I, Goalie

Matt Jordan robot
Law I: A robot may not harm a human or, by inaction, allow a human being to come to harm

Law II: A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law

Law III: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law

What Happens At The Community Shield…Stays At The Community Shield

Community Shield 2007 action
Did you know the English season starts this weekend? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

It’ll give Fox Soccer Channel’s Nick Webster nine months to come up with more beauties like this one from Sunday:

“(Chelsea’s) Petr Cech, without a doubt…probably…in my estimation…the best goalkeeper in the world.”

Way to take a stand there, Nick.

Pha Loves Pa

A dolphinI used to have a Dolphin list. Appropriated from comedy genius George Carlin, it was a list of people who were definitely less intelligent than dolphins.

Steve Davis of ESPN Soccernet just made the list with this column.

It’s bad enough that we have to endure the mainstream media’s complete ignorance of all things Beckham, and those who feel they just have to write a column about him, even though they have absolutely no working knowledge of the situation.

A soccer writer, especially one for ESPN.com, should know the fairly obvious answers to the questions he asks in his own column, to wit:

What, then, was Beckham doing participating in the friendly two weeks back? While everyone can understand the player’s desire to get on the field, what was the point of risking his presence in matches that matter for a brief run-about for the cameras against Chelsea?

Because they’d spent the better part of two months hyping that as his first appearance? Because ESPN doesn’t normally televise Galaxy friendlies, but they did this one? Because there was a ginormous amount of advertising built around it? Because there were 27,000 people who bought tickets to see it? C’mon, Steve, work with me here. We all went over this two weeks ago. It was throwing good money after bad. The Galaxy (and MLS) painted themselves into a corner and he simply couldn’t have sat out that game.

He didn’t travel to Dallas for last week’s SuperLiga match because air travel doesn’t help the swelling in his left ankle. If that was the case, why take him to Toronto?

Maybe because of all the yahoos in Dallas who bitched that he didn’t even make the trip (including the Dallas Morning News’ Kevin Sherrington, who asked Couldn’t he just give the crowd a Miss America wave and then sit on his cute bum?”) and wanted refunds?

He played against Chelsea. Probably shouldn’t have, but had little choice. If he hadn’t, everybody (including, probably Steve Davis) would have bitched that he didn’t play. So they do what’s right and don’t even take him to Dallas. People bitch. So they do both, take him to Toronto and don’t play him, and you bitch about that. WTF are they supposed to do by this point?

Note to everyone: the guy’s contract doesn’t expire on December 31 of this year. You will get to see him. Really. It’ll be okay. Now here’s another fish. Enjoy.

UPDATE: Cathal Kelly, about whom I’ve written before, is also on the list, thanks to this. Bitter much, Cathal?

The Ankle That Rankled

Moron fan in Dallas - don't you need a little black dress to go with those bracelets?So some fans in Dallas who attended last night’s unbelievable SuperLiga match between the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas apparently weren’t satisfied with one of the greatest goal-fests in US soccer history. Instead, they spent too much time whining about the no-show of LA’s David Beckham, who — hel-LO! — has what we call an ankle injury. Sorry about your luck, lookie-loos (like the moron above), but them’s the breaks (or the sprains) when you’re dealing with, you know, actual athletes and stuff.

Luckily for you, America’s answer to Prince Phillip, Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas, hopes to repay you later this season:

“We recognize that there are many L.A. Galaxy fans who live in the Dallas area that have been looking forward to seeing our full team,” Lalas said. “However, we will look to find a way later this season to bring our full team back to this market.”

Oh, it all makes sense now. That’s why FC Dallas (and the Burn before them) have underachieved at drawing fans – their market is a bastion of LA Galaxy fans! Though, to be fair, I’m guessing that started around…oh…January 14 of this year.

Look, seriously – I’m sorry about your luck. In MLS/AEG’s misguided and counterproductive attempt to get Beckham into every market between here and Brisbane before year’s end, this was your one shot. These things happen. Caveat Emptor didn’t play left back for AC Milan, okay?

But you did get to see a game that was worth the price of admission – something you can’t always say when two MLS teams get together. Quit whining about it. That goes for you, too, Kevin Sherrington.

I don’t know if the fact that the US soccer fan’s petulant, whiny sense of entitlement has apparently rubbed off on the populace at large is a sign that soccer has “made it” or what, but I reckon Beckham’s ankle will be healed before that virus on our culture runs its course.