Do I kiss him or slap him? I finally understand the cinema clich© of the woman walking up to a guy, and the ensuing kiss followed by slap or vice versa. How can you be so conflicted emotionally? I’ll tell you how.
Hans Backe brought this out of me after refusing to use all three subs when his team was obviously dying in the last minutes of the game. I saw John Rooney warming up and almost coming in for Ballouchy. Why didn’t he pull the trigger and put Rooney in? Did we really need Rodgers for that last minute of stoppage time? Couldn’t we have wasted a few 30 seconds while the substitution was going on? I was so mad I wanted to slap him!! I later found out he only put 4 subs on the bench. “They had lose, 6-1, to the Columbus Crew in the reserve game. They don’t deserve to be on the bench.” Wow. There you have it. Now I’d love to kiss Backe on the cheek, no, both cheeks for this. I love the attitude! He is absolutely right, you earn that place on the bench. This message is EXACTLY what I want the coaching staff to deliver to our young players. This message says quality matters, results matter. Step up, or don’t bother showing up. But still, the slap has to precede the kiss because he still had two players on the bench that could have wasted time during the subbing process.
Mehdi Ballouchy, on the other hand, get’s his kiss first for the aggressive play and goal during the first half. This was the behavior I expected from him when I heard we acquired the Moroccan menace. I turned and told my buddy “I can’t call him Blue Cheese for a month now!” Yes, in the first half, Ballouchy showed that he could play the role of creator, taking over for DeRo. After the first half, I was excited about how strong we looked. Then, the slap! Giving over the ball to allow a counter attack when he clearly could have held on or even played it deep into space to waste time. Yes, I like the fact you want to play attractive soccer, but do so with a brain! Back to “Blue Cheese” for you, you stunk up the game with a single boneheaded move!
Matt Kassel gets a peck on the cheek. Stepped up into the hole created by Solli’s injury, and did a passable job for a long time. He was clearly getting beaten on speed by Dilly Duka in first half, but he still didn’t look too bad. But somehow, you knew it would be his side that Columbus to try to exploit. The slap? On his back of his head. Wake up and do better next time. Yeah, I’m being easy on him. He should have tried harder to block the cross, but I’m sure he’ll improve over time. Besides, he wasn’t completely at fault. Ok, maybe a towel snap too. Something to help him remember to never stop during the game.
Greg Sutton gets a kiss for an absolutely stunning game. His slap goes to both Mendes and Keel for giving too much space and ball watching. Luke Rodgers gets a kiss from my sister. I want him as a brother, and plus, he deserves a bit of tongue for how hard he played. His slap is a high five.
The game this Friday is against another old rival of ours. The Revs are the annoying bean town team that automatically inherits bad blood from any big apple team. They should have a decent group of fans coming down to see what a real stadium is like. I am guessing that Harrison police have to add additional resources this Friday night to interpret requests for where to “pahk the cah.” Yeah, I expect the nose bleed section to be a bit loud once again. Until the South End supporters cross the bridge, that is. I’m sure we won’t hear them signing over there once the game gets started. You might be wondering why I’m focusing this space usually reserved for assessing the opponents to describing their silly fan base. Well, quite simply, I don’t know who is on their team anymore. I know who left, but I think only ganja-boy “I won’t go to bed, I’m a gangsta playa in the pre-sea” Shalrie is the remaining old guard. Oh, and that bald goalie guy that wants to pretend he’s Kasey Keller. I’ve heard they got Benny Feilhaber, but we won’t know for sure because Benny isn’t coming here. So, a bunch of guys I don’t know are coming to try and get us to give them a point. I’d rather focus on their fat fans. Take 95 to, well, here, and get off when you hear the gun shots. You should be in Newark, and that’s as close as you need to come to our house. If you insist, we’ll put plastic on all the furniture (we’ve heard you can’t hold your beer.)
Now, I’ve heard the locker room had a heated discussion after the game. Backe better be getting pissed off by now. Having heard his comment about bench players and locker room fights, I’d say Thor’s hammer better come down on a few heads this week. The Revs are not exactly destroying their opponents this year, but with Shalrie Joseph staying put, they have the ability to make things difficult for us. They’re coming off a pretty lazy game themselves, losing to FC Dallas, so this should be a battle of the locker room smack down. Will the fiery Scotsman get his team more energetic than the icy Viking? Will either team understand their coach’s thick accent when the vitriol spews? I’m not sure I have an answer this time.
Anyway, I should predict another tie just for the hell of it. But, if we don’t win on Friday, I will be forced to create a new T-shirt. I’ll just stick with predicting that Luke Rodgers has another amazing game.
Chant for the game:
Win this one, DAMMIT!!