Americans were faced with a very difficult decision on Sunday. Either spend time with your one true love. Or pass the hours on Mother’s Day with wives, matriarchs and the like. Many chose the former, perched in front of an endless numbers of monitors tuned in to Soccer.
Here’s a story of one GFOP, Matt Steber, who tried to get away with both…
Having not missed a Manchester City game in ten years, I found myself faced with a dilemma this past Sunday. Mother’s Day. How cruel to have the final EPL day on Mother’s Day.
I decide to be a good husband and take my wife and kids to NYC for the weekend (knowing I would score big points with the wife for missing the match for her). Sunday after breakfast we made our way to the Metropolitan Museum. Little did she know that while she was admiring priceless works of art with the kids, I was watching the match on my phone. After the equalizer I moved ahead to another exhibit so I could watch more intently.
As the final shot smashed into the back of the net, I momentarily forgot that I was in the Museum, jumped off the bench and screamed into the face of a Greek statute as If I was at Etihad. Hearing the racket my family entered that wing only to find me being escorted out of the museum by security. Needless to say it was a long and quiet ride back to Philly. After two hours of complete silence in the car, my wife turned to me and said, “I’m glad your team finally won, you prick.”
Three days and one diamond ring later, all is forgiven and the house is back to normal. I hope the security tapes never make it to YouTube.
(GFOP Curtis vents after an incredible weekend. Send your telegrams to firstname.lastname@example.org)
To Roberto Mancini and the Manchester City players,
First off, thanks for making Survival Sunday an epic day of football. What an unbelievable finish to the season.
Second, amid all the celebrations, home fireworks displays, and Boddingtons-soaked orgies… take a second to realize what you’ve accomplished this season. Man City, with your billions of dollars and elite world-class squad, you managed to (barely) beat a Man United squad with the median age of an old folks home… consisting of a retired mid-fielder, more than a few should-have-been-put-out-to-pasture players and a half blind goalkeeper. And it took you until the very last day of the season… dramatic pause… in the final 5 minutes of stoppage time. Way to go chaps.
Maybe instead of all the celebrating, Roberto, you should be calling your squad in tomorrow to start running drills for next season.
Entering the final weekend, Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini is poised to win both the battle of the minds with Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson and the Premier League title, even though he’s loath to admit it. A storybook ending for “The Little Train That (received a multi-billion dollar overhaul and) Could.” The crosstown rivals both eked out wins Sunday, but one of the victories wasn’t like the other. In this week’s pod, the Men in Blazers recap both the wins in the penultimate weekend, take stock of the battle for third and fourth place, and then bid Blackburn and their fowl farewell as the second team to cement relegation to the Championship next season.
Story lines abound as the English Premier League enters the sharp end of the season. On Monday, Americans everywhere feigned illness to slip out of work and into the nearest Irish pub to watch the seismic Manchester Derby. City’s victory nudges them ahead in the tightest title race finish in 23 years, and the Men in Blazers couldn’t be happier. In this week’s pod, Michael and Roger review the crap game of football that yielded managerial handbags, Vincent Kompany’s winner, and the appearance of soccer’s most famous father-in-law, Diego Maradona.
Plus, they take a look at the moral victories that weren’t for Liverpool and Chelsea, welcome Reading and Southampton, the first two sides slated for a return to the Premier League next year, and analyze the appointment of Roger’s DadRoy Hodgson as England manager.
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.
In case you missed last week’s pod, we urge you to listen to the interview with forgotten U.S. legend Gerry Baker. And after, if so compelled, please email the US Soccer Hall of Fame to consider Baker’s induction.
On this week’s pod, we have the honor of interviewing 73-year-old Gerry Baker, former US international and the first American ever to score a hat trick in top-flight English soccer.
Last week we enlisted your help to find Gerry after Clint Dempsey’s impressive hat trick against Newcastle was headline-making news. Dempsey’s achievement was remarkable, although Baker had achieved a similar feat 51 years earlier and his whereabouts were then unknown. Thanks to your help, we located Gerry. To record his story was to tap into the rich and complex footballing history that flows through this nation’s veins.
Putting aside the false dawns and hyperbolic predictions, the American soccer tradition tells some textured tales if you know where to listen. And to have the opportunity to interview Baker and hear about his experiences playing for the US National team in the 60’s, when the majority of the players were foreign-born citizens plying a semi-pro trade in the New York metropolitan area’s German American Soccer League, was a thrill we will not soon forget.
Despite his achievements, Baker is not a member of the US Soccer Hall of Fame. We encourage listeners to drop the Hall a line at email@example.com and urge them to reconsider. If the number of entries we received for our inaugural MiB Craft Comeptition to design a more realistic looking “hairpiece” for Wayne Rooney is anything to go by, you will do the legacy of Gerry Baker proud.