David Hirshey writes regularly for Deadspin about soccer.
Let's face it: The media hasn't exactly been shy about exploring every orifice of the Eliot Spitzer-Ashley Dupre story. Except one. Yes, it turns out, the disgraced former Governor of New York, who enjoyed "dangerous sex" with the 22-year-old hooker/r&b singer/top swimsuit model/cokehead also played soccer. He is yet another in the long line of celebrities like Jon Stewart, Steve Nash and Osama Bin Laden who long ago embraced the beautiful game.
I'm not saying he's as fast on his feet as Stewart, that he has the field vision of Nash or is as explosive and elusive as Bin Laden, but I'm here to tell you that Spitzer didn't just like to just stick it in up to $80,000 worth; he also liked to get, as the English say, "stuck in."
How do I know? He told me, although not before I forked over $100 for the privilege of attending a fundraising breakfast in his honor. Which means, at $1,000 an hour, my C-note may have contributed to six minutes of his pleasure with young Ashley.
This was a couple of years ago when Spitzer was running for governor, and there were still people like me who bought into his crusading bullshit. After waiting in line for about 20 minutes and listening to my colleagues pepper him with questions about the Mob, Wall Street corruption and how long before he becomes the first Jewish president, I finally had my audience. I went right for the jugular.
"I understand that you played soccer at Horace Mann," I said. "I played for Hackley."
Now I should mention that neither Horace Mann nor Hackley have ever been confused with the favellas of Brazil as factories for turning out world-class soccer players, but in the in the badass universe of New York private schools, they command a nod of respect.
"We had some real battles with you guys," Spitzer said, relishing the chance to talk about something other than subprime mortgages.
"You were a defender, right?" I asked.
"Left fullback," Spitzer said, showing how old school he was by using the ancient term for wingback.
"I hear you had to mark John McEnroe when he played soccer for Trinity," I said.
"He had such quick feet. He ran circles around me."
And with that, my time was up. Later, I asked one of Spitzer's long-time aides who had also been a teammate of his at Horace Mann, how good a player he was. "Elliot wasn't the fastest guy in the world," he said. "But he was a tough tackler. He would clean opponents out."
Tough he may have been, but when the Feds slid in studs up, Spitzer saw his career dive faster than Ronaldo in the box. From soccer defender to public defender to pubic defender in the time it takes to unroll a condom. I, for one, am disappointed that a Jew who scored 1590 on his SAT could have been so stupid. But it's not like Spitzer is the first soccer player caught with his Umbro shorts down. Remember when Ronaldo graciously welcomed his new Portuguese-speaking teammates Nani and Anderson to ManU by hiring three prostitutes at $600 an hour to ease their transition to life in the Prem? Not only did he get a better bargain, but three days later nobody gave a damn, not even prissy Sir Alex.
Maybe the clear lesson for the Spitzers of the world — and you know who you are — is to become better soccer players. Because if you can score 31 goals like Ronaldo, people will forgive your red cards off the field.
Not that Ronaldo still isn't an annoying little bitch, especially when he pops up in front of the goal in the 76th minute to spare ManU the indignity of a nil-nil draw against those bottom feeders Derby. United's 1-0 victory, coupled with the Arsenal's fourth pathetic draw in a row against a team they should have beaten (in this case, mighty Boro), vaults the Reds into first place on goal difference with a game in hand. Those gagging sounds you hear coming from the Emirates have nothing to do with the greasy meat pies — or Ashley Dupre.
Arsenal now not only faces the prospect of having squandered the title but perhaps second place as well, with Chelsea, also having played one less game, pulling to within three points. As painful as it would be losing the championship to United after being five points clear two weeks ago, it pales next to the soul-crushing despair of being eclipsed by a club that Cardillo anointed as "the most loathsome world eleven, surpassing Team Evil from Shaolin Soccer and the New England Patriots."
Arsenal descends into the cauldron of Stamford Bridge next Sunday, where nothing less than a three-point dick-stomping will suffice. For that, the Gunners will need all the verve and resolve they showed against Milan in the San Siro. It also won't hurt if they had a big, rugged defender in the back other than Senderos to muscle up against Drogba.
Dust off those cleats, Mr. Spitzer. I happen to know Eduardo isn't using jersey number 9.