Week 2 of the Anti-Power Rankings and I'm an angry young man.
I'm the Howard Beale of the soccer world, raising my fist in the air and exclaiming, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"
There was plenty from the beautiful game to frustrate me this week, which is good because it makes writing this column far easier. Nobody likes butterflies and rainbows in their anti-power rankings...well except double rainbows, because those are awesome. Anyway, this week I turn my attention to CONCACAF, Pele and broadcasters with apparent vendettas.
#5 - South Africa Stadium Fail: Dirty Tackle has an interesting story concerning the issues already coming up with those fancee stadiums built for the World Cup. I won't go in to a lot of detail, I encourage you to read the story for that, I'll just say that are we really surprised. Olympics and World Cups for all their grandeur and splendor have a way of costing the host country truckloads of money and leaving things financially worse than they were before. It's sad that FIFA and the IOC are basically no better than a con-man who gets their victim to pay billions of dollars to hold their event, makes billions off the event and leaves the unsuspecting victim wondering what the hell just happened. Worst still, everyone know they are going to do, yet the continue to fight over hosting rights with the fervor of a hyena pack on a kill.
#4 - Heath Pearce's Mustache: If you haven't seen it, you might as well view it here. I honestly don't know what is worse, the mustache or the fact that MajorLeagueSoccerSoccer.com devoted an article to it. It's hideous and I don't understand the fascination with it. Enough with the Magnum P.I. references, Tom Selleck hasn't been cool for at least 30 years.
#3 - Pele: Alright I get it, Pele was a great player. He was also a dirty player when the situation called for it but all those videos have mysteriously been lost or never uploaded to YouTube. I digress. Two weeks ago, the next Brazilian wunderkid Neymar amazed the world in Brazil's friendly against the US. As usually happens after that, a big European club came sniffing around, this time in the form of Chelsea. Of course, Pele had to offer his opinion, "He is not prepared to play in England". Simple enough, but don't forget this came from the same guy who compared Freddy Adu to Mozart and said no one would stop him. Apparently Pele didn't count of Freddy stopping himself. Neymar should become a fantastic young player and that he decided to remain in Brazil for the time being is likely a good thing. That said, Pele should just stop offering his opinions about young players with potential, he's quickly becoming soccer's very own witch doctor, firing unintentional verbal hexes all over the place. I now honestly fear for Neymar's career.
#2 - CONCACAF Referees: There is very little that can be said about this group of hacks that doesn't involve extremely offensive language. Having watched most of the CONCACAF Champions League matches over the past week, it's safe to say that CONCACAF does little more than ruin the integrity of matches, make the sport look bad and ensure that Jack Warner remains rich. This mis-run pathetic organization makes no attempt to improve itself or to actually put on a credible tournament. The mistakes and lack of judgement showed by CONCACAF referees is astounding and makes it very hard for fans, and I would imagine the teams, to take this sham of a tournament seriously. I could go on but what's the point. Everyone knows CONCACAF is a joke but there is nothing anyone can do about it. Never has the phrase "the elephant in the room" been more appropriate.
#1 - Brad Feldman & Jay Heaps: These two numpties spent most of their broadcast time during the Dynamo/Revs match taking every opportunity to bash Bobby Boswell. There is nothing wrong with the "home" broadcast team being behind the team, but these two crossed a line using their airtime to launch what was really nothing better than personal attacks at Boswell's play, character and intelligence. In hopes this was a fluke, I tuned in to the Revs/Fire match on Wednesday and thanks to Pat Phelan, I got proof Feldman and Heaps are just lousy broadcasters. In a ten minute stretch of the first half, Phelan has one ridiculous tackle and then a second late tackle a few minutes later. As soon as the second tackle occurred, Feldman and Heaps began defending the tackle trying to explain that the referee knows the second yellow has to be a real foul. If Boswell had committed the fouls they'd be screaming for a red card like a couple of tea kettles at full boil.