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Soccer Science: Healing Time

CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  My Science Senses are Tingling. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 20: My Science Senses are Tingling. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
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The past two weekends felt a little empty, didn't they? No matches, no orange, and no fun for us in Dynamo-land. But while fandom was in neutral over these weeks, and will stay there until Sunday, rest assured that your favorite players are doing anything but simply waiting for the next match. And do you know what else won't be staying in neutral? Soccer Science. (pause for applause...invariably hear crickets).

How could I find scientific metaphor after two bye weeks? Oh, just wait, friends. You're in for a treat. There is a lot to be said for a string of bye weeks: time to effectively address issues, get guys into the training room, and prep youngsters for a starting role. Dom's ability to adjust will be on display in Chicago, and there is nothing un-scientific about healing. Jump along with me as we find yet another reason to be nerdy on such a lovely Tuesday.

After two tough road wins against mediocre opponents, the Dynamo hit a road block against MLS-darling Sounders. And, like I mentioned last time, it was a match filled with "what could have been". We played okay, and against a more forgiving opponent (and a more forgiving referee, and a more forgiving law of physics on that deflection) we could have conceivably snuck out with some points. Sadly, we didn't, but the end of a three week break is perfect timing for a much needed reboot. You see, the Sounders shook our sense of stability. We were happy swatting away weaker challenges, but were rocked by the stiffer challenge from Zigi Piggy and co. In the end, battered, we survived to fight another day. Just like your immune system after you get the chickenpox.

Yes yes yes. Everyone knows what chickenpox are, so have I lost all the mystique from my earlier posts (if I ever had it)? Nah. Because, from what I can conjecture (or guess, with mystique), our team is like a young immune system. We're by no means impenetrable, but we aren't too arrogant to learn and adapt from our shortcomings. The Sounders beat us, but I have a feeling that our guys will do more than simply mope around during the bye.

Much like the defeat to the Sounders, the Chickenpox sucked. We laid in a cold tub for a while with baking soda...then we put calamide lotion on the pockmarks until we looked like a pink polka-dotted monster. In the meantime, as we sat feeling sorry for ourselves, our immune system was working on fixing the problem. Cells infected with the virus were producing little molecular "kick me" signs, or antigens, on their surface. Killer T cells recognize these signals, and destroy both the infected cell and the viruses it holds. In this way, the system recognizes the detrimental problem, responds to it, and removes it completely. At the same time, Helper T cells, the most considerate of cells, direct others cells to fight off the infection, ensuring a coordinated response to the invader.

So, while we fans sit around bored during the three week sojourn from the Dynamo, Dom and the Good Guys will be removing the same threats that hurt us in Seattle. Our infected cell (cough, Watson, cough) will be adorned with a "bench me" sign. We will work on getting Brad (our Killer T Cell) healthy. That will open up the flanks for balls into the box, and ensure that no more #ZSMM trends infiltrate my news feed - because DAMN, those were annoying.

If our Elven warrior can't make it back, the need for midfield control necessitates getting Camargo back into the starting 11 (our Helper T Cell, able to recognize and react to the flow of the game). He needs to return, regardless of Davis' status, but without Brad playing I would say Camargo starting has to be a must.

Finally, we need to work on filling Clark's spot until his return from suspension (calling Mr. Dixon). With all these injuries, it would have been nice to see Soto on the field, but he'll be doing good things in San Antonio: improving and preparing himself for a run at more PT come may.

Will this resistance stand up through the rest of our regular season matches? Probably not. Because just like a later onset of Shingles, it is possible that a new challenge will get past our defenses. But then the immune system will start up again and work to shove aside the next one. Its these early challenges to our perfection that will force us to improve, and hopefully come out on the other side better...if not more polka-dotted.

Fashion Faux Pas of the Week


Photo courtesy of BlackSportsOnline

Now, I am not exactly Chuck's biggest fan. His lack of professionalism, not to mention sexism, really grinds my gears and ruins some solid TNT NBA reporting: something surely to die a slow horrifying death under the considerable weight (get it?) of Shaq and Chuck. Also, he talked trash about Yao a few years back, which is excommunication material in my eyes. I love that gigantic man. More than words can explain. Thats not the point here, but it is important to divulge any bias in my obviously professional rants.

The real point is that Chuck has slimmed down (and added some extra weight to his wallet). Here he is, sporting a nice evening dress. I'm not knocking his cross-dressing, as I could honestly care less how Chuck scams money out of WeightWatchers. You want to go drag? Sweet. Just make sure you pick a flattering (and well-fitting) evening gown. The gradually rising hemline in the front of the dress is getting too close to comfort for me, personally.

But they did do wonders with his hair, so I'll give them props for that.

Run Fatboy Run

I went to NYC this week to hang out with my brother and his family. We kicked it in Brooklyn, where they have recently moved, and enjoyed a fun-filled Easter weekend. Highlighting the trip was my decision to run the Scotland 10K race through Central Park. My sister-in-law has taken up 1/2 marathon running the past year, while I have taken up bourbon and IPAs, so you can all guess what state I was in. Luckily, my 4-years-past soccer fitness spared me some blushes, and allowed me to finish without too much whining.

However, a fellow runner didn't make things very easy on me. That morning I ate typical runners food, but it left me a bit hungry around mile 3. It was at this point that some guy started listing off his manifesto on the deliciousness of salads. Now, I'm not the biggest salad fan (as the lady doth bemoan-eth), but in the middle of a 10K, when you're are hungry. So I spent 28 minutes salivating, seemingly starving half to death (Oh, boo hoo) while the running Emeril Lagasse described what had to be the greatest culinary creation on God's green Earth. Luckily, I finished and was able to inhale a bagel and apple.

Speaking of NYC and food...


Truly highlighting the holiday, aside from chilling with my all-too-fly nephew, was a trip to Jay-Z and Bey's favorite Brooklyn brunch joint - Buttermilk Channel. Everybody loves brunch, and this place tops it all. What made it perfect was the Fried Porch Chop and Cheddar Waffles. A play on my Southern favorite Fried Chicken n' Waffles, this was heart-stoppingly delicious. I highly recommend a trip to Brooklyn, if only for this choice meal.

Apropos Hip-Hop Video of the Week

As usual, this song contains language typical of rap music. Discretion advised. Video courtesy of PunchlineBlogTV2

I know I've already posted a track from the King of the Trill this season, but being a son of Houston I see nothing with a little more UGK.

We've had a few weeks to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully we've taken the initiative and corrected the mistakes that have left our offense looking very lame. The injury to Brad is tough. So, so tough. Hopefully he will make it back in time, but if not our midfield will have to improve dramatically, perhaps with the inclusion of Luis in the starting 11.

All I know is that, to me, the Dynamo are the bee's knees. The cat's meow. Sliced Bread. The aforementioned mile 3 salad. Et cetera. The Best is Back, this time coming to Chi-Town in search of a three-course meal of points. Let's get it.

Dale Dale Dale, Dynamo.

Note: edited at 9:08 am to correct definition of Helper T cell. I'm an idiot. Signed: Clutch.