The CCL, Its Failings, and One Man’s Bold Marker

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Note the colors the guy who didn’t fall is wearing. It matters.

If a Major League Soccer (MLS) club makes it past the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL), I will leave a flaming bag of shit on my next door neighbor’s front porch.

No, I’ll go one better: I’ll light the bag, ring the doorbell, stand there till he opens it, at which time I’ll yell, “Happy Halloween, motherfucker!”

That’s the frustration talking mith . That and the desire to come up with the first in a series of stupid bets to spice up MLS’s 2014 season. Fascinating as the league is, I know all about the league’s summer doldrums, that time when the buzz of First Kick has worn off, yet the playoffs seem like they’ll never come. When this hits moves around a bit, and it’s very dependent on how one’s team is doing, but the wind typically goes out of the sails sometime like July, maybe August. So making bets can’t hurt. Just sayin’.

Hold on…if an MLS club makes it past the current quarterfinal stage of the CCL – and this is something we’ll know by the end of the day – I will attempt a citizen’s arrest on a cop.

Wait. No. I have a wife, two kids, a dog and a cat. I can’t risk arrest. Gotta aim lower.

Here’s the thing: it’s not just what happened to the LA Galaxy in yesterday’s sorry quarterfinal against Tijuana Xolos; it’s the fact that the…same…damn thing happens every…damn…year. How anyone looked at those slim 1-0 leads (see: LA and Sporting KC), never mind a draw, no matter how well-fought (San Jose Earthquakes) and thought they would, or will, hold up on the return legs in Mexico is beyond me. They never hold up, people.

I’m not sure they ever will. And yet every year, so many dutifully ask, is this MLS’s year?

The real pisser is that this will not change until CONCACAF, or whatever semi-corrupt sporting association runs this flea circus, times the schedule so that the clubs from both sides of the better are somewhere within their season. So long as MLS hits the quarterfinals before they’re deep enough into their season to have the sea legs under them – and in the nose-bleed heights at which most of Mexico’s clubs play (and, yeah, while we’re on it; WTF, LA? Tijuana’s sea-level, right? Seriously, what?) – they will flop over this same bloody hurdle every year.

Brings into question the entire point of the stupid exercise. I mean, if CONCACAF is just going to send a Mexican club to the World Club Cup every year, let’s just skip the dog ‘n’ pony shit of having BOTH Mexican and MLS clubs beat up on clubs from Central America and the Caribbean. Let the Mexican Federation can sort out who goes on their own.

This isn’t a call to disadvantage the Mexican clubs either. I don’t know. Maybe there’s a way to block out time on the edges of summer – say June or September – when all the clubs involved can do the whole thing at once, World Cup tournament style. Sounds hairy, but the current incarnation doesn’t really hold water.

Anyway, back to the bet. Tell you what: if an MLS club survives this current round, I promise to pick up my dog’s shit bare-handed on his morning walk and post a photo on this site. I am that confident*, people.

(* And, with this bet now made, finding some small part of me hoping that the MLS clubs lose. Because, ew.)

(NOTE: Links will go up later. I just wanted to place my marker in time.)

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