It is with a heavy heart that I bring you this week’s column, dear readers. Sadly, this may be my last appearance here for the Soccer Gods, as I am likely to leaving to take up a new government position. More on that below. Let’s dive into the dumpster.
The United States of America is now a colony of Trinidad and Tobago
Following last night’s 0-0 draw at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, the U.S. men’s national team is now level on points with Trinidad and Tobago in its World Cup qualifying group. Given that T&T is roughly 1/300th the size of the US, this surprising draw has activated a little known international law that allows for immediate colonization. Yours truly will be putting his name into the hat for the position of Governor General of the former USA, and as such, I have already prepared a list of changes for which the American population should prepare itself.
Baseball (an abysmal game, as you all well know) will be replaced by a sport that is far more interesting and easier to understand: cricket. Jack Warner is likely to appointed as Minister of Sport. Hot dogs and tacos are out. Doubles are in. Washington, D.C. is no longer the seat of government and will be renamed New Beetham. The new government will be relocated to either Miami or Flatbush. Other sensible changes (implementation of the metric system, universal health care, etc.) will be announced in due time.
Finally, the USMNT has been disbanded, with immediate effect. The T&T national team will now be able to select players from the pool of players previously available to the USMNT, but based on last night’s evidence, few new faces are expected to join the squad.
Sex tape is the new black
Hot on the heels of the ongoing blackmail scandal involving Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena, another high profile player has thrown his hat into the sex tape ring. Gerard Piqué and his wife Shakira have denied reports that they are being blackmailed by a former employee over a sex tape, but that isn’t going to stop us from writing about it anyway. These latest rumors come at a time when Piqué—who is a mother-in-law’s dream—has for some strange reason become a pantomime villain for Spanish soccer fans. That a man who has played in a key role in the greatest team in his country’s history can be booed by his own fans (because of the presumption that he supports Catalan independence) is yet more evidence for the dangers of nationalism, but that’s a story for another day. Let’s get back to sex tapes.
Despite being an obviously bad idea for rich, high profile athletes, sex tapes seem to be all the rage right now. All that’s left to be seen is if this new fad continues into the mainstream or fizzles out in a matter of weeks. Will sex tapes go the way of the snood? Will they only register as a brief, bizarre moment in soccer history? Or will they go the way of the tattoo sleeve and become so ubiquitous that even Leo Messi (the greatest and most swaggerless player of all time) has one? Only time will tell.
Arsène Wenger is being asked to explain the obvious
The English FA has asked Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger to explain his recent comments on doping. In a recent interview with L’Equipe Sport and Style, Wenger implied that his Arsenal teams had played against many teams that used performance enhancing drugs. It is not the first time that Wenger has hinted that soccer is not as drug-free as we are led to believe, and it’s remarkable how little skepticism exists among the soccer-watching public about doping in the sport. With doping scandals plaguing athletics and cycling in recent years, it seems silly to assume that soccer—a sport that is similarly physically demanding, but far more popular and lucrative—is somehow free from the influence of performance-enhancing drugs.
This is an era in which there are more games being played and more money involved than ever. Clubs and national teams use the most advanced sports science available to eek out the maximum from players. If every potential competitive advantage is being explored, wouldn’t PEDs seem like a natural progression? It simply makes too much sense to be ignored, and the relative lack of confirmed cases of doping in soccer now looks suspicious. Your favorite player played almost 70 games for club and country last season and you think it’s all about good diet and yoga? For your own good, just assume your heroes are doped up to their eyeballs. Best to get your head out of the sand now before the inevitable exposé within the next few years.