One More Special Message To Go

David Hirshey writes regularly for Deadspin about soccer. Well, until today, anyway.

It was only a matter of time before the Special One descended from the lofty peaks of soccer's Olympus to once again strut and preen among us. He had been waiting eight months for his suitors to fall to their knees, genuflect before his genius, and tip over wheelbarrows full of gold.

Oh, how I loathe that insufferable fuck and all that he embodies —the scowling arrogance, the smug posturing, the checkbook (always someone else's) in place of a heart. And yet you've got to hand it to the guy. When he saw the chance to cash in on his specialness, he knew exactly where to point his soft leather loafers — in the direction of Inter Milan and their $14 million a year bounty. (Damn, I thought, that's almost Rick Reilly money!) Then, in a brilliant PR stroke, he told the Italian media that he no longer wanted to be known as The Special One. "I am Mourinho," he insisted. "That's all."

But enough about him. In the two years that I've been The Closer, I've been called " an asshole," "gay," "clueless," "gay," "gay wanker," "gay Arsenal wanker" and, of course, "Jewish." I may be one of those things but I'm not stupid.

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So I called up Leitch and said "Hey, I've been The Closer now for two years and while paying me in all the beer I can drink on Saturday and Sunday mornings is not insignificant, it hardly covers the cost of those tranny hookers that Ronaldo (the Brazilian version) introduced me to."

"Who is this?" he asked, "Daulerio, I told you I'm not going to support your hooker habit anymore. Drew's is nearly bankrupting me."

When he finally guessed who it was, I informed him that in addition to wanting to be paid "in the high two figures," I also wanted to be known as The Special One, now that the sobriquet was available. Summoning that zen mojo he worked so successfully on Old Man Bissinger, Leitch pondered my demands for almost a full 10 seconds and then wished me luck in the cruel, cruel world outside the blogosphere. Besides, he explained, he already had to call Nick Denton “The Special One,” and that they only shell out those kind of bucks for "sports that people actually care about."

So it is with a heavy heart and a transplanted liver that I must now bid you all farewell. After nearly 100 posts (only 90 of which were about Arsenal) and at least 1,700 hangovers, I 'm retiring my Deadspin cleats. It's been a magical couple of years (for all of you), even if the Gooners won fuck-all and I woke up every Monday feeling as if someone had performed a frontal lobotomy on me.

Needless to say, I couldn't have done it without the wrecking crew at Kinsale — Mid Table Mikey, Dublin Dave, Raj, Lingering Bursitis, Mr. Angry, Bigus Dickus, Autoglass, Czech Babe and of course Pauline, the den mother/bartender who gave me a Kinsale gift card when my tab exceeded the GNP of Burkina Faso .

For those of you (you both know who you are) who will miss my trenchant insights into the Beautiful Game, my wholly objective reporting on the EPL and my occasional circumsized dick jokes, you'll be happy to know that beginning Friday, just in time for the kickoff of Euro 2008, I'll be writing on a little site they call ESPN. com. Say what you want about the WWL — and you do every day — it has been the guardian angel of soccer in this country, pouring millions of dollars into the sport and keeping it safe from the likes of Marcelo Balboa.

So before you start sending me hateful e-mails and treating me like I'm Emily Gould with a thicker mustache, let me just say that I don't feel at all bad about selling out. Sure, I will miss working alongside the great and the near-great of Deadspin — Will, Rick, AJ, BDD and Unsilent Majority — but what's to stop me from being one of the high-minded philosopher-poets in the Comments section? I've even thought of a screen name: Splendor In The Arse.

And now as I bid you all Shalom (sorry, one parting Jew reference) and take my excellence to the white sand beaches of Bristol, Connecticut, I leave you with one last fearless but obviously biased prediction.

I like Spain to win Euro. After all, they've got Fabregas and he's special.

Like me.