I know, you were all on the edge of your seats for the next Dungeons & Drogbas. Well, I don’t have it. That crap takes a long time to write, and I was watching Game of Thrones. Enjoy the usual claptrap from me instead.
On the subject of enjoyment, I think we all enjoy things more when other people enjoy them as well. Not too many people, of course, because then our tastes become mainstream and boring. But it’s always nice to say something related to soccer — yes, even for me — and not have friends and coworkers blink at you in utter bewilderment. With that in mind, today we’ll consider some guaranteed ways MLS could increase the fanbase and visibility of football in the States.
I Don’t Know (Soc-)Her
- Suggestion #1: An offer they can’t refuse. Did you know that if you go to MLS.com, what you will find is not the homepage of Major League Soccer? That’s right, Timmy! It’s a site for realtors to look up home listings! This would be like going to NFL.com and discovering the National Forensics League tournament schedule. Instead, the URL is, and I am not kidding, “MLSsoccer.com.” Hey folks, the next time you need to know everything about baseball, hop on over to MLBbaseball.com! That doesn’t sound like a Russian phishing scam at all. So, we need to put, I don’t know, an eviscerated open house sign in their beds, or something, anything to get our hands on that sweet, sweet URL.
- Suggestion #2: Turf wars. I feel like in other sports — baseball, American football, tennis, even hockey — commentators cannot shut up about the ground on which the players are walking, running, and/or skating. This patter adds so much to the game, that I feel like soccer is missing out. Not missing out on discussing turf in general, mind you, as we are all bleeding from the ears over that topic. I’m talking about discussion of those much more interesting playing surfaces. So, to add more variety, let’s incorporate the different types of terrain from all other major sports into soccer: artificial turf, laminated wood floors, ice. If you have doubts, just close your eyes and imagine a forgetful player diving onto hardened clay to celebrate after a goal.
- Suggestion #3: Run out the clock. The concept of “stoppage time” is a little hard for some would-be fans to grasp, and who can really blame them? “So, the game clock just keeps running, even though nothing is happening?” “Yes.” “What’s to stop a team from milking that?” “Well, that time gets added on to the end of the game.” “What’s to stop them from milking it during stoppage time?” “Literally nothing.” This is a tricky puzzle to solve, no doubt. So I got in touch with my inner John Madden, and he said, “What if there wasn’t a clock at all?” Brilliant, John. After all, is time not just an illusion, a fiction created by our consciousness to stitch together the quantum snapshots that we call reality?
- Suggestion #4: Amputations for some, tiny flags for all. I know some people, by which I mean anyone who has ever watched a football match ever, complain about the frequency of faked injuries. I hear you. It’s a disgrace, and detrimental to the integrity of the game. So from now on, anyone who goes down with a Peter Griffin-esque “broken leg” will have said leg treated using the finest medical science a Civil War field hospital can offer.
Minnesota Sports Misery Index
Lynx: This team’s points differential is +10.9. The next best differential in the league is +5.7. This would be the equivalent of the Patriots having a points differential of +256 (they actually had +191) or the Warriors with a differential of +13.7 (they had +11.6). I’m not sure what else you could be looking for. Fucking watch them.
Vikings: Coach Mike Zimmer had this message for suspended wide receiver Michael Floyd: “If you’re lying, I’ll cut you.” Words to live by.
Twins: Despite a terrible last 10 games, the Twins are still only a game and a half out of first place. That has virtually nothing to do with their own performance, and more to do with the four-game losing streak of Cleveland. Also, I thought nothing could top the ESPN headline from the Vikings update above until I saw this:
I can’t wait for the end of the season, when the Twins learn that the struggling colon they’d been looking for was inside them all along.
Timberwolves: Damn. Every time I think ESPN can’t top themselves with utterly unintentional on-point Minnesota team headlines, they manage to top themselves.
I’m pretty sure all of the Timberwolves’ wins are consolation wins.
The Minnesota Sports Misery Index is: mauve. Good thing we have Minnesota United FC to carry the torch through these difficult times.