David Hirshey writes regularly for Deadspin about soccer.

I was in a tumbleweed diner in the middle of the Arizona desert on my way to to witness Michael Strahan doing things to Tom Brady's testicles that Giselle Bundchen probably never tried. I looked up at the white-haired waitress and saw tears running down her leathery face. She, too, had heard the news that David Beckham had been denied his 100th cap by the mean new England coach Fabio Capello.

"I can't believe what this world is coming to," she said, handing me my Grilled Cheese Deluxe garnished with parsley and cactus rinds.

"It's tough to swallow," I said, although I feared that nothing could be. tougher to swallow than the lunch she just dropped in front of me. "I mean, it's only a stupid friendly against those ovaltine-swilling yodelers from Switzerland, and you're telling me that he couldn't find it in his black Sicilian heart to put Becks in for 15 lousy minutes?"

"They say he's not fit," she said, trying to choke back her sobs. "Look at the man. If he wasn't in shape, how did he play for the Galaxy? The English just hate American soccer, don't they?"


"You got that right, dear" I said, brandishing my fork with what appeared to be a dead gila monster. "Could you get me a new setup?"

She turned away, sniffling even more loudly.

"Hey, cheer up," I said, "it's not all bad news. At least Maradona admitted today that he cheated the Brits out of the World Cup in '86."


She guffawed and did a jig. Fortunately for me, she stomped on a scorpion that was headed my way.