David Hirshey Michael Bertin writes regularly for Deadspin about soccer.
If the season were to end today Stupid Fucking Bolton would be going to the Champions League. A corner of the universe just started to fold in on itself simply because that sentence was typed. If... If my aunt had a penis she'd be my uncle, and my actual uncle would then be a homosexual. Bolton has a better chance of winning the Eurovision Song Contest than than they do winning a Champions League spot. I'm sure Chelski fans are already printing up t-shirts and Roman Abramovich's girlfriend has probably handed him a list of sculptors he can commission to immortalize Big Phil in bronze, but this weekend represents all of 2.6% of the season. And the last time I checked (about 10 seconds ago) Michael "Zweiter Platz" Ballack still wears a Chelsea jersey, so yeah, let's not overreact.Similarly, Scousers are likely sweating their side giving meaning to the phrase 'subtraction by addition' as their new high-priced striker stopped a certain goal from their old (okay, last season) high-priced striker. But the latter bailed Liverpool out (again) and there's ample time left for them to assume and put a lock on their rightful fourth place spot. Even United's decision to suck at home doesn't necessitate much hand wringing. Last year they opened by drawing against Reading—currently residing in the "Where are they now?" file (Answer: the Colaship)—and they still managed to, you know, win the league title. It was infinitely amusing to watch Sir Alex squirm as he slowly realized that, without Cristiano Louganis or Carlos Tevez, his side is just an overpriced Blackburn, but that's only because all my hatred of that man is derived entirely from the fear of his teams. One week. Small sample size. Unless your rooting interests lie in North London. And I'm not referring to a dull 1-0 win over West Brom. I say this not because Tottenham are my supposed nemesis, I merely derive pleasure from saying this because they are my supposed nemesis. Now, I've never met Relegation Zone Mikey, I only know of him through my predecessor's lore, but I pity his mom, or whoever is still in charge of changing his bed sheets. The second worst defense in the league last season spends $100M bringing in players and still can't stop anyone from scoring. That's probably because none of the high profile players brought in during the summer transfer were defenders. If I didn't know better, I'd think Tom Hicks had taken over at White Hart Lane, not Anfield. "Hey, we've got no pitching. Let's say we trade Edinson Volquez for Josh Hamilton." I can already here the retorts of "5-1." The only thing worse than being willfully ignorant is being predictable. Or maybe it's living in the past. I'm not exactly sure how to construct a solid existential hierarchy. I am sure how to construct an SAT analogy. Lucy:Charlie Brown::Reality:Tottenham's Top 4 Talk. If you're a Spurs fan, there's no way to silver line a 2-1 loss to Boro, because it was actually more like a 3-0 loss. David Wheater's first half goal was just plain taken away from him, unless getting felt up like Michael Kors at the Pride Parade is now a foul on the person getting felt. In case you had stopped watching by that point, you needed the other team to beat its own keeper just to get on the scoresheet. Oh, and this was Middlesbrough. There name translates into English as "Twelfth Place." They've cracked the top half of the table once this century. Boro. Destroyed you. And to make it even worse (or better), you're trying to unload your only proven Premier League striker. Even so, while he's still on your team, he'd probably be more effective if he spent more time on the pitch than on the pine. Unless Juande Ramos knows something we don't. I mean I don't watch much La Liga, so maybe in Spain you're allowed to score from the bench. So, it is only 2.6% of the season. It's just significant enough to be dismissive of until the season ends and you're two points short, or you're Tottenham.