As an olive branch to GFOPs everywhere for our reckless behavior canceling this week’s Men in Blazers pod, we offer a selection from Friday morning’s SiriusXM show, where they appear live twice weekly Mondays and Fridays at 9am ET. Here, Michael and Roger discuss the seismic Champions League semifinals including Barcelona v. Chelsea, also known as Good v. Evil.
Barcelona’s defeat was a shock to all. Devastating to some. Simply put, when Ray Hudson is not commentating, Barca don’t seem to know what to do. Ray’s thoughts on the symbolism of last night’s game are below.
From: Hudson, Ray
Date: Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 8:23 AM Subject: Re: ARE YOU OK, RAY? To: Bennett, Roger
The golden era has ended. But how grand and glorious it was.
This was Barça’s Triple Crown: Chelsea/Real Madrid/Chelsea. They lost every leg. They wound up as a mile and an eighth squad asked to run a mile and a quarter.
After the game I went to Joe McGinniss’s pub nearby, and he told me this, which, after 14 more pints I started to see his wisdom; “In mathematics, all deviations from the mean display a propensity to return to it. This is expressed by the following equation, in which s represents standard deviation.” Joe then chalked this up on the blackboard behind the bar…the truckers sat on either side of me gazed on…
Well, Rog, I’m going back to bed. I’ll watch the Manchester derby on Monday, and will marvel over how two teams that left Chelsea in their dust in the Premiership could have been so humiliated by European lesser lights, when Chelsea could legitimately outplay Barça over two legs.
It was simply not meant to be. Andy Carroll picked the worst time imaginable to step out of his fat suit and “pony-tail” home the winner against doomed Everton. Instead of an All-Men in Blazers dream FA Cup Final featuring Chelsea and America’s team, Liverpool will play Roberto Di Matteo’s side on Cinco De Mayo. On the bright side, John Terry and Luis Suarez will finally have found a soulmate eager to shake the others hand before kickoff. In this week’s midnight pod special, Roger and Michael bemoan the FA Cup Final that could have been and breakdown why things went so terribly wrong for Rog’s beloved Toffees.
Plus, the Men in Blazers recap the return of golf’s Carlos Tevez, explore mighty Ray Hudson’s bizarre sexual predilections, celebrate the state bird of Massachusetts and answer a GFOP’s hard-hitting telegram regarding the Premier League’s sexiest manager. ‘Arry can rest easy.
As one of the two Wigan supporters stateside, Ned and his brother-in-law John felt it was their duty to answer the question presented in last week’s pod — mainly, where has this Wigan team been all season? Born in the UK, but residing in Boston, Ned writes for the Wigan fansite Los Three Amigos and the ESPN Soccernet Wigan blog. If other GFOPs ever feel inclined to respond to the deep, penetrating analysis presented by Sammy and the Toilet, email us at meninblazers (at) gmail (dot) com.
For now, here’s the Wigan boys’ response…
1) Adapting to life without N’Zogbia
We all knew N’Zogbia would leave, but it took until deadline day to replace him. Shaun Maloney and Albert Crusat came in, neither a direct replacement, but both decent attacking players that could help the cause. Unfortunately, Maloney had been on the scotch egg diet and has taken most of the season to reach match fitness. His introduction has transformed our team in the attacking third. Replacing Jordi Gomez, who tends to pass the ball sideways 9 out of 10 times, Maloney has been a breath of fresh air. His movement is direct, he’s willing to run at people, full of clever flicks, bends a nice corner, and can shoot. He’s made a difference.
2) Struggling with defensive injuries in first half of season
Our recent success is in large part down to the defense. Al-Habsi is quality, but Caldwell, Alcaraz and Figueroa have been a revelation as a back three. Alcaraz missed much of the first half of the season through injury, and was several times rushed back to fitness due to our lack of cover in that department. Antonio Lopez and Steve Gohouri played far too many matches, they are simply not good enough. Emmerson Boyce is a very important figure for us on and off the pitch, and also missed almost the entire first half of the season. Our return to form coincided with his return to the pitch.
But it’s not all about the glamorous teams at the top of the table. The blazered men analyze the battle against relegation at the bottom. While they can decide on one of the teams set to move down at the season’s end (so long, Wolverhampton!), the other two teams leave Michael and Roger at odds.
Of course, none of this football really matters in the wake of Giorgio Chinaglia’s death on Sunday. The Cosmos legend was the Greatest Friend of the Pod and a dear colleague at SiriusXM. He forever changed the landscape of America’s Sport of the Future and we’re eternally indebted to him.