televise, I dunno, the Carolina Challenge Cup instead.  Just don’t think about it too hard.  Sure, I liked the thing, but it’s hard to justify agonizing over it.  And there’s no way in Hell to justify a soccer-specific stadium in Hawaii…

Getting back to the play in the PPC, I came across what can only be dubbed as an absurdity.  It appeared in a Frank Dell’Appa article for The Boston Globe on the Revs’ Cancun training junket, but it’s hard to say whether this silliness comes from Dell’Appa direct or if he’s characterizing the thinking of New England Revolution Coach, Steve Nicol:

“But this is where the Revolution have an edge on Houston. The Revolution, who have lost the last two MLS Cups to the Dynamo, base their game on passing, so they should be able to keep possession long enough to relieve pressure on their defense. This emphasis on the passing game allows the Revolution to remain composed against skillful opposition, because the players are not far out of their element, even against the most technical foes.”

Or, pursuant to the part in bold, they fail utterly to retain possession and instead chase the game for massive stretches and generally stink up the joint.  How do people get a free pass to just flat-out assert something that, on enough occasions, has been proved manifestly false?  I don’t think I’d rate New England higher than Houston on this score – or, for that matter, even DC United, Chivas USA, FC Dallas…hell maybe more.

This is almost comically close to saying, “Oh yeah, New England would have topped Gamba Osaka.”  Based on what?!  Two straight losses in MLS Cup?  A roster without Pat Noonan?  (And, yes, today does feel like a slow news day…in case you’re wondering.)

GREAT OUTDOORS
Because they’re stacking up, I’m going to throw out a couple today.

– “It turns out in the real world, hippos fucking kill people.”  That line alone makes the collection of the 6 Cutest Aminals That Can Still Destroy You worth the read.  But there’s some genuinely cool stuff in there…and, if you do click on it, do check out the chimp attack video.  (Hat-Tip: Hemmy.net)

– As a fan of comedy that leaves me unsure as to how to feel, I commend a special version of the Cheers theme to CHI readers.

– Finally, I think this is pretty old, but it’s new to me: Brokeback Trek, as in Star Trek…as in Kirk and Spock.  There is some top-drawer editing in this thing.  (Hat-Tip: b3ta.com…I think)

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2 Responses

  1. Why anyone reads Frank Dell’appa is beyond me. His command of the english language is childish at best. I’ve never seen a published writer struggle with compiling a complete sentence not to mention his opinions are usually odd…

  2. Ouch.

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