Wow! What a ride! The past 144 hours have taken me from the cradle to the grave, and back again much like the 20-minute Subhuman’s 1983 punk classic. The past 4 days have seriously been like Darien Lake’s Predator – a rollercoaster of epic proportions. I’ll work a game-wrap into what I’ve been thinking since Friday:
Friday at about 3:00pm: NWB rolls in from the ATL and tells me that “he’s on vacation.” The Marlins’ season is over, and now he’s “here to party.” We play a World Cup on Winning 11, and during this tournament, we decide that the USMNT is going to lose to Honduras, tie Costa Rica, be forced into a playoff with Argentina, and not make the World Cup. I vow to start every sentence all weekend with the phrase “when US Soccer doesn’t make the World Cup this week….” I also decide that Portugal won’t qualify either and that next summer, instead of the World Cup, we’ll have an epic international friendly against Pussy Ronaldo and company. Incidentally, we play a 3-5-2 lineup in the Winning 11 World Cup, get our asses kicked by Tunisia, and decide that this is a sign of things to come…..
Friday night: It is Mr. NWB’s birthday! We go to our favorite watering hold, Gator City, aka. Sh’booms, and start doing LeBomb James shots. Neil’s finally 21 is what I keep saying (even though he just turned 29)! I play my girlfriend at Big Buck Hunter Safari. I’m a champion! I’m also now the Hunting Hero in 2 levels of the Kudu adventure!
Saturday at about noon: I drag my ass out of bed. I flip on the TV to watch some of the American football fixtures, and I realize that we’re not going to get to see the Honduras fixture because the 4-letter network didn’t pick up the game. I curse out the 4-letter network and mentally take myself back to the days when I enjoyed Sportscenter. Stupid Sage Steele! Stupid Hannah Storm! I miss Keith Olberman, Dan Patrick, and Craig Kilborn! Stupid ACC and Big Ten football. Those damn mid-major conferences that get automatic BCS bids! Then I take solace in the fact that I get to watch the Te-bros play the Tigers later and it makes things a little better.
Saturday at about 9:30pm: I’m watching the Gators and the Tigers locked in a defensive struggle on the old TV and I’m checking updates continuously through the 4-letter’s Soccernet. “Fuckin Bobbo,” I say to myself, “he really started Mallrats Casey instead of Jozy. This guy’s really an idiot.”
Saturday at about 10:00pm: I return to Sh’booms to watch the 2nd half of the Gators vs. the Tigers. My favorite bouncer/server is handing me $1 beers like they’re water. This rocks! I hope the USMNT can win, and the Gators are winning! Thank god!
Saturday at about 11:30pm: Gators win! Gators win! I start stalking the bottom line to see how the Yanks are doing.
Sunday at about 12:30am: I see a highlight reel on a TV at Sh’booms that shows CONNOR “MALLRATS” CASEY of all people scoring a brace against Honduras. I immediately text Neil something to the effect of YOU WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER NOT QUALIFY FOR THE WORLD CUP because Neil has gone to Orlando for a b-day party thrown by his little sister. Neil does not respond.
Sunday at about noon: it sinks in that we’ve finally qualified for the World Cup. Neil returns and has me read an article on the 4-Letter’s Soccernet endorsing Bobbo because we finally qualified for the World Cup. I become furious! As I’ve said before, qualification for the World Cup should be the MINIMAL benchmark for any USMNT coach. All Bobbo did was what Bruce Arena did several times before him. Neil vows to write an email to soccernet. I am forced to retract my plan to start every sentence all weekend with “when the US doesn’t qualify for the World Cup….”
Tuesday night: I hear the news about Chuck D and his car accident. First thing that goes through my head: this sounds like Bobby Hurley circa 1992 except it was a car and not a motorcycle. I hope the kid’s OK, cuz this sounds bad! Is he ever even going to walk again? Poor freakin’ kid – he was doing so good.
Wednesday morning: I get the news that Chuck D is out of surgery, he was pretty messed up, but it looks like he’ll make a full recovery. However, recovery will take almost a year, and he probably won’t play in the World Cup. “At least he’ll be OK” I tell myself, “but that being said, what the hell is Bobbo going to do?”
Wednesday night: We play Costa Rica, we dominate the game, we struggle to finish, and we find ourselves relying on a JON FREAKIN’ BORNSTEIN header in the 95th minute to eek out a tie. I’m watching the game with Neil, Jon, Seco, and Puck, and the living room explodes with excitement. We win the group, we win the group! FIFA ranking, safe for now! But, what do we do moving forward? No Chuck D (by the way, that poster they kept showing of Chuck D totally looked like a Public Enemy album cover). No Gooch for awhile (came out today that he tore his patella)? This is gonna be rough…