Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Even Though It’s Broken, 'MLS Is Back' Can Still Teach Us About Life

The American Dream.
The American Dream.
Screenshot: MLS

The “MLS Is Back” tournament certainly has already taught us much about the world — or this country specifically. How greed and corporations can run roughshod over personal concerns, how clear logic will never apply in that process, and how the working stiffs don’t get much of a say. Also that Disney runs everything. It is Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia.

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But that doesn’t mean it has to stop there. And last night we saw how it can deliver actual allegory.

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Now you may have surface-level questions about this goal. Like why is every San Jose player within 10 yards of Vancouver’s penalty area with absolutely no safety net, Or why said defense is so wide and lacking any pace to make up the ground. These are plebeian concerns. Trivial. Misguided.

Look at San Jose’s Judson chase down this lost cause behind Vancouver’s Yordy Reyna. By any reason or rhyme, there’s no point. He won’t catch him, and Reyna has 70 yards of a breakaway in which he only has to finish through a completely stranded keeper.

But this is America, where the most successful strategy has always been to put yourself in position in case someone fucks up. Apply whatever pressure you can to aid that fucking up. Maybe, just maybe, the doofus ahead of you will expose himself as having no real business being there, because he almost certainly doesn’t. We don’t reward accomplishment and track record. This, people, is really the American Dream.

And Judson did it. He got himself there when Reyna discovered he couldn’t handle this gift. He didn’t deserve it. And in true American upper class fashion, he tried to shove it off to someone else to deal with. Pass the buck. Shirk the responsibility. Move it along to someone else and then run for the hills and hide.

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Also in true American aristocratic fashion, he passed it in as poor of a fashion as possible. Hastily and sloppily shoved over with barely any hope of reaching its target. American craftsmanship at its best (yes, Reyna is Peruvian and plays in Canada, but just go with me here).

Suddenly Judson has his Don Beebe moment. His LeBron block. A showcase of hustle and dedication that will make high school coaches of all sports take off all their clothes and shout to the Sun God for eternity. An example of the false ideal that all you have to do is work hard and want it bad enough and you can be the hero. This is the lie they’ve been selling you since you emerged into the light in blood and mucus.

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And then he forced the ball into his own net. That’s what hard work gets you. And then you remember that Beebe’s team still got labeled in the Super Bowl. George Teague only “protected” the Cowboy Star after Terrell Owens had two touchdowns. It was all empty. All a show. Actual value — nothing.

That is the state of life in this country. Whoever starts ahead of you unfairly, due to the incompetent work of others, will always be ahead of you. No matter how hard you try, no matter how unequipped they are, they’ll get their way. You only exist to forward their cause. You are merely a gear.

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(San Jose went on to win 4-3, only adding to the meaninglessness of it all. And definitely not inspired by Judson’s effort).

Have you ever looked at a dollar bill, man?

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