Did you see last night's Revolution-Joe Public CONCACAF Champions League match? Judging by the attendance, and that the Fox Soccer Channel telecast was competing with coverage of the Republican National Convention, you probably didn't. Lucky you.
All you need to know, from a writer's perspective, is that by halftime, there were no writers left. Just a gaggle of wannabe comedians.* The jokes were flying left and right, from every angle. The wisecracks outnumbered the keystrokes something like 1,908,013 to 1. Meanwhile, someone turned on the Red Sox game on one of the press box TVs for a welcome distraction. Others took bets on how many balls would escape Matt Reis before the night ended.
(*I have a theory that just about every writer secretly aspires to be a comedian. I haven't quite put my finger on why that is - perhaps it's because we all realize that it's our job to play with words. Sometimes, the seriousness of a standard match report or feature doesn't allow us to convey our uncanny senses of humor. So we compensate for it by turning press boxes into a comedy clubs and publishing half-witty blogs.)
Personally, I stuggled to find adequate words to accurately describe what exactly was taking place on the pitch below. A thesaurus would have been useful. I asked my colleagues what another word for "obliterated" was ("annihilated" got the most votes), as I forced my fingers to systematically pound out the final paragraph.
Thankfully, the the eyewitness accounts were limited, with an announced crowd of about 3,500 on hand, many of whom disguised themselves as navy blue seats.**
(**The cool thing about a near-empty Gillette Stadium is that acoustics were sensational. The chants from The Fort magnificently echoed throughout the bowl.)
BUT ANYWAY, the game was horrid. Absolutely horrid, if you were a Revolution fan. Shalrie Joseph was perhaps the only player in navy that looked like a legit soccer player. Everyone else seemed to be there just to run through the motions. In fact, around the 28th minute, as the Revs crashed toward goal, a fellow writer said "wow, that actually looked like soccer right there." Unfortunately, that was only one of perhaps maybe...two moments where I could suspend my disbelief that an MLS club was getting absolutely pwned by the fifth-best team in Trinidad***.
(***In fact, Joe Public had just lost to eighth place Defence Force 0-1 on Saturday. Like I always say - DON'T SLEEP ON DEFENCE FORCE. EVER.)
Despite the schadenfreude, Joe Public's Gregory Richardson managed to clinch a hat trick after drinking Gabriel Badilla's milkshake all night. The striker was a revelation to many, and it wasn't just his speed. The dude can flat out dish as well as finish. He was simply the best player on the pitch last night.
When asked if he would like to play in MLS, he nodded affirmatively, and stated that Columbus had shown interest. Let's hope that Stevie Nicol gets Richardson's digits before Sigi Schmid scoops (alliteration alert!) him up and puts him in Crew yellow.
For those of you in dire need of some humor, check out shalriejoseph.com. In the words of my colleague Sean Donahue, it's "amazing." I couldn't agree more.
I love how Shal-Joe just drops rhymes like Mama Wayans drops babies. Check out this ill rhyme:
"I am doing this for the sake of it…so drink up, but only if you have the age or its aged. Shalriejoseph.com is about to strike as fast as that lightning Bolt. But don’t call me Usain… I am even more insane…I am at the helm of this new realm, and here comes the thunder …let me take a pause and make sure that I don’t lose you, or confuse you, I am delusional, if you have never been there than you have no idea what illusions do…"
And who knew that SJ and I had a common ethos?
"Nothin I write is 2 be taken seriously, unless I’m serious…
Word is born. For real. I'm out. One.