Unstuck by the All Star Game

Thursday, July 28, 2011 | View Comments
-Jason Davis

There's another MLS All-Star game in the books, and it's left me feeling a bit detached. Unstuck. Like I'm floating in time, untethered. This must be how Billy Pilgrim felt.

We just did this last year. I remember the conversations, the resulting blog posts, the excuses/justifications/criticisms/rants/re-thinks/polls/screeds/polemics, the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing and disgust over the dire performance put on by what is supposed to a collection of the best players MLS has to offer against a Manchester United team that has yet to play a match that counts. Oh deary me, MLS looks bad.

I'm tempted to just re-post my response to the expressions of shame after last year's game, but I won't. Not beause I wouldn't stand by ever word, but because doing so would I imply I care enough to make a rebuttal arguement. I don't.

So there is a difference between 2010 and 2011. That's enough to tether me to this year, I guess. In 2010 I felt the need to waste 800 words or so on people who overrated the value of the All-Star Game and moaned about "embarrassment" or "shame." I was genuinely fostering hostile feelings. In 2011, I'm simply ambivalent. If you're clueless enough to think that last night's game meant anything - other than the possible weakening of Real Salt Lake's back line - you're not worth my time.

A writer I respect thinks the game stands out as a high-profile example of a problem MLS has at the moment: lack of scoring. Maybe it does. Don't really care.

Oops, there I go -

Me: I don't know when I am.

Myself: Does it matter? Things are the same.

Me: I guess you're right. There is that thing about finishing though.

Myself: That must make it 2011 then.

Me: I can't be sure. No goals in the All-Star Game means more because of scoreless draws?

Myself: All the scorers forgot how.

Me: I'm not even sure there's a correlation. Small sample size and so on. I hate math.

Myself: Did Chicharito play? That will tell you when you are.

Me: Lemme check...he scored seven goals, won a hot dog eating contest at half time and gave sight to a blind woman in the stands.

Myself: Uh, maybe you're floating through alternate dimensions now. That didn't happen in 2010 or 2011.

Me: Really? I swear it's in my newsreader.

Myself: Maybe it's your newsreader that is unstuck. Either that, or you stumbled upon a weird new blog.

Me: Well, wherever I am, Manchester United is a lot better than the best players in MLS.

Myself: ...

Me: What's that mean?

Myself: Nothing. I'm not going to get sucked into a discussion about that conclusion or how ridiculous it is to even make a statement regarding the relative qualities of a cobbled-together team that hasn't practiced and the second best side in Europe.

Me: Hah.

Myself: SHIT.

Me: Did we ever figure out when I am?

Myself: I don't think you're unstuck at all. It just feels mostly the same. Time is linear, you're not defying the laws of physics. It's clearly 2011.

Me: You're probably right. Just so hard to pin down with the teams being the same and so many people saying exactly the same things when it was over. Even you.

Myself: I tried. I really don't care, I just can't help myself when the game is so clearly devoid of any qualitative value and fans use it to judge MLS. It's the faulty thinking that galls me, not the notion that MLS was made to look bad.

Me: You're a sucker.

Myself: So you started this weird internal dialog, Mr. Unstuck. Any idea how we end it?

Me: Nope.

So it's time to move on from these. At least the Manchester United version. Twice in a row is enough. It would help with the time displacement, the soul-crushing sense that I'm merely repeating myself (and the ulcer-spawning attempt to avoid doing so) and the lack of enthusiasm running through the fan base today.

The best thing about the MLS All-Star Game is that it prompted me to write this blog post. Judging by the quality of the above text, I'd say it's probably the worst best thing ever.

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